Flights temporarily grounded at Dubai airport after drone activity

Unauthorised drone activity at the airport disrupted operations for 30 minutes



Flights at the Dubai International Airport were temporarily grounded following unauthorised drone activity, officials confirmed on Friday.

“Dubai Airports confirms that operations at Dubai International are back to normal after less than 30 minutes of delay due to unauthorized drone activity,” Dubai Media Office confirmed on Twitter.

It also warned drone users to avoid such incidents.

Dubai International faced a similar issue in 2015, when an unauthorised drone was flown into the airspace around Dubai International Airport.

It forced authorities to close the airspace for 55 minutes and cost the Dubai economy $1m for each minute that passed, according to DCAA head of aviation regulation and safety Michael Rudolph.

Airspace around Dubai International was also closed in three separate incidents in 2016, resulting in the diversion of several flights with major delays also reported.

Read: Emirates calls for action after “millions of dirhams” lost due to Dubai drone disruption

Following the incidents, a new resolution was passed in 2017 that non-registered drone use in Dubai will result in a fine of up to Dhs20,000 ($5,445).

Under the resolution, anyone seeking to perform an aviation activity in the emirate will need to get an annual licence from Dubai Civil Aviation Authority.

No-fly zones in the emirate 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 Dubia, the Burj Khalifa and Skydive Dubai.

Read: Dubai introduces fines of up to $5,445 for illegal drone use

Dubai sets no-fly zones for drones

Dubai airport retained its position as the world’s busiest for international passenger traffic in 2018, handling 89.1 million passengers.

Also read: Emirates flights to Gatwick face diversion, delays as airport suffers drone disruption