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Singapore plane fined $6,300 for entering Indonesian airspace

AsiaOne | Thursday, Oct 30, 2014

SINGAPORE - The Singapore aircraft that was intercepted by Indonesian fighter jets was fined 60 million rupiah (S$6,300) before it was released, Indonesian media reported.

"In line with the laws and the decision by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation, they were fined 60 million rupiah, which goes into the State Treasury, for entering the Republic of Indonesia without permission," Commander of the Supadio Pontianak Air Base Tedi Rizalhadi was quoted as saying.

According to Tempo.co, the fine was because the C90GTi King Air plane was deemed to have entered Indonesian airspace without permission.

The aircraft - which is owned by Singapore Technologies (ST) Aerospace and operated by its pilot training arm, Pacific Flight Services - landed safely at Seletar Airport at 7.18pm last night, about 30 hours after it was intercepted by Indonesian fighter jets on Tuesday.

Medeka.com reported that Colonel PNB Tedi Rizalihadi, Commander of the Supadio Pontianak Air Base, said that the plane was released because they found that it posed no danger to the peace of Indonesia and that administrative and penalty requirements had been met.

The plane, which was carrying a Singaporean pilot and two foreigners, left Pontianak in West Kalimantan at about 5.30pm Singapore time and was forced to land in Pontianak after being intercepted by two Indonesian Air Force Sukhoi 27/30 Flanker TNI AU jets.

It had been en route from Sibu, Sarawak to Singapore. 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.

ST Aerospace has insisted that it followed protocol. A spokesman told The Straits Times: "The company had filed the original flight plans as it normally has done for similar flights."

The incident occurred during a return route familiarisation training flight, as the instructor and pilot trainees were passing through a portion of Indonesian airspace, which was in the filed flight plan, she said.

ST Aerospace is seeking clarification with the authorities on this matter and will make changes to the flight plan filings as required, The Straits Times reported.

yamadak@sph.com.sg

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