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Singapore investigates drone sightings near Changi airport

Singapore Changi airport was forced to temporarily suspend operations from one runway late on 18 June after confirmed sightings of a drone operating in the vicinity.

Local army and police were activated for the search and locate operation, which included representation from the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) and Changi Airport Group. Investigations are ongoing.

For the safety of aircraft operations and passengers, one of Changi's two runways was suspended for short periods between 18 June 23:00 local time, and 0900 the following morning, CAAS said in a statement issued on 19 June.

The Southeast Asian hub continued to operate with one runway during the suspension, causing delays to about 37 scheduled departure and arrival flights, while one arriving flight was diverted to Kuala Lumpur.

“The authorities take a serious view of errant operations of unmanned aircraft which may pose threats to aviation or endanger the personal safety of others, and will not hesitate to take enforcement action against those who contravene regulations,” says the regulator.

The UK's largest airports, London Heathrow and Gatwick, are looking into anti-drone technology after similar incidents resulted in massive disruptions.

A suspected drone incursion shut Gatwick three times between 19 and 21 December, grounding around 1,000 flights.

In January, take-offs at Heathrow were briefly suspended following reports of drone activity in the vicinity.

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