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Mon 18 Nov 2019 09:55 AM

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Muscat International Airport closed temporarily after drone spotted in airspace

All flights temporarily suspended as a result of drone activity

Muscat International Airport closed temporarily after drone spotted in airspace

The move comes a few months after flights from Dubai International Airport, the world’s busiest hub for long-haul flights, were suspended for half an hour over a suspected drone sighting, the latest case of a remotely-controlled flying device disrupting a major airport.

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Operations at Muscat International Airport were disrupted on Saturday evening after a drone was spotted in the airport airspace.

According to a statement from Oman Airports on Twitter, all flights were temporarily suspended as a result of the suspected drone activity.

The statement said: “We would like to announce, in coordination with the Public Authority of Civil Aviation and Royal Oman Police, that the operations at Muscat International Airport are back to normal after the temporary suspension of all flight operations due to the confirmed visibility of a drone over the airspace.

“The concerned authorities have worked to ensure that operations return to normal in the shortest time possible.”

The move comes a few months after flights from Dubai International Airport, the world’s busiest hub for long-haul flights, were suspended for half an hour over a suspected drone sighting, the latest case of a remotely-controlled flying device disrupting a major airport.

Video: Deploying drone detection technology at Muscat airport

Muscat International Airport recently announced the deployment of drone detection systems in the surrounding airspace

The incident followed chaos last December at London’s Gatwick airport when a pair of drones halted travel for more than 120,000 people over the course of 36 hours.

Eisa Al Hashmi, director of the conformity department at the Emirates Authority for Standardisation and Meteorology (ESMA), has previously estimated the cost of closing an airport at AED350,000 ($95,302) per minute. However, Michael Rudolph, head of airspace safety at Dubai Civil Aviation Authority (DCAA), has put this loss much higher at $1m (AED3.6m) per minute.

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