Madrid: Airports in several autonomous communities in Spain have suspended all their operations, citing safety concerns associated with the uncontrolled re-entry of a Chinese carrier rocket into the atmosphere, the General Directorate of Civil Protection of Catalonia said on Friday.
China launched its Long March 5B (CZ-5B) rocket from Hainan on Monday, but its flight path recorded an uncontrolled re-entry earlier on Friday.
“Due to the risk associated with the passage of the CZ-5B space object through Spanish airspace, flights are completely restricted from 09:38 to 10:18 [08:38-09:18 GMT] in Catalonia and other localities,” the organization said on Twitter.
The suspension of air operations affected airports in Catalonia, the Balearic Islands, the Aragon and Navarra regions, RTV news agency reported, adding that around 09:30 GMT, air services began to be gradually restored.
According to the European Union Aviation Safety Agency, the exact trajectory of the rocket is unknown, although potentially the southern European airspace could be affected.