Dubai airport temporarily halts flights due to 'drone activity'

Pause lasted about 30 minutes Friday

By SARA MAZLOUMSAKI AND JONNY HALLAM, CNN
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

(CNN) - Departing flights from Dubai International Airport, one of the world's busiest travel hubs, were temporarily suspended on Friday due to "unauthorized drone activity" near a runway, according the Ali Zaigham, the airport's press relations manager.

The pause lasted about a 30 minutes, Zaigham said. He could not tell CNN where the drone originated from.

Dubai's International Airport is the third-busiest in the world measured by total volume of traffic, according to Airports Council International. It welcomed some 88 million passengers in 2017, trailing only Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport and Beijing Capital International Airport, which hosted 104 million and 96 million passengers respectively.

Major airports have been on alert for drones near runways since hundreds of flights were canceled at Gatwick Airport -- London's second busiest airport -- just days before Christmas following a reported drone sighting.

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