Drone incursion shuts down Dubai International Airport


DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – Dubai International Airport was closed to aircraft for more than an hour on Saturday after a drone incursion.

The airspace was closed from 11.36am to 12.45pm “due to unauthorised drone activity”, Dubai Airports said.

14 flights were diverted to Al Maktoum airport in Jebel Ali, four to Sharjah and three to Al Ain.

Dubai International Airport is one of four drone no-fly zones set up by the General Civil Aviation Authority in April after an incident last year, when a drone caused a 55-minute shutdown estimated to have cost the emirate’s economy Dh3.7 million a minute. The others are Al Maktoum airport, Al Minhad air base and the Palm Jumeirah around Skydive Dubai.

“We are working with Dubai Police, the airport and the relevant authorities in the investigations on the breach of the no-fly zone,” GCAA chief Saif Al Suwaidi said.

“What happened was a breach of the regulations … and a nuisance that disrupted air travel in Dubai.”