The Department of Transport has said a detailed risk assessment is to be carried out to assess if Irish airports are prepared for potential drone activity.

The National Civil Aviation Threat and Risk Group met today to examine the issue of the illegal operation of drones in and around prohibited airspace at Irish airports.

The meeting was organised in light of of recent reported events at Gatwick and Heathrow in the UK.

The Group, which included representatives of all the relevant Government departments and State authorities, airports and airlines, discussed preparedness at Irish airports in the event of an illegal infringement into restricted airspace of a drone, including current arrangements and on-going developments at the EU level.

In a statement following the meeting, the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Shane Ross said he had been reassured that there are already strong regulatory provisions in place in Ireland, which control and restrict the use of drones. 

"These include an exclusion zone of 5km around airports, which is something the UK authorities are now moving to. 

"There are also operational protocols in place for dealing with illegal drone activity at the airports, which serve to coordinate the response of the airport authority, air traffic control and An Garda Síochána."

The Group has advised the Minister that there will be a fresh, detailed risk assessment carried out in the coming weeks, as is established practice, and that will inform any further steps.