UAE to file complaint over flight interception by Qatar

Saudi Gazette | Published — January 16, 2018

Radar tracks show Qatari jets flying by UAE planes: Bahrain; A dangerous violation and a threat to civil aviation safety: Kingdom



Dubai — The UAE will lodge a complaint with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) after Qatari jets came within little more than three kilometers of Emirati passenger flights, its civil aviation chief said on Tuesday.

“Today we will file our complaint to the International Civil Aviation Organization about the two serious incidents, along with the evidence that we’ve gathered, and ask for the intervention of the council to stop Qatar from repeating the act,” Saif Al-Suwaidi, head of the General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) said.

Suwaidi said two Qatari war planes twice flew dangerously close to the UAE airliners as they descended toward Bahrain International Airport in separate incidents on Monday, and could be seen by the pilots and passengers.

Bahrain released radar tracks on Tuesday it said showed Qatari fighter jets passing by Emirati commercial airliners on their way to the island nation.

Bahrain state television aired radar footage the broadcaster described as showing Emirates flight No. EK837 from Dubai flying toward Bahrain International Airport at 3,170 meters (10,400 feet). Two other radar signals the broadcaster described as Qatari fighter jets flew at around 2,590 meters (8,500 feet) in front of the Emirates flight. The radar screen briefly flashes orange text, likely a collision warning.

It wasn’t clear from the footage at what distance the fighter jets allegedly passed the Emirates flight, but Bahrain previously described the distance as being 3.2 kilometers (2 miles).

The broadcaster also aired footage of an aeronautical chart it said showed a Qatari fighter jet flying across the flight path of a just-passed Etihad airliner, both at 24,000 meters (8,000 feet). It identified the flight as ETD23B, which corresponds to Flight No. EY371, a direct Abu Dhabi-Bahrain flight that took off Monday morning.

In Riyadh, an official source at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressed Saudi Arabia’s condemnation of the interception by Qatari fighter planes of two UAE civilian planes.

The source said the action constitutes a threat to the safety of civil aviation and violates relevant international laws and conventions. — Agencies

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