Drone near Delhi’s IGI airport ahead of Independence Day keeps police on toes

A day after the Delhi Police commissioner banned the use of any flying object in the Capital till Independence Day, a drone spotted Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) on Wednesday evening kept cops on their toes for hours. It’s source, however, could not be traced.

According to the police, a black drone was found hovering over the Central Spine Road, which leads to T3, around 6:30 pm by a man living near the airport, who alerted the police soon after.

“He said the drone flew towards Aerocity. A police team was rushed to find it but the source could not be traced. We searched areas near the Aerocity as an active runway is not far from there but nothing could be found. The man said that he saw it for not more than 10 minutes,” said a police officer not authorised to speak to the media.

Deputy commissioner of police (IGIA), Sanjay Bhatia, said flying of drones or any such object near the airport is prohibited.

“A case was registered under Section 188 for disobedience to order duly promulgated by a public servant. We are probing the matter. More people who might have seen it will be questioned,” the DCP said.

Drone menace is not new to the airport but tracing the source is always a challenge.

In December last year, operations had to be suspended for an hour when the pilot of a Chennai to Delhi IndiGo flight spotted a suspicious flying object and reported the matter to Air Traffic Control.

The message was further conveyed to Airport Operations Control Centre and Delhi Police. A team of CISF QRT was rushed to the spot but nothing could be found, the officer said.

As a precautionary measure, some departures were held while a few arrivals were delayed.

Similar incidents had come to light in 2016 when UFOs were spotted near the IGI airport, sending security agencies into tizzy. On March 31, a flying object was spotted over the apron area of IGI airport, but disappeared before security forces could arrive.

Earlier on March 13, a balloon like structure was spotted close to an operational runway at the airport and prior to that, on January 27, another unidentified object was spotted flying in the vicinity of the airport, but could not be traced.

In 2015 as well, two such incidents were reported when, on October 27, a suspicious object was spotted over runway 29 by ATC officials.

Three days later, an object was spotted over runway 27, thrice before it completely disappeared.

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