A Singapore aircraft with a flight instructor and two student pilots on board landed safely at Seletar Airport at 7.18pm last night, about 30 hours after it was intercepted by Indonesian fighter jets on Tuesday.
King Air plane owned by Singapore Technologies (ST) Aerospace and
operated by its pilot training arm, Pacific Flight Services, left
Pontianak in West Kalimantan at about 5.30pm Singapore time.
plane, which was carrying a Singaporean pilot and two foreigners,
believed to be Chinese nationals, was forced to land in Pontianak after
being intercepted by two Indonesian Air Force Sukhoi 27/30 Flanker TNI
It had been en route from Sibu, Sarawak to Singapore and allegedly flew in Indonesia's airspace without the necessary approval.
Aerospace has insisted that it followed protocol. A spokesman told The
Straits Times last night: "The company had filed the original flight
plans as it normally has done for similar flights."
occurred during a return route familiarization training flight, as the flight instructor and pilot trainees were passing through a portion of
Indonesian airspace, which was in the filed flight plan, she said.
Aerospace is seeking clarification with the authorities on this matter
and will make changes to the flight plan filings as required, she said.
experts say the norm is that aircraft operators file their flight plans
through the civil aviation regulator of the country from which they
The information is then conveyed to the authorities overseeing the skies along the path.
flight plan was filed with the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore
before departure from Seletar and with the Malaysian authorities before
the plane left Sibu.
The Indonesian Air Force has said that
although the plane was overflying airspace managed by Singapore air
traffic controllers, it was inside Indonesia's sovereign skies.
The flight thus needed approval from the Indonesian authorities, which was allegedly not obtained.
Tuesday's interception was the second such incident in a week.
Oct 22, the Indonesian Air Force forced an Australian private jet
flying from Darwin to Cebu in the Philippines to land in Manado, North
Sulawesi, for an alleged similar offense.
Commenting on the ST
Aerospace incident, commander of Indonesia's armed forces, General
Moeldoko, who was in Singapore on a three-day visit which ended
yesterday, said: "Interception is an SOP (standard operating procedure)
we adopt when an aircraft enters our sovereign airspace (unannounced).
believe all countries have common procedures for this, as they do (for
intrusions) on land or at sea. Such stern measures are accepted by all
countries and this is our position."
- Source: http://news.asiaone.com