Calibration aircraft crashes near Dubai Airport

Emirates is the largest operator at Dubai Airport (DXB). Photo: © Dubai Airports

Flight operations at Dubai International Airport were temporarily halted after a four-seater aircraft crashed close to the airport on Thursday evening.

The two year-old Diamond DA62 airplane, registered in the UK as G-MDME, was carrying out calibration flights for terrestrial navigation systems at Dubai Airport. It was operated by Flight Calibration Services, a British company specialising in these navigation calibration missions.

All four people on board were killed in the crash three miles south of the airfield at approximately 7:30 pm local time. According to the General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) of the United Arab Emirates, there were three people of British nationality and one of South African nationality inside the aircraft.

Following the accident, all flight operations at Dubai Airport were halted for 45 minutes, causing inbound flights to hold or divert.

The cause of this crash is not yet known. The Government of Dubai has confirmed that the GCAA sent teams to the site and is investigating the accident.

Dubai International Airport (DXB) is the third largest airport in the world by passenger traffic. In 2018, more than 89 million passengers travelled through the hub which is mostly served by flag-carrier Emirates. One of two runways at the airport is closed for scheduled refurbishment until May 30.