Grounded by a drone: Delays as Dubai airport forced to close for 30 minutes

Dubai International Airport halted flights for almost 30 minutes after a drone was spotted flying in the area on Wednesday. The airport, the world’s busiest for international travel, was forced to shut down its airspace just after 8am. Arrivals were blocked for half-an-hour and it was unable to resume full operations until after 9am. The closure resulted in minor delays to a total of 90 flights, the airport said.

Safety is our top priority and we remind all UAV [Unmanned Aerial Vehicle] operators that activities are not permitted within 5km of any airport or landing area.

Dubai Airport

In June, Dubai International Airport closed its airspace for 69 minutes because of unauthorized drone activity, causing 22 flights to be diverted. Afterwards, authorities in the United Arab Emirates have announced plans to tighten the rules on buying and using drones. Drone owners must already register with the UAE General Civil Aviation Authority.

Unauthorised drones could become a hazard to aircrafts and airport security as they may cause airplane collisions or traffic disruption

Renaud Barbier, from drone company Dubai-based Fractal Systems