After several hours of delays, the flight was allowed to continue to its original destination., There were also reports that a Belarusian military jet was deployed to escort flight FR4978 to Minsk., Authorities in Belarus have disputed all these claims, with national air force chief, : There was no interception, no forced diversion from the state border or forced landing of the Ryanair plane., Examples of actions pilots can take include, acknowledge, separate, silence, inform, support, time. March 5, 1973. Assistant U.S. The United States intercepted the 737 over the Mediterranean Sea and threatened to shoot it down if it did not land at a NATO base in Sicily. The Chicago Convention does limit the means Belarus could use to force a landing. Attorneys David W. Denton, Jr. and Elinor L. Tarlow are in charge of the prosecution, with assistance from Trial Attorneys Jennifer Burke of the Counterterrorism Section and Jamie Perry and Christian Levesque of the Human Rights and Special Prosecutions Section. Of course the bomb threat was a trick. It would simplify their work, he said. Once the Flight reached Belarusian airspace, FNU LNU instructed the senior air traffic controller who was responsible for communicating with the Flight to inform the pilots of the purported bomb threat, describe that the threat had been sent by email, and make specific statements to ensure the threat seemed credible and to coerce the Flight to divert to Minsk. Planes make unscheduled stops all the time, for mundane reasons including mechanical woes. This helped to ensure that the Flight would enter Belarusian airspace, and the plot to obtain and exercise control over the Flight could be executed. Technically, you have to be on a plane to hijack it. Ambassador Michael McFaul, former National Security Adviser John Bolton, or the Putin critic Bill Browder, should they be foolish enough to fly from (say) New York to Delhi, or Los Angeles to Singapore, without making sure their flight path doesnt cross Siberia or graze the Russian Far East. Should an aircraft get into trouble during a flight, the captain can also send a transponder code, or squawk code, over the radio to quickly and concisely let authorities know what is happening.. The next pilot who gets a distress call from a tower may doubt the authenticity of the emergency -- which puts lives at risk. Belarusian authorities boarded one of the buses and asked Individual-1 to come forward and identify himself, demonstrating that Belarusian authorities were aware that Individual-1 was on board the Flight. Lets just say there was a dispute between the country your aircraft is registered in and the country youre flying over. But to suggest this means that voice is futile when civil aviation is attacked is to give up, and that we cannot do. From the skippers point of view, an actual intercept by fighters is pretty straightforward. But flying induces a kind of hypnosis, a delusion of security. The diversion of the Ryanair flight came at a time when the air travel industry is looking to increase flights after being largely grounded since March 2020 by Covid-19 restrictions. Tick the boxes of the newsletters you would like to receive. Shooting down of Iranian civil aircraft on a scheduled flight from Tehran to Dubai via Bandar Abbas, by a surface to air missile fired from a US naval ship. [1] As the introductory phrase signifies, the entirety of the text of the indictment and the description of the indictment set forth below constitute only allegations, and every fact described should be treated as an allegation. Will ICAO sanction Putin for his double registration of Russias civil aircraft ? Failure to comply could see the airliner shot down as a last resort., There are also transponder codes for numerous other incidents such as mechanical emergencies or a communications outage., Training can prepare pilots for many scenarios they may one day experience in the air. The problem now is if a credible threat did come up. Moreover, when I spoke with Olga Koloschich, a Belarussian aviation lawyer and adviser to the countrys state-owned air services, she implored me to notice the wording of the air-traffic controllers instruction to the crew. The captain of the Ryanair aircraft made the decision to land at Minsk National Airport on his own, she said. FNU LNU remained on the tarmac supervising the security forces and monitoring the screening of the passengers as they disembarked. In addition, CHURO and FNU LNU took the telling steps of directing that the Flight be diverted specifically to Minsk, and even though the Flight was still in the adjacent airspace of Ukraine, prohibiting the Minsk air traffic control center from making any notification to Ukrainian authorities of the purported bomb threat. belarus generalizes

(Tickets were only 19.99 euros, if bought far enough in advance.). The plane landed safely. Once the Flight landed in Minsk, FNU LNU left the air traffic control operations room and went to the airport tarmac. That is why the European Union and others are scrambling: They have to find a punishment suitable for a country that has twisted the rules but may not have broken them. Whatever revenue tiny Belarus expected to get from overflight fees will drop, as carriers prefer to skirt its border. A weekly roundup of the latest news and analysis, sent every Monday. While the increase in security measures and passenger controls post-9/11 has helped with threats such as hijacking, the diversion of Ryanair flight FR4978 by Belarus in May shows that vulnerabilities to interference with flights remain. But he was aboard a state aircraft, not a civil one, so the Chicago Convention did not apply, and Austria could demand that he land for any