Drones Banned at Islamabad Airport After One Nearly Crashed Into UN Aircraft

The administration of Islamabad International Airport has urged the police to prohibit drone activity near the runway after a drone came perilously close to an airplane on 16 January.

A United Nations aircraft traveling from Kabul came across a drone flying at 3,400 feet and eight nautical miles from the runway.

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

Drones, according to the COO, represent a risk to aircraft and pose security issues if outfitted with surveillance equipment or homemade explosive devices.

The Rawalpindi police chief has been asked to amplify patrolling and sweeping operations in the funnel regions, which stretch beyond each runway’s ends. The COO has also requested that Section 144 be enforced on drone activity near the airport.

The Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority (PCAA) has also requested that the Rawalpindi RPO act quickly against such acts that might lead to a fatal tragedy. 

In a similar incident on 8 January, the captain of a Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) aircraft from Dubai stated that a green laser light was directed towards the aircraft as it prepared to land at runway 28L, six nautical miles from the airport.

Drones and laser lights are two of the greatest flight safety threats for civil aviation operations, according to the PCAA.