News Column

Europe Military 'caused planes to vanish from screens'

June 14, 2014

Reuters in Vienna and Prague

Dozens of aircraft briefly vanished from air-traffic control radars in Austria, Germany, the Czech Republic and Slovakia over the last two weeks in incidents that Slovak authorities blamed on military electronic warfare exercises.

Air-traffic controllers in Austria and Germany said data about the planes' position, direction, height or speed went missing on 5 and 10 June, but the outages posed no serious danger. Their Czech and Slovak counterparts also encountered cases of vanishing aircraft on the same days.

"The disappearance of objects on radar screens was connected with a planned military exercise which took place in various parts of Europe . . . whose goal was the interruption of radio communication frequencies," the Slovak air traffic services said.

"Immediately after the identification of the problem with the displays, the side organising the exercises was contacted and the exercise was stopped."

It did not identify the military force, but Austrian media said it was Nato. Nato declined to comment. Reuters

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Source: Guardian (UK)

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