Suspected drone forced Dubai International Airport to close briefly
Drone activity is taken very, very seriously at airports. Dubai is no exception, its international airport was forced to take action when drones were suspected of flying over the restricted airspace.
The modern menace to airports around the world isn’t just that pesky customers asking to board the plane once the doors have closed, these days it’s all about drones. Suspected drone activity forced Dubai International Airport close briefly close on Sunday September 22 and redirect two incoming planes.
The two flights, both from Emirates, had to be quickly diverted to Dubai World Central and Sharjah International Airport. The flights were Brisbane via Singapore and a flight from Delhi.
“Dubai Airports can confirm that flight arrivals were briefly disrupted at Dubai International from 12.36pm to 12.51pm UAE local time this afternoon due to suspected drone activity resulting in the diversion of two flights,” an airport spokesman said.
Flights at @DXB were suspended for less than 15 minutes following a drone activity - Aviation authorities have urged the public to fully comply with the regulations to avoid any drone activity near the airport.— Dubai Media Office (@DXBMediaOffice) September 22, 2019
“Safety is our top priority and Dubai Airports is working closely with authorities and service partners to ensure normal operations and minimise inconvenience to our customers.”
As the ability of unmanned aerial devices improves over the years, so do the precautions against them by airports. DXB Airport back in 2016 had to briefly close on three occasions due to drones. This lead to the improvement in legislature against drone usage in airspaces.
Anyone found operating a drone without a licence in the UAE or any restricted airspace, within five kilometres of an airport, can be hit with an AED 20,000 fine.
London Heathrow, the city’s busiest airport, is said to have been working on ‘signal jammers’ to shut down drones that come within its airspace. In a more analogue fashion, police in the Netherlands are said to use trained falcons and eagles to take down unauthorised drones.
More and more airports around the globe are taking measures against these devices, the possible dangers were made apparent to the global scene after London Gatwick faced major disruptions when drones were spotted on the airfield in 2018.