Unauthorised drone activity is becoming a cause for concern, with Dubai airport closing its airspace yet again recently. This was the third time the airport had to close in a span of two years for a few hours because drones had entered its airspace. What is alarming is that residents who fly these drones and violate the rules seem to have no regard for the safety of passengers or are not aware of the consequences of drones entering the airspace of an airport, which is even more frightening.
Dubai airport was closed for half-an-hour, around 8.30am, on Wednesday, during peak traffic, and it took almost two hours for services to normalise. Many flights were delayed, inconveniencing hundreds of passengers. It goes to the credit of airport officials, who are extremely vigilant, that they spotted these drones and took remedial measures each time, safeguarding lives. Besides, threatening safety and inconveniencing passengers, these violations also cause monetary losses, with the airport having to close during peak hour.
Authorities have repeatedly highlighted the need for safety and the dangers that drones can cause. However, the offences continue. A new law to restrict the import and sale of drones will soon be implemented in the UAE. Drones of certain sizes will only be available in the market. Abu Dhabi banned the sale of drones last year because of the risks they pose to the aviation sector. At present, drones can be bought from retailers in Dubai and some other parts of the UAE.
The authorities must take strict action against offenders because the violations can lead to a disaster. The law will regulate the sale of drones, but offenders must be warned that threats to safety will not be tolerated.