On the 11th of June an unauthorized drone was observed close to Dubai airport (DXB) forcing the airport to close for arrivals and departures for 69 minutes until it was deemed safe to resume operations again.
There are strict rules in the UAE for the use of unmanned drones, and no-one are allowed to fly closer than 3 nautical miles (5 kilometers) from any airports.
The hour-long closure caused delays and disruptions for thousands of passengers travelling to, from or via Dubai airport, and about 22 aircraft were diverted to other airports in the UAE, most of them going to Maktoum, but also other airports received diversions.
Dubai is the world busiest airport when it comes to international passengers, and this closure caused delays for many of them. “This is a very serious incident and we obviously take the safety of our customers and our staff extremely seriously,” a Dubai Airports spokesperson has been quoted as saying.
There are currently no registration system in force for the operators of UAVs in the UAE, and neither any geofencing in force, but both things are expected to be introduced very soon, in an attempt to enhance aviation safety.