Dublin Airport in Ireland was forced to temporarily suspend operations on the morning of 21 February after a drone was sighted near the airfield.

The Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) ordered the airport authorities to suspend operations for 30 minutes when a pilot reported a drone flight over the airfield at around 11.30am.

The airport authorities grounded all aircraft scheduled to take off, while three incoming flights were diverted.

Using its official Twitter account, the airport said: “For safety reasons we are temporarily suspending flight operations @DublinAirport due (to) the confirmed sighting of a drone over the airfield.”

It said that travellers should check with their airlines before leaving for the airport.

“The airport authorities said that the Irish police service Garda launched an investigation into the illegal drone flights.”

Operations resumed in less than hour after the situation returned to normal, the airport said.

Flying drones within 5km of an airport boundary is a criminal offence in Ireland. IAA registration is mandatory for drones weighing more than 1kg.

The airport authorities said that the Irish police service Garda launched an investigation into the illegal drone flights.

Dublin Airport is the latest to be affected by a series of recent drone sightings that have halted airport operations worldwide.

Dubai International Airport recently suspended operations on the morning of 15 February after suspected drone activity was reported near the airport.

In January, London’s Heathrow Airport temporarily halted all departing flights as a safety measure after a drone was spotted flying near the airfield, while Gatwick Airport was forced to suspend operations for 36 hours in January.

The UK Government is set to pass new legislation next month that will extend the ‘no-fly zone’ for drones and model aircraft around the UK airports to about 5km of runways.