'Drone-Like' Object Causes Chaos at Delhi Airport

Indira Gandhi International Airport

Flight operations were suspended twice on Sunday at the Indira Gandhi International Airport after "drone-like objects" were spotted on the runways on two different occasions. All flight operations were immediately suspended at the Delhi airport at about 7.20 pm.

Earlier, a team of the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), the Delhi Police and the aviation security were rushed to the spot after getting report of the drone. According to the CISF, the ATC was asked to suspend all flight operations due for landing or take off and all three runways were closed.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) IGIA Sanjay Bhatia confirmed that the flight operations were resumed after the initial investigations. "Upon landing, the pilot reported the incident to the Air Traffic Controller as per their reporting procedure that they have been trained for", the spokesperson said in a statement.

All the three runways were temporarily shut down at the Delhi airport and several flights were diverted to other airports in the wake of the crisis. "At about 7.55pm, operations at the three runways resumed normally after clearance from Delhi Police", Bhatia said.

While India is yet to release its full rules and regulations for flying unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) or drones, in most countries that have enacted laws, it is illegal to fly within one kilometer of an airport.

Two Air India flights were diverted to Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh and Ahmedabad in Gujarat. This time, the pilot of an AirAsia aircraft reported sighting of a drone again near the Delhi airport.

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