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Shenzhen airport flight schedule temporarily restructured due to drone interference

Updated: Oct 24, 2023 By WANG XU in Shenzhen, Guangdong province Print
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Shenzhen's Bao'an International Airport experienced significant flight delays on Monday night due to a drone interference incident. Approximately 30 flights were diverted and over 70 flights were delayed. Some flights were rerouted to nearby Zhuhai Airport and Guangzhou Airport.

The incident was first reported on Weibo at around 10 pm Monday night, and about an hour later, residents living near the airport received text messages from the airport, reminding them of the strict prohibition against flying drones, kites, balloons, sky lanterns, and other airborne objects in the vicinity of the airport and beneath aircraft routes.

The incident quickly gained attention on social media, with netizens expressing anger towards the illegal drone activity while acknowledging the fortunate absence of accidents.

At 11:49 pm, the airport announced that flight operations had returned to normal and issued a sincere apology to the affected passengers for the inconvenience caused by the incident.

"Due to the appearance of an unidentified flying object in the vicinity of the airport, certain flights at Shenzhen Bao'an International Airport were temporarily restricted to ensure flight safety," the airport said in a statement.

One passenger, who was scheduled to depart from Shenzhen, shared on Weibo the frustration of waiting for an extended period onboard the plane, only to discover that the flight could not take off due to the drone interference. The passenger expressed anger towards the illegal drone activity.

Another passenger, who was supposed to land at Shenzhen Airport, recounted how the onboard announcement informed them of a drone presence, preventing the plane from landing and necessitating a diversion to Guangzhou.

The incident also served as a reminder of the potential risks associated with unauthorized drone flights and the importance of strict regulations to ensure the safety of air travel. Authorities are expected to investigate the incident further to prevent similar occurrences in the future.

Yi Yang contributed to this story.

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