reason. Some world leaders expressed outrage. In reality, CHURO knew that he and his co-conspirators had contrived the false bomb threat and had directed the Flight to divert to Minsk so that Belarusian security services could arrest Individual-1 and Individual-2. FNU LNU remained in the operations room at the Minsk air traffic control center from the time that he and CHURO conveyed the purported bomb threat and directed that the Flight divert to Minsk, until shortly before the Flight landed in Minsk after being diverted, in order to ensure that the diversion plot was successfully executed. The Ryanair flight may have carried a few stragglers, but to plant a bomb a week later would be like trying to pull off a Christmas attack on January 2. Note: The USSR did not cooperate and withheld evidence for almost a decade. LEONID MIKALAEVICH CHURO, OLEG KAZYUCHITS, ANDREY ANATOLIEVICH LNU, and FNU LNU, the defendants, are Belarusian government officials who were critical participants in this conspiracy. July 3, 1988. We would posit that the length of time between the event and the ICAO Councils determination after an investigation report now is breaking with the past, and its muted statements and insufficient transparency and delays between them are unusual. On Sunday, Ryanair Flight 4978 was traveling over Belarussian airspace from Athens to Vilnius when Minsk air-traffic control delivered alarming news. The real question since this has happened is: What happens in future? Flight FR4978 interception: whats the threat response? But there was no report presented to the Council in June or September and no publicly released status report. That sovereignty includes the right to order the landing of a plane in its airspace. During her tenure at the FAA, she served as a member of US delegations to ICAO meetings on the Korean Air Lines and Iran Air shootdowns. However, the events have reaffirmed to passengers the importance of understanding who they are flying with and the route the aircraft will take. The interception of an aircraft by a military jet is a rare occurrence, however, it can be rather distressing for those on board. The headlines have moved on, yet the passenger targeted and waylaid by the Government of Belarus forced diversion of a Ryanair jet remains in a Belarus jail, physical condition unknown, now eight months and counting, with no conclusions by the International Civil Aviation Organization as to responsibility and violations of international law. ryanair minsk Even in the absence of such developments, however, the world has changed in disturbing ways. Shooting down of Libyan civil aircraft, on a scheduled flight from Benghazi to Cairo, by Israeli military aircraft. Its simply one of their rights. Polite praised the outstanding efforts of a joint investigative team from the FBIs New York Field Office, Counterintelligence Division and the New York Joint Terrorism Task Force, which principally consists of special agents from the FBI and detectives from the NYPD. (Russia, Belaruss ally and patron, has responded by barring European flights that avoid Belarus.). And BA, when I was there, would have risk levels. No Belarussian dissident would risk transiting the country by trainon a strange journey, say, from Milan to Minsk, en route to Vilnius. She servedfor several yearsas Assistant Chief Counsel for International Affairs andLegal Policy at theFederal Aviation Administration and was apartner at Hogan & Hartson,LLP, now HoganLovells. Some of the comparisons make less sense than others. The fact that airlines are avoiding Belarusian airspace is a step in the right direction to restoring air travel confidence. The defendants are based in Belarus and remain at large. You have bomb on board, the controller said. This was ratified by 185 nations in 1969 and gave pilots the ability to take action in certain circumstances., Examples of actions pilots can take include the ASSIST principle acknowledge, separate, silence, inform, support, time. June 20, 1996. CHURO, KAZYUCHITS, ANDREY ANATOLIEVICH LNU, and FNU LNU, all of Belarus, are charged with conspiring to commit aircraft piracy, which carries a maximum penalty of life in prison, and a mandatory minimum sentence of 20 years in prison. December 13, 1983. The passport-check scenario, minus the email, could already happen. In 2013, Bolivian President Evo Morales flew from Moscow and was forced to land in Vienna, to ensure that Edward Snowden was not a passenger on his presidential jet. In bizarre incidents such as last weekends, Byerly said, policy makers often look for something illegal and fail to find it. If passengers believed a flight might enter airspace of concern, then they are likely to think twice about booking or proceeding with their flight. * * *. On January 31, 2022, the ICAO Council met to consider the report and formally consider any further actions to be taken by ICAO as a result of the reports findings.. Shooting down of two US registered civil aircraft operated by Brothers to the Rescue by Cuban Air Force. The defendants remain at large. We can only hope that the epilogue to this investigation concludes quickly, and the ICAO Council and Assembly make forceful and pointed rebukes, calling out those responsible for the international outcast they should be. Click here for information on the investigation into the Mount Vernon Police Department. The defendants shattered those standards by diverting an airplane to further the improper purpose of repressing dissent and free speech. That was a civil aircraft, even though you or I could not have boarded it. September 1, 1983. February 28, 1973. Irene Howieisan attorney in private practice specializing in domesticand internationalaviation regulatory matters.