Drones and airports don’t mix. Yet, we continue to hear about disruptions caused by drone sightings. Singapore’s Changi is one of the busiest airports in the world. A delay here can have a knock-on effect that can be felt across the globe. A drone caused disruption at Changi this week leading to one of the airport’s runways being shut down intermittently over 10 hours.
The authorities haven’t been able to find the operator of the drone so far. It caused the runway to be shut down intermittently over 10 hours and that led to 37 flight delays as well as a diversion. Far from an ideal situation for an airport like Changi.
The runway operations were suspended for certain periods of time from on June 18 from 11 pm to 9 am local time, according to the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore. The authority also confirmed in its statement that the airport’s other runway was not affected by the drone sighting.
The CAAS is now investigating the matter in collaboration with other government bodies which include the Singapore Police Force and the Singapore Armed Forces. The operator will no doubt find themselves in hot water should the authorities catch up to them. Drones are not allowed to fly within 5 km of any airport or military airbase. The CAAS says that offenders can face a jail term of up to a year and a fine of SG$20,000 or both.