From Hobby to Courtroom: Dublin Man’s DJI Drone Misstep

In Ireland, a man charged with the illegal operation of a DJI drone in Dublin 's critical area now faces the prospect of a jury trial, according to court proceedings. Ainis Guzauskus, a 41-year-old father of two, had his original charge upgraded to intentionally disrupting the operation of an air navigation facility.

In a Dublin District Court appearance before Judge Treasa Kelly, Guzauskus, a resident of Ridgewood Close, Swords, Dublin, received his updated charge. The initial charge, filed in February, accused Guzauskus of triggering a false alarm by operating an unmanned aerial system (drone) within Dublin Airport's critical zone.

The replaced charge implicates Guzauskus under section three of the Air Navigation and Transport Act 1975. The allegation states that on July 2, 2022, Guzauskus illegally and intentionally disrupted Dublin Airport's operations by flying a “DJI Mavic Mini 2” drone.

The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) reportedly stated that if Guzauskus disputes the case, it would be heard before a judge and jury in a higher court. Garda Sean Murphy also indicated the DPP would allow the case to remain in the District Court if Guzauskus pleads guilty.

Defence solicitor Donal Quigley requested an adjournment to study Irish Aviation Authority regulations before deciding on a plea. Guzauskus' bail conditions, carried over from the previous charge, underwent modification as a result of Quigley's submission.

A previous restriction preventing Guzauskus from approaching within two kilometers of the airport without permission was lifted, considering his residence's proximity to the airport.

Judge Kelly retained other bail conditions from February, including a prohibition on drone flying, a ban on applying for a new passport, and a requirement to stay contactable and not leave the country without court approval. The case will continue in July.

In a separate case, another man, Eric Brills, faces similar charges for operating a drone in Dublin Airport's 300-meter critical area. He is due in court later this month to indicate his plea. It remains unlawful to operate drones within 5 km of the airport, and drones over a specific size must be registered with unique digital fingerprints for identification.

You can read more stories about drone incidents on DroneXL.co

Note: It is unclear if the drone in question was a DJI Mavic 2 or a drone. All the reporting, we have come across refers to a non-exisiting “DJI Mavic Mini 2” drone.


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Haye Kesteloo
Haye Kesteloo

Haye Kesteloo is the Editor in Chief and Founder of DroneXL.co, where he covers all drone-related news, DJI rumors and writes drone reviews, and EVXL.co, for all news related to electric vehicles. He is also a co-host of the PiXL Drone Show on YouTube and other podcast platforms. Haye can be reached at haye @ dronexl.co or @hayekesteloo.

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