Ethiopia grounds 20 “tourist planes” for violating its airspace

Published on : Friday, November 25, 2016

EthiopiaAround 20 aircraft, described as “tourist planes” have been grounded by the Ethiopian authorities for violating the country’s airspace on Tuesday, the Ethiopian Civil Aviation Authority (ECAA) says.


The aircraft were flying inside Ethiopian airspace without permission and were forced to land at Gambella Airport in western Ethiopia near the border with South Sudan, ECAA Director-General Colonel Wesenyeleh Hunegnaw told a media conference in Addis Ababa Thursday (Nov 24).


Col. Wesenyeleh stressed on the point that international aviation law does not allow aircraft to land or fly over a country without permission, in violation of the sovereignty of the country.


The authorities are investigating who the owners of the planes are, the number of passengers in each plane, and nationalities of the passengers.


An investigation team was dispatched to Gambella Wednesday morning to investigate the matter and its findings would be made public as soon as the investigation was completed, Col. Wesenyeleh said.


The planes were detained for further investigation as the passengers could not provide convincing answers to the question why they had violated Ethiopia’s airspace, he said.


This was the first time aircraft had violated Ethiopian airspace.

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