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Possible threat: passenger airplane denied access to US airspace

  1. Apr 17, 2005 #1


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    I don't know if this has been news in the US, but last week I read an article in my newspaper about a KLM airplane being denied access of US airspace, which had to return to Schiphol while it was already flying over Canada. The reason was two passenger which were on the US no-fly list. KLM did not give the passenger list to US authorities, since no landing was planned. Apparently Mexican authorities (the destination of the airplane) warned the US.

    Today I see there is an article in NewsWeek covering the incidence. Apparently the passengers took flight lessons at the same airschool where the 9/11 hijackers took flight lessons.

    Mystery Flight -
    Two passengers trigger alarms—and fresh echoes of 9/11.
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 17, 2005 #2
    I'm glad they called it like that. Thank-you Mexico!
  4. Apr 18, 2005 #3
    It would seem more efficient to check a no-fly list at the time of boarding, but maybe hard to do, and at least there was international cooperation in detecting this. I doubt the other passengers were happy about it.
  5. Apr 19, 2005 #4


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    Yes, can you imagine having to return while already having crossed the atlantic ocean? It is a long trip, I hope the system learned from this. I do find it strange that they were not allowed to land in Canada.
  6. Apr 19, 2005 #5
    Canadians are perhaps more tolerant, but if the plane has enough fuel to go back home, that's where the suspects belong.

    Having the plane land in Canada would've meant having to deal with the suspects in one way or another, and I suppose there was little interest in creating the new file at the time.
  7. Apr 19, 2005 #6


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    How do you draw that conclusion. Schiphol is an airport which connects many different flights, the suspects were not dutch.
    Yes: getting them off the airplane so that the other passengers can continue their flight. I don't think there was any direct threat and it should've been allowed to land. The only way the suspects were dealt with in the other airports was providing them with a flight back home.
  8. Apr 19, 2005 #7
    Monique, I have to agree it is strange that they were not allowed to land in Canada. I would have thought the pilots would have landed in the closest airport and would have had the passengers in question removed as quickly as possible and then resumed the original flight plan.
  9. Apr 19, 2005 #8
    And do what with them? The U.S. could have done that just as well. Why should Canadians inherently accept what has been rejected by the U.S.?

    Not a Canadian problem at all. Perhaps the Dutch need better screening.

    Thanks Mexico. The decision might have been made jointly, perhaps a NORAD thing, I don't know.
  10. Apr 19, 2005 #9
    No doubt Mexico is very concerned about the possibility of terrorists entering the U.S. from their country. That would definitely ruin the open border policy, wouldn't it?
  11. Apr 19, 2005 #10
    Canada would let the plane land, but unfortunatelly Canada is not a sovereign nation anymore.We have to obey American orders.
  12. Apr 19, 2005 #11
    The article said that the flight was only 15 minutes out of Amsterdam so returning there was easier. I doubt that commercial airliners have enough fuel to travel the width of the Atlantic and return without refueling. If they had come more than halfway the jet would have been directed somewhere on this side of the ocean, or maybe the Azures.
    I think the right thing was done in this case. According to the information in the article these two men are connected to terrorist organizations. The risk of allowing them to travel over US airspace is just too dangerous whether they are visiting a sick relative in Mexico or not.

    I have heard other stories of US citizens who have discovered their names were on the no fly list when they tried to purchase their plane tickets. Nobody told them they were on the list, or why they were on it. There was no authority they could contact to remove them from the list. No evidence of terrorist connections was produced. They were not Arabian. (racism?) They were portrayed as ordinary middleclass citizens.

    How far is too far?
  13. Apr 19, 2005 #12


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    I saw a story about a man in the situation you describe. It was similar to overcoming identity theft for him to get the information cleared so he could travel without a great deal of inconvenience each time.

    As for the no-fly list, if it is not dealt with before boarding and the individual's intent is to hijack the plane, it's a little too late once the plane takes off. But since it's so easy to cross the U.S. border, it seems all they need to do is get into any country south of the border.
  14. Apr 19, 2005 #13


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    This isn't the first incidence of planes being diverted because of the no-fly list. But perhaps the first denied flying through airspace.

    Flight Diverted Due to Suspicious Passenger
    Updated: Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2005 - 12:58 PM

    J.J. Green, WTOP Radio
    "An airplane from London to New York is being turned around and sent back because of a suspicious passenger.

    Homeland Security officials confirm that British Airways Flight 175 bound for JFK Airport in New York was been turned around and sent back to London's Heathrow Airport because of a hit on the No-Fly list."


    "A London-to-Washington flight carrying the singer formerly known as Cat Stevens was diverted to Maine on Tuesday and the singer was removed from the plane."


    "Air France Flight Diverted To Remove Passenger
    November 21, 2004
    An Air France flight from Paris to Washington was diverted to Maine when authorities discovered the name of one of the passengers on a US no-fly list, a US customs spokesman said on Sunday.

    Air France Flight 026 was diverted to Maine on Saturday. One passenger was taken off the flight with an expired passport and his companion voluntarily decided not to continue traveling without him, said Barry Morrissey, spokesman for US Customs and Border Protection."

  15. Apr 20, 2005 #14
    I guess in not to distant future when almost all of us are on the no ****ing fly list we going to have to take boat to and from europe.thanks a lot america.

    Attached Files:

  16. Apr 20, 2005 #15
    What the?!
  17. Apr 20, 2005 #16


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    Get them on another airplane, quite simple :grumpy:
    Because the US was the potential target of the suspect individuals, not Canada.
    No, the airplane was not planned to land in the US so I guess protocol did not dictate to screen against a US no-fly list. I'm sure they will change that now.
  18. Apr 20, 2005 #17


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    In what article did you read that? In the one from NewsWeek:
  19. Apr 20, 2005 #18
    That might piss them off. And perhaps no company wants to be seen carrying suspects. Plenty of airports in the U.S. that would not be of any interests to attacks anyway.
  20. Apr 20, 2005 #19


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    Whatever makes you sleep at night :rolleyes:
  21. Apr 20, 2005 #20
    Yes, it is on the first paragraph of the article that you presented.
    But I see your point. :blushing:
    I wonder why they waited so long? If Homeland Security knew about the passengers 15 minutes into the flight then why did they wait 3 hours to get into high gear and tell them to return to Amsterdam? It should have been as simple as a few phone calls.
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