Ainis Guzauskus (41) is accused of an offence under section three of the Air Navigation and Transport Act 1975, unlawfully and intentionally interfering with the operation of an air navigation facility, Dublin Airport, by flying a DJI Mavic mini 2 drone, on July 2nd, 2022.
The father of two, of Ridgewood Close, Swords, Dublin, appeared before Michele Finan at Dublin District Court on Friday to enter a plea.
The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) has directed a “trial on indictment”, so Mr Guzauskus would face a jury trial in the Circuit Court with broader sentencing powers if he contested the case.
However, the DPP consented to the case staying in the District Court “on a plea of guilty”.
Defence solicitor Tracy Horan confirmed Mr Guzauskus “pleads not guilty”.
Judge Finan noted his decision and adjourned the case until November for the DPP to prepare a book of evidence which must be served on the accused before the District Court grants a trial order.
Mr Guzauskus was remanded on continuing bail.
He was ordered only go to the airport if he has a valid ticket, while his other bail terms include a ban on drone flying, an order not to apply for a new passport, that he be contactable by phone, and that he does not leave the State without the court’s permission.
The court has heard the accused has lived in Ireland for 14 years and did not require an interpreter. Mr Guzauskus is in full-time work but was entitled to legal aid.
Man accused of flying drone at Dublin Airport plea…
In the unrelated prosecution, Eric Brills (50), of Holywell Dale, Swords, Dublin, is accused of unlawfully and intentionally interfering with the operation of air navigation facilities at Dublin Airport by operating a drone in the 300-metre critical area on January 24th, at Naul Road, Cloghran, Co Dublin, such act being likely to interfere with the safety of aircraft in flight.
In his case, the DPP also consented to “summary disposal on a guilty plea” at District Court level.
Last week, Mr Brills also entered a not guilty plea and was ordered to return to court on October 27th to be served with his book of evidence.
It is illegal to fly drones within 5km of the airport, and drones over a certain size must be registered, with each device having its own unique digital fingerprint for identification.