Transport minister moves to sack air traffic controller for NATO patrols

  • 2005-06-21
RIGA - Transport Minister Ainars Slesers has called on the council of Latvijas Gaisa Satiksme, the state-owned air traffic controller, to suspend company president Edijs Kizenbahs for the latter's reluctance to coordinate NATO's air patrols over Latvian territory.

The daily Diena reported last week that the air patrols had come under doubt earlier this month as LGS had been reluctant to provide traffic control services to the alliance's fighter planes that patrol the Baltic states' airspace. Representatives of the responsible ministries claimed it was a technical problem that has been solved, while Vigo Legzdins, state secretary for the Transport Ministry, said it had been a problem of "cooperation and information exchange