Warsaw airport closed due to threats against planes
On April 21, Warsaw Chopin Airport in Poland was temporarily closed after a bomb threat against an Emirates flight from Dubai.
Emirates EK177 was on approach to Warsaw Chopin Airport when it received a message from air traffic control that it had “hazardous materials” on board. The Boeing 777-31H(ER), registration A6-ENX, landed safely at 19:40 local time (17:40 UTC) and taxied to a remote part of the airport.
As the following exchanges between the aircraft and ATC reveal, the Emirates flight was the last to land before the airport closed for approximately two hours.
Why did it take six minutes to say what the threat was?
What seems incredible in this exchange between ATC and the pilot, captured by VASAviation, is that it takes about six minutes for the controller to tell the pilot that this is a bomb threat.
During those six minutes, ATC slowly goes from “hazardous materials to saying,
“Okay, we have information that the airfield duty officer has information that you have a bomb on board.”
The Emirates Boeing 777 landed safely after a hectic few minutes on approach to landing. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | single flight
Before that, the Emirates driver seems unaware of the seriousness of the situation. About two minutes into the exchange, the Emirates pilot agrees to allow a Finnair Embraer to land ahead of him, knowing that the airport will be closed after he lands.
About six minutes into the conversation, the pilot’s tone changed when ATC asked him if he had his own procedures and if he was going to evacuate the aircraft onto the taxiway?
Priority changes once the threat is known
The pilot still thinking it’s hazardous material, he pushes back for more information. When the bomb threat is finally relayed, he declares:
“The priority is to get to the ground now, we’ll take care of that once on the pitch.”
When the Emirates plane is cleared to land, ATC asks how many souls are on board and how much fuel do you have? The answer is 235 souls and 8 tons of fuel.
Emirates EK177 landed safely and taxied to a remote part of the airport where emergency services attended.
The threat against Emirates EK177 is not an isolated incident involving Warsaw Chopin. On March 20, the airport was closed after receiving a bomb threat on a Wizz Air flight from Kutaisi, Georgia, to Warsaw. Incoming flights were diverted to Katowice airport and the alarm turned out to be false.
A report from Aviation24.be indicates that on April 20, Wizz Air flight W6 1515 from Warsaw Chopin to Oslo Sandefjord in Norway diverted to Gdansk airport, where it made an emergency landing. The pilots of the Airbus A321, registration HA-LXP, were notified of a bomb threat on board, but all passengers and crew were safely evacuated. Gdansk airport was temporarily closed after the emergency landing.
In a fourth incident, AirLive reports that Czech airport authorities received an anonymous threat against a Polish LOT flight to Prague. The aircraft, an Embraer E170, was operating flight LO527 on April 20 from Warsaw Chopin to Vaclav Havel Airport in Prague (PRG), where it was met by emergency services.
On his return flight to Warsaw, he was diverted to Katowice and spent the night there before his onward flight to Warsaw the next day.
These threats against aircraft arriving in or departing from Warsaw appear to be a targeted attack.
If more information comes to light on this story, Simple Flying will bring it to you.
Sources: AirLive, Aviation24.be, VASAviation
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