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Latviju šķērso lidmašīna ar sankcijām pakļautu pasažieri

Sanctioned Russian crossed Latvian airspace in 'medevac' plane

On March 4, a medical aid plane carrying a sanctioned person from Russia crossed Latvian airspace, reported LTV's 'Panorama' March 6. 

The incident was noticed and discussed by users of social media who used flight tracking to see the plane's path. 

The "Bombardier Challenger" plane, owned by the German company "Augustus Business Aviation" and equipped with resuscitation equipment, arrived at Moscow's Vnukovo airport from Frankfurt on March 4 and then, crossing Latvian airspace, flew to Nuremberg. 

LTV said it was a matter of public knowledge that the plane's passenger was a person subject to international sanctions – though the LTV report made no mention of the individual's identity and the Latvian Civil Aviation Agency (CAA) stated that when submitting a flight plan, the passenger's name is not indicated. The CAA added that because this was a medical evacuation flight, it was allowed under European Union regulations.

"In this case, it was stated in the flight plan that this is a "Medevac" status flight, that is, a medical evacuation flight. Therefore, according to the requirements of the regulations, it seems that this flight has taken place correctly and correctly. However, taking this public interest into account, the Civil Aviation Agency has also requested information from other member states as a precaution," explained Aivis Vincevs, Head of Operational Situations of the Civil Aviation Agency.

Similarly, crossing off-limits airspace is allowed if, for example, a sanctioned aircraft encounters technical problems and must divert.

The March 4 flight was made by the same plane that transported Kremlin opposition figure Alexei Navalny from Russia to Germany three years ago after he was poisoned. The Civil Aviation Agency stated that other such medical evacuation flights have also taken place previously.

The nature of the medical emergency that required evacuation from Moscow to Nuremberg was not revealed.

"There have been cases when sailors, citizens of the Russian Federation, have fallen ill on ships and urgent evacuation is required, and in such cases, too, member states have allowed the use of their airspace, taking into account the fact that in this particular case the relevant aircraft order is controlled by an insurance company," Vincevs said.

The agency also added that these are rare cases that occur only as an exception.

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