A reported sighting of drones near Madrid’s Adolfo Suárez-Barajas airport on Monday caused operations to close for over an hour. Twenty-six flight had to be diverted to other airports during this time.
Two pilots had allegedly seen drones near the airport after the Spanish air navigation authority, Enaire, reported the possible presence of drones in the area.
The Transport Ministry closed the airspace around Madrid’s international airport, while Enaire activated a special procedure to prevent further landings and takeoffs and to divert flights to other airports.
Enaire later warned, “A drone is not a toy, it’s an aircraft” via Twitter.
Air traffic restrictions were lifted at 14.15 p.m. (1315 GMT). Spain’s Civil Guard has launched an investigation into the incident.
The Adolfo Suárez-Barajas international airport is one of the busiest airports in Europe, operating an average of 1,200 flights per day.
According to the airport manager, AENA, nearly 62 million passengers went through the airport last year.