Singapore's airport closes for 1 hr as F16 jets intercept plane
2008-01-22 21:07 (New York)
SINGAPORE, Jan. 23 Kyodo
Two Singapore air force fighters intercepted a small civilian aircraft that intruded into the city-state's airspace late Tuesday, forcing Changi Airport to close for nearly an hour, officials said Wednesday.
The Cessna 208 aircraft ''was heading toward Singapore airspace without an approved flight plan,'' the Defense Ministry said in a statement.
In response, two F-16 ''fighters were scrambled to intercept (the) civilian aircraft'' at about 6.42 p.m. local time, escorting it to land at Changi Airport,'' it said.
The ministry determined it was ''not a terrorist threat.''
But the incident led to the airport being closed for almost an hour from 7 p.m., the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore said.
The temporary closure delayed two dozen incoming and outgoing flights, one of which had to be diverted to a small airport in neighboring Malaysia's southern state of Johor.
The Straits Times newspaper reported that the plane was flying in from the Thai resort island of Koh Samui.
Police are investigating the case.
-0- Jan/23/2008 2:07 GMT