Suspected drone activity diverts flights coming into Dubai: airport authorities

A picture taken on August 21, 2017 in Dubai International Airport.

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DUBAI — Dubai International Airport underwent a 15 minute closure due to “suspected drone activity,” local airport authority Dubai Airports said Sunday.

“Dubai Airports can confirm that flight arrivals were briefly disrupted at Dubai International (DXB) from 12:36 hrs to 12:51 hrs UAE local time this afternoon due to suspected drone activity resulting in the diversion of two flights,” a company spokesperson told CNBC.

“Safety is our top priority and Dubai Airports is working closely with authorities and service partners to ensure normal operations and minimize inconvenience to our customers,” the spokesperson said.

Flights coming into the busy Gulf airport from Australia via Singapore and from India were diverted to nearby airports in other parts of the United Arab Emirates, a spokesperson from Emirates Airlines said in a statement.

“Emirates can confirm that today, Sunday, 22 September 2019, Dubai International Airport was closed from 12.36hrs to 12.51hrs local time due to suspected drone activity in the surrounding airspace. As a result flight EK 433 from Brisbane and Singapore to Dubai International Airport (DXB) was diverted to Dubai World Central (DWC) and flight EK 511 from Delhi to Dubai International Airport was diverted to Sharjah International Airport (SHJ),” the statement said.

Dubai World Central, also known as Al Maktoum International Airport, is located in Jebel Ali, a sprawling logistics hub 23 miles southwest of Dubai. Sharjah International Airport is roughly 15 miles from Dubai International Airport, in the UAE’s Sharjah emirate.

“The diverted flights returned to Dubai International Airport when the airspace reopened,” the statement read. “Emirates will assist affected passengers with alternative rebooking options and hotel accommodation where required. Emirates regrets any inconvenience caused but the safety of our passengers and crew is of utmost importance and will not be compromised.”

This is a breaking news story, please check back later for more updates.

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