Delhi Airport shutdown for 40 minutes due to Drone Scare

Last evening was tense at Delhi Airport. Apparently, a pilot who was landing into Delhi, flying Air Asia’s Goa to Delhi I5799, spotted a drone-like object at Delhi Airport last evening, over one of the runways.

A drone at work (Image via Wikipedia)

A drone at work (Image via Wikipedia)

The airline followed the normal procedure to land the aircraft and reported the incident to the ATC and also with their own flight operations & flight safety team. A copy of the report also went to the DGCA.

The drone-like object was spotted at about 7:09 pm and many an airlines were immediately told to divert their planes as flight operations were suspended for about 40 minutes. The flights resumed at 7:50 pm.

The airport is next to a newly built residential colony of Dwarka, and these sightings seem to be becoming more common. Of course, this whole episode threw flight operations into a tizzy. Delhi, with 1,200 flight movements in a day, is the busiest in the day. 2 Air India flights were diverted to Lucknow & Ahmedabad, one GoAir & IndiGo flight went to Jaipur.

Other flights were put in a holding pattern for a very long period of time, and this could be dangerous, because this throws their weight/fuel computations off, and the plane could run out of fuel at some point of time.


I think it is stupid to try such stunts at the airport. These are not areas for miscreants to create nuisance and safety hazards for tonnes of people who use the airports on a daily basis. I’m waiting for the law to enable firm actions against these drone owners.

About Ajay

Ajay Awtaney is the Founder and Editor of Live From A Lounge (LFAL), a pioneering digital platform renowned for publishing news and views about aviation, hotels, passenger experience, loyalty programs, travel trends and frequent travel tips for the Global Indian. He is considered the Indian authority on business travel, luxury travel, frequent flyer miles, loyalty credit cards and travel for Indians around the globe. Ajay is a frequent contributor and commentator on the media as well, including ET Now, BBC, CNBC TV18, NDTV, Conde Nast Traveller and many other outlets.

More articles by Ajay »


  1. Ajay – I live in Delhi and not far from IGIA. You know now is this trend of burning those small lamp ballons. first time saw it in Goa last year on the beach and now several people in Delhi do this in the night time. Infact the other day I was in the terrace in my house and I saw 3 or 4 lamp/candle/gas ballons floating in the air near the flight path, I am sure they were far lower in altitude of the landing aircraft but with the wind they can come dangerously close to landing aircraft. I think the government should ban these. Maybe this is what the pilot saw.

  2. Just the other there was a report of some idiot pointing a laser light at an aircraft. An equally dangerous habit.
    There needs to be sticter laws for this most definitely.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.