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Sat 11 Jun 2016 06:17 PM

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Dubai forced to shut airspace after unauthorised drone activity

Operator of Dubai International Airport says airspace closed for 69 minutes, resulting in delays and flight diversions

Dubai forced to shut airspace after unauthorised drone activity

The operator of Dubai International Airport on Saturday said it was forced to close airspace for more than an hour due to unauthorised drone activity.

Dubai Airports said in a statement that airspace around Dubai International was closed for 69 minutes from 11.36am to 12.45pm local time, resulting in a number of delays and flight diversions. 

The airport operator said it is working closely with its stakeholders to restore operations and minimise customer inconvenience.

"Safety is our top priority and Dubai Airports reminds all UAV operators that any and all activities are not permitted unless authorized by regulatory authorities and are strictly prohibited in restricted areas including within 5km of any airport or landing area," the statement added.

In April, Dubai authorities enacted stricter rules regulating unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), known as drones.

The General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) established four drone no-fly zones and nine areas requiring registration across Dubai.

The International Airport, Al Minhad Air Base, the Palm Jumeirah around Skydive Dubai and Al Maktoum Airport were designated no-fly zones.

In addition, a permission to fly drones is required for nine other areas, including Downtown Dubai around the Burj Khalifa and the Skydive Dubai desert campus.

A law regulating drone registration came into force in April 2015, following a number of incidents.

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Raj 4 years ago

This is disgusting and irresponsible of the drone owner! It is selfish and callous people like this, spoil the environment for responsible and law abiding drone users. I really hope the authorities nail the culprit and give a severe punishment to set an example of deterrence. It is not a joke to disrupt air travel, which is the lifeline of Dubai and create so much discomfort to passengers and their safety!!!