Unauthorised drone flying at Changi Airport caused 37 delayed flights, suspension of 1 runway

A flying drone. (Getty Images file photo)

CLARIFICATION: This story has been updated to indicate the affected runway’s suspension was for “short periods of time”.

SINGAPORE — Unauthorised drone flying in the vicinity of Changi Airport on Tuesday (18 June) and Wednesday caused the delay of 37 scheduled flights and the suspension of one runway, the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) said on Wednesday.

The operations of the affected runway were suspended between 11pm on 18 June and 9am on 19 June for short periods of time while Changi Airport continued to operate with one runway.

In addition to the delay of the scheduled departure and arrival flights, one arrival flight was diverted to Kuala Lumpur.

CAAS, Changi Airport Group, Singapore Armed Forces and the Singapore Police Force conducted search and locate operations, and investigations are ongoing.

“The authorities take a serious view of errant operations of unmanned aircraft which may pose threats to aviation or endanger the personal safety of others, and will not hesitate to take enforcement action against those who contravene regulations,” CAAS said in its statement.

A person who is convicted of such an offence could face a jail term of up to one year, or a fine of up to $20,000, or both.

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