Dubai briefly shuts airspace after unauthorised drone activity

The shutting of the airspace around noon on Saturday caused several flight disruptions



Dubai Airports was forced to close the airspace around the Dubai International Airport for 69 minutes on Saturday following unauthorised drone activity in the area.

The shutting of the airspace around noon caused disruptions between 11.36am and 12.45pm and several flights were delayed and diverted.

In a statement, Dubai Airports said: “Dubai Airports is working closely with its stakeholders to restore operations and minimise customer inconvenience.

“Safety is our top priority and Dubai Airports reminds all UAV operators that any and all activities are not permitted unless authorised by Regulatory authorities and are strictly prohibited in restricted areas including within 5 kilometers of any airport or landing area,” the statement said.

This is not the first time that the unauthorised use of drones has caused disruptions at the Dubai airport.

Last year, a drone was flown into the airspace around Dubai International Airport forcing authorities to close the airspace for 55 minutes.

The move reportedly cost the Dubai economy $1m for each minute that passed.

Following the incident, Dubai’s Civil Aviation Authority introduced no-fly zones for drones in April this year, banning the use of the devices near all airports and royal palaces.

The new no-fly zones include Dubai International Airport, Al Minhad Air Base, the Palm Jumeirah around Skydive Dubai, while unmanned aerial vehicle operators will require licenses in nine other areas including Downtown Dubai, the Burj Khalifa and Skydive Dubai.

Registration will cost Dhs 50 for leisure users and Dhs 500 for commercial operators.

Read more here: Dubai sets no-fly zones for drones