Madrid’s Barajas airport reopens after drone sighting forced closure

Madrid’s Barajas airport reopens after drone sighting forced closure
Photo: AFP
Aviation authorities closed the airspace at Adolfo Suárez-Madrid Barajas airport on Monday forcing delays, diversions and cancellations after an unauthorized drone was detected in the vicinity of the airport.

After almost two hours, air traffic was resumed but not before hundreds of travellers had their journeys disrupted. 

During a period of two hours at least 22 flights were diverted, at least six to Valencia, three to Barcelona, three to Zaragoza, and two to Alicante and Valladolid, while only those running low on fuel were allowed to land. 

All flights from the airport were suspended between 12.30 and 2.30pm.

Spain's Air Traffic Contollors confirmed that all four runways were now operational in a tweet at about 2.30pm but warned it would take a few hours for air traffic to return to normal. 

“Operating four runways in #Madrid Barajas after drone indentified near the runways. It will take a few hours to regain full normalcy since a good number of flights have been delayed and diverted to alternative airports. Patience. #SafetyFirst”

 

 

Spain’s Transport Ministry made the decision shortly after 12.30 to close the airspace after several pilots reported seeing drones flying nearby.

Spain's State Air Safety Agecy (AESA) confirmed in a tweet that “flying drones in the vicinity of an airport is a serious infraction that comes with a penalty fine of up to €90,000”.

 

Air traffic at the airport had already suffered delays after an early morning fog.


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