What a few weeks DXB has had!
The world’s busiest international airport in terms of passenger numbers probably has a myriad small anecdotes to recall every day but these two stories really do stand out for their peculiarity.
Let’s start with the negative news. Dubai International had to stop all take-offs, taxiing and landings for a whopping 69 minutes on Saturday “due to unauthorised drone activity”.
Dozens of flights were reported to have been delayed from leaving DXB and a total of 14 aircraft were forced to divert their flight path and land at Al Maktoum International. Four more had to head to Sharjah and another three touched down in Al Ain.
“We are working with Dubai Police, the airport and the relevant authorities in the investigations on the breach of the no-fly zone," said General Civil Aviation Authority chief Saif Al Suwaidi.
We’re sure they’ll find the culprits but the truth is drones are becoming an ever-increasing problem for airport security around the world.
Only last April a drone actually hit a plane landing at London’s Heathrow airport, a breach described as a “very real danger”.
How do you stop a remote-controlled aircraft from entering an airspace? No electromagnetic barrier or sniper is going to effectively prevent a drone from hovering over an airport without those very same security measures also becoming a hazard to flights.
Then again, we are not the experts and we have complete faith that sooner or later the scientific and techie brains of this world will find an ingenious solution.
In fact, Dubai is at the forefront of a global campaign to unveil as many innovative, positive ways to use drones as possible. Last year, they hosted an amazing competition called Drones for Good, awarding the winners $1million.
And now the positive news coming out of DXB.
A beautiful baby boy was born at Dubai International Airport after his mother went into labour moments before take-off.
The 37-year-old pregnant Filipino woman was on her way back to her home country when her water broke.
“In the beginning when the pains started in the waiting hall, I thought I would manage this flight somehow and boarded,” she told Gulf News.
“However, when I was on my seat ready for take-off, the pain got intense and I was scared the baby would pop out so I asked for help.”
Paramedics rushed the woman, named Carmilla Flores, off the plane and took her to Terminal 1’s Clinic.
It was there that baby Matteo Fahad, weighing 3.2kg, was brought into the world.
Now back at home, the little one is said to be healthy and his mother is delighted that she didn’t end up having to give birth mid-air.
And so concludes another eventful chapter in Dubai International Airport’s history. Whatever next?