US admits mistake of violating Indonesian airspace

US admits mistake of violating Indonesian airspace

Scot Marciel (FOTO ANTARA/Fanny Octavianus)

"The aircraft`s landing in Indonesia was our own mistake," US Ambassador for Indonesia Scot Marciel said.
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The United States admitted the mistake made by its military aircraft, Dornier 328, that had illegally flown into the Indonesia airspace and later landed at Sultan Iskandar Muda airport in Aceh.

The aircraft was flying from Maldives to Singapore when it suddenly landed on the Indonesia airbase due to lack of fuel on Monday (5/21) at 14.00 hours.

"The aircraft`s landing in Indonesia was our own mistake," US Ambassador for Indonesia Scot Marciel said here on Tuesday when accompanying deputy US Secretary State Wendy Sherman in a meeting with students at the US Cultural Center.

Marciel said the plane crew did not know if the Dornier 328`s permit for flying in Indonesia had expired.

Meanwhile, Sultan Iskandar Muda airbase commander Colonel Supri Abu said the Dornier 328 was detected by radar when it was crossing the Lhoksumawe airspace.

"We need not have to send planes to force them to land because they themselves have asked for a permission to land," he said.

He said every foreign aircraft must have permits from the foreign affairs ministry and the Indonesian Defense Forces Headquarters before flying in the country`s air territory.

The US aircraft however did not have the permits and therefore had been detained.

The aircraft carrying three military men and two civilians was not allowed to continue its flight because didn`t have any legal permit from Indonesia.

It would only be allowed to fly if the requirement was met and so they had to coordinate with their embassy for it.

US Ambassador Scot Marciel said the problem had now been settled.

"The permit had been obtained and the aircraft had been allowed to fly again," he said.(*)

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