Unauthorized Drone Activity Forces Closure of Dubai Airport

Dubai International Airport said it was forced to cease all arrivals and departures from 0808 hrs to 0835 hours on Wednesday morning, September 28.

Dubai Airport was forced to shut down between 8:05 am and 8:35 am (UAE local time) on Wednesday, September 28 due to unauthorized drone activity. The incident is the latest in a string of airport closures caused by drones in Dubai.

An eyewitness reported 21 planes were backed up on the runway and there were several delays.

“Safety is our top priority and we remind all UAV operators that activities are not permitted within 5 km of any airport or landing area,” Dubai Airports tweeted.

Full operations resumed at 9:07 am.

CEO of Dubai Airports Paul Griffiths said in a radio interview that he “can’t go into specifics because the authorities are still looking [into the matter], but there are very clear restrictions and no fly zones around all airports int the UAE saying that this type of activity is illegal.”

In June 2016, a drone forced the closure of Dubai International Airport for 69 minutes. In January 2015, recreational drones forced the closure of Dubai Airport for 55 minutes after they came dangerously close to the flight path of commercial airliners. As a result, some aircrafts had to be diverted to Al Maktoum Airport in Jebel Ali.

As a result, Dubai Airport was named as one of four drone no-fly zones established by the UAE’s General Civil Aviation Authority. The others are Al Maktoum airport, the Al Minhad air base and the Palm Jumeirah near Skydive Dubai.


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