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Drones Banned at Islamabad Airport Crashed into UN Aircraft

After a drone came perilously close to an aero plane on January 16, the administration of Islamabad International Airport has urged police to prohibit drone activity near the runway.

A United Nations plane flying from Kabul came across a drone flying 3,400 feet above the runway and eight nautical miles away.

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The airport’s chief operating officer (COO) sought assistance from the Rawalpindi regional police officer (RPO) and commissioner after receiving a second report of flight hazards within a month.

According to the COO, drones pose a risk to aircraft and pose security concerns if equipped with surveillance equipment or homemade explosive devices.

The Rawalpindi police chief has been directed to increase patrolling and sweeping operations in the funnel regions, which extend beyond the ends of each runway. The COO has also asked for Section 144 to be applied to drone activity near the airport.

The Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority (PCAA) has also requested that the Rawalpindi RPO take swift action against such acts that could result in a fatal tragedy.

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On the same day, the captain of a Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flight from Dubai reported that a green laser light was directed at the plane as it prepared to land at runway 28L, six nautical miles from the airport.

According to the PCAA, drones and laser lights are two of the most serious flight safety threats to civil aviation operations.

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Syed Sadat Hussain Shah

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