Drones temporarily ground takeoffs at Dubai Airport, leaving thousands stranded
A Dubai Airport spokesperson confirmed to RT that “flight departures from Dubai International were suspended” between 10:13am and 10:45am local time due to suspected drone activity.
The airport “has worked closely with the appropriate authorities” to ensure the safety of operations, he said. Currently, Dubai Airport is operating as normal.
During the half hour in which drones were apparently in the vicinity, annoyed passengers tweeted from the runways that they were left sitting on planes, not knowing when they would be able to continue their travel.
Stuck for ages at Dubai airport runway unable to taxi as unauthorized drones have entered the airspace here and all takeoffs have been grounded! This seems to be happening often in airports everywhere. Recently in Gatwick also— Anush Wijesinha (@anushwij) February 15, 2019
Dubai airport going nowhere due to drone flying around. So thousands of people sitting in planes going nowhere. What is wrong with people flying drones near airports!!!— Andrew Todd (@andrewjtodd) February 15, 2019
It’s not the first time that suspected drone sightings have caused flight disruptions at Dubai Airport, which is one of the busiest in the world. Dubai authorities have ordered drone owners to register with the United Arab Emirates’ General Civil Aviation Authority. Hobby drone operators are also banned from putting cameras or lasers on their drones and flying in certain areas.
Drone-related incidents around airports have spiked in recent years, compromising aviation safety. Shortly before Christmas, suspected drone activity caused chaos at Gatwick Airport in London, forcing flights to be canceled, disrupting travel plans for some 140,000 people. The incident was followed by drone-related disruptions at Heathrow and Newark airports.
In January, Canada introduced new regulations over the use of drones in its airspace, strictly banning them from flying near airports.
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