CHENGDU, April 22 (Xinhua) -- Four drones flown illegally over Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport in southwest China's Sichuan Province on Friday caused flights to be diverted, returned or canceled.
At 2:38 p.m. Friday, the airport received reports of four drones flying at the clearance protection zone of the airport. One even passed below a landing flight, said sources with the airport on Saturday.
The drones forced a total of 58 flights to land at alternative airports, four flights to return, and more than 10 to be canceled on Friday. More than 10,000 passengers were stranded at the airport.
The airport resumed normal operations early on Saturday morning.
Flying drones is a threat to aviation safety. On Thursday, police in Chengdu announced they were investigating two incidences of drones flying over the airport. The airport was bothered by four drones incidents from April 14 to 21.
The provincial public security department said anyone with information regarding the drones could be rewarded with at least 10,000 yuan (1,500 U.S. dollars) if the cases are verified.
As the largest airport in western China, Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport offers 95 international and regional flights.
According to an announcement by the local air force, civil aviation authority and the provincial public security department, flying model airplanes and unmanned aerial vehicles is banned in an area of 10 km from the centerline of the runways on both sides, 20 km from the end of the runways at civil airports.