Aircraft circles for 20 minutes because drone is sighted
Stavanger Airport shut down its arrivals and departures on Saturday after a drone was spotted near the Norwegian airport. The incident has been reported to police.
The airport was forced to close between 13:30 and 14:00 on Saturday afternoon, reported NRK, with airport director Leif Anker Lorentzen saying the incident was “very uncomfortable”.
“We work 24 hours a day to prevent birds from colliding with planes or helicopters. It goes without saying that a drone the same size as a bird can have fatal consequences for a plane or a helicopter,” he told the broadcaster.
“It is illegal to fly drones near airports, and the police, the Armed Forces and the staff at the airport are now looking for the person who operated the drone, so far with no luck.”
Because of the closure, a Norwegian aircraft on its way from Oslo to Stavanger had to circle in the air for about 20 minutes before being able to land. Beyond this, however, the temporary closure had no other significant consequences.
There have been an increasing number of drone incidents in the Nordic region, one of the most serious involving a shutdown at Stockholm Arlanda in August.
Pilots around the world have warned of potential disaster if there is a collision between a drone and a commercial airliner. They are calling for greater regulation and stiffer penalties against the owners of drones flying near airports.