One of the world's busiest international airports was briefly forced to stop flights after a drone sighting

Dubai AirportREUTERS/Jumana El Heloueh

  • An unauthorized drone grounded flights at the world's busiest international airport on Friday morning.
  • Flights were halted between 10:13 a.m. local time and 10:45 a.m at Dubai International Airport (DXB,) the airport said.
  • Flights have now resumed.
  • Gatwick Airport, the second-biggest airport in the UK, was forced to close for more than 32 hours due to someone flying drones over the runway in December

The world's busiest international airport was forced to briefly halt flights on Friday morning due to an "unauthorized" drone being spotted over the terminal.

Flights were grounded for half an hour at Dubai International Airport (DXB) between 10:13 a.m. local time and 10:45 a.m. due to a drone in the "airport atmosphere," the Dubai government's media office announced.

Flights have now resumed at the airport, which is home to major airlines including the UAE's flag carrier, Emirates.

Dubai AirportReuters/Jumana El-Heloueh

Reuters says DXB is "the worlds busiest international airport for international travellers." By pure passenger traffic, it is the world's third busiest, behind Atlanta and Beijing. The airport processes around 88 million passengers annually.

The government media office tweeted: "Authorities warned that flying drones without obtaining permission is subject to legal liability as per UAE laws."

Read more: Video shows the damage a drone can do to a plane, as British airport shut down for more than 32 hours over rogue drones on the runway

Two of the UK's biggest airports were hit by drone delays in late 2018 and early 2019.

A drone over a runway at Gatwick Airport forced the airport to close for more than 32 hours in late December, and it happened again two days later.

Gatwick is the second-busiest airport in the UK, handling over 45 million passengers each year. British police later said that some drone sightings during the Gatwick closure crisis may have been of their own surveillance drones.

In January, flights at London's Heathrow Airport were halted for an hour after a reported drone sighting.

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