UAE passenger planes ‘buzzed’ by Qatar fighter jets

By Eudore R. Chand

Bahrain - Courtesy Bahrain Polytechnic

ABU DHABI 16 January 2018: The UAE’s General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), said on Monday that Qatar’s military aircraft intercepted two civilian UAE planes carrying a total of 277 passengers while preparing to land in Manama International Airport.

The GCAA added that both flights were in regular pre-scheduled services and they followed all standard procedures, including obtaining of necessary permissions to fly, said Wam.

“The Qatari fighter jets intercepted the first plane at 10:30, while the second was intercepted at 11:05 while flying at 9,000 to 10,000 feet altitude in regular flights approved by the International Civil Aviation Organisation, ICAO,” said Saif Al Suwaidi, Director-General of the GCAA.

He added that Bahraini radars detected the Qatari jets as they intercepted the UAE civilian flights.

“Moreover, the crews and passengers saw the incidents with their naked eyes, which proves that the interception posed a present and clear threat to the lives of innocent civilians,” he informed.

Al Suwaidi went on to say that the Qatari side had neither shown prior objection to the use of the aircraft’s path nor issued a warning after the use of the path.

Act of Intimidation

He described the act of Qatari fighter jets approaching the civilian UAE planes without warning as a flagrant violation of international laws, a threat to civil aviation safety, and a serious and unprecedented act of intimidation.

“The UAE rejects this threat to the safety of flights and will take all necessary legal actions to ensure safety and security of civil aviation traffic,” he said.

The GCAA described the act as a severe violation of international laws and an infringement of civil aviation safety standards. It said it was considering available legal options with the ICAO and other relevant organisations.

Bahrain condemns Qatari fighter jets’ buzz of UAE civil aircrafts

MANAMA: The Kingdom of Bahrain has strongly condemned the interception by Qatari fighter jets of two UAE civilian aircraft on a routine flight to Manama, Bahrain, stressing that this is a clear violation of relevant international conventions and laws, particularly those of the International Civil Aviation Organisation, ICAO, and the provisions of the Chicago Convention on International Civil Aviation and its amendments of 1944.

According to the Bahrain News Agency, BNA, the Bahrain Foreign Ministry affirmed in a statement “that this rejected hostile behaviour by Qatar against civil aircraft has become frequent in recent times and jeopardises the safety of civil aviation and poses a threat to the lives of civilians.

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs stresses the Kingdom of Bahrain’s full support for the UAE and its backing for all of the measures it takes to maintain its security and stability, to stop these violations and to repel these breaches by the State of Qatar,” the statement added.