Flight plans stable despite Russian threat to civil airspace

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Civilian passenger airliners and cargo flights using Riga’s international airport (RIX) as a final or transit destination have not requested any change in their flight plans in light of Russian military aircraft activities in the neutral airspace corridors leading to and from the Baltic aviation hub.

According to state air traffic authority Latvijas gaisa satiksme chief Dāvids Tauriņš, while the option exists to alter flight plans at any time before or during a flight route, no such requests for change have yet been received, reported news wire BNS Monday.

As reported, Russian fighter jets and bombers have been cited recently in a handful of rash and risky near-miss incidents involving passenger airliners over the Baltic sea, as they appear in neutral airspace without using their radar transponders, prompting scrambles from NATO and Nordic country air force interceptors. Finland’s air traffic control authorities have actually had to change flight routes for certain airlines, reports BNS.

“We had at least one incident of our sovereign airspace violation also during the weekend... these movements require NATO to stand firm and express its unity. Whenever there are violations of sovereign airspace we need to react appropriately to send a clear signal that allied solidarity is strong,” Estonian Defense Minister Sven Mikser said after a meeting of defense ministers from the Baltic states and Poland.

“We've seen large scale movements in the air. We've seen long range strategic bombers flying which are not usual visitors in our region. Those moves are unnecessarily provocative,” Mikser told the press.

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