dubai airport with emirates plane

Alleged drone causes flight disruption at Dubai International Airport

Image credit: reuters

An alleged drone sighting temporarily halted flights at Dubai International Airport, which is the world’s busiest for international travel.

The airport said it halted flights from 10.13am to 10.45am local time on Friday over “suspected drone activity” and flights were later resumed.

Drones are becoming an increasing problem in airports across the world. In December flights from Gatwick were suspended after a sighting.  This led to the UK Government announcing measures to prevent such incidences from occurring in future. 

Alleged drone sightings have previously disrupted flights into Dubai Airport, which is the base of the long-haul carrier Emirates.

plane drone collision

Image credit: Dreamstime

Drone owners are now required to register with the United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) General Civil Aviation Authority. Authorities also ban hobbyists from putting cameras or lasers on their drones and flying in certain areas.

There are also severe penalties in the UAE for unauthorised drone activity, General Civil Aviation Authority Director-General Saif Mohammed al-Suwaidi said in an interview with Al-Arabiya TV.

Passengers at Dubai took to Twitter to complain about Friday’s delay. “Stuck for ages at Dubai airport runway unable to taxi as unauthorized drones have entered the airspace here and all takeoffs have been grounded!” Twitter user @anushwij wrote.

UK defence secretary Gavin Williamson recently said that all UK airports will need to purchase anti-drone equipment because the Royal Air Force cannot deal with every incident where drones are flown near runways.

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