DUBAI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT – February 15, 2019. Flights at Dubai International Airport were temporarily grounded on Friday morning due to suspected drone activity, an airport spokesperson said to Reuters.
The suspension was in effect from 10:13 to 10:45 am local time, before flights were cleared to resume, Dubai Airport said. Service was soon back to normal.
Dubai airport is the world’s busiest for international travelers and
it’s the hub for airlines Emirates and flydubai. It served 81.4 million passengers in the first 11 months of 2018.
After recent reports of sightings around airports in Britain and the United States, drones interfering with commercial air traffic has taken on new urgency.
In January, flights from London’s Heathrow airport were halted for about an hour after a drone was sighted. Sightings also temporarily halted arrivals at Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey.
Last December Gatwick Airport – about 28 miles south of the centre of London – was severely disrupted by drone sightings.
Passengers at Dubai took to Twitter to complain about Friday’s delay. “Stuck for ages at Dubai airport runway unable to taxi as unauthorized drones have entered the airspace here and all takeoffs have been grounded!” Twitter user @anushwij wrote.