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November 21, 2019

TAROM: Hungary sends fighter to escort airplane due to lack of Romanian airplane air-to-ground communication

A TAROM flight that was traveling on the Munich-Sibiu-Bucharest route was intercepted by the Hungarian Gripen fighter planes, due to the lack of air-to-ground communications of the TAROM airplane, matter that is currently under investigations, a release of the Romanian Airline company sent at AGERPRES request points out.

“Because the TAROM airplane that was traveling on the Munich-Sibiu-Bucharest route (ROT 3016) failed to establish contact with air traffic control, in the Hungarian airspace, Hungarian authorities decided to escort the flight with a military aircraft. The commander of the TAROM airplane was received both by other stations on the ground (from other states) and by the military pilot,” the TAROM officials say.

According to them, taking into account the international regulations in force, the Hungarian authorities decided to intercept the airplane in order to make a visual control with the TAROM pilots, afterwards the military aircraft returned to base.

“The TAROM passengers weren’t in any moment in danger, thus it was a standard procedure. The cause of failing to communicate with the ground is currently investigated, both by Romanian and Hungarian authorities,” reveals the TAROM release.

The Hungarian Defence Ministry announced, according to the MTI news agency, that many Hungarian aircraft were lifted from the ground on Friday in order to intercept a passenger airplane that entered in Hungary’s airspace without prior announcing its entrance.

The Boeing 737 airliner was traveling from Munich (Germany) to Sibiu (Romania). It entered the Hungarian airspace on Friday at local time 11:18 hrs (09:18 hrs GTM) maintaining its flight lane, but failing to establish connection with the civilian air traffic control in Hungary.

In short time, the NATO’s Combined Air Operations Centre alerted the Gripen fighters (of Swedish production) within the Hungarian Army forces, which identified the airplane and escorted it to the Hungarian-Romanian border.

Following its interception by the Hungarian fighters, the Boeing 737 established communication with the air traffic control at local time 11:36 hrs (09:36 GMT), the Hungarian Defence Ministry mentioned.

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