All arrivals and departures out of Madrid–Barajas Airport in the Spanish capital has been suspended. A spokesman at the airport has confirmed it has “stopped operations to Barajas” after detecting the “presence of drones in the immediate vicinity of the airport”. Online flight tracking tool, FlightRadar, has also confirmed there are no flights in the sky and all aircrafts are grounded.
Spanish airport operator AENA said 17 flights have had to be rerouted away from the airspace.
Aviation Analyst Alex Macheras wrote on Twitter: “Madrid Barajas airport has suspended all departures/arrivals following a possible drone sighting.”
A number of furious passengers have taken to social media whilst being grounded on the runway.
One passenger wrote on Twitter: “Waiting on the runway at Madrid Airport waiting for flight to depart.. drone sighting by ATC so no takeoff in sight…”
A second passenger said: “Idiot flying a drone at Madrid airport, let’s hope they get them quickly otherwise I could be sitting on this plane for a long time!!”
The airport is not expected to be open until at least 1.40pm GMT.
According to the European resource for civil drone operators, users of recreational drone must not “operate in clouds, above crowds, industrial sites, urban areas and other restricted areas”.
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Madrid–Barajas Airport is the main international airport out of Spain and is located just 7 miles (12km) from the city centre.
The airport provides four passenger terminals, and at 3,050 hectares, is the second largest airport in Europe.
In the UK owners of drones or model aircrafts now have to register their details with the Civil Aviation Authority
The mandatory requirement came into force in November 2019 and applies to aircrafts weighing more than 250g.
Just before 1.30pm, Enaire, the parent company of Spanish airport operator AENA, confirmed the airport “is now in operation”.