British Airways plane forced off course by Spanish military jet in Gibraltar

Ruth Doherty
British Airways plane forced to change course in Gibraltar by Spanish military jet
British Airways plane forced to change course in Gibraltar by Spanish military jet



A British Airways flight from London Heathrow was forced to change course from its landing approach by a Spanish military jet in Gibraltar.

According to The Times, Gibraltar has launched an investigation after the Ejército del Aire P3 aircraft was said to have entered the flight path of BA490.

The incident occurred on Friday just after midday when the BA flight was around 10 to 15 miles from landing.

Gibraltar Air Traffic Control issued emergency instructions for the BA flight to change course to maintain a safe distance from the military aircraft.

According to the Daily Telegraph, a Gibraltar government statement read: "The issue is believed to have arisen when the Spanish aircraft, which was transiting ahead of the BA flight through the Straits ... suddenly reversed its direction and took another course. This would have infringed safety parameters had the BA flight not moved under instructions from Gibraltar ATC."

Thelocal.es reports the statement added: "The Government of Gibraltar is waiting for a full report on the incident, which will clarify whether the Spanish military plane made an incursion into the airspace over British Gibraltar territorial waters."

The Telegraph adds that it could be seen as another example of "intimidating tactics" by Spanish authorities against the British Overseas territory in the 300-year argument over its sovereignty.

Spain ceded Gibraltar to Britain in 1713 but has argued for a long time that it should be returned to Spanish sovereignty, and the territory is a source of diplomatic tension between Britain and Spain.




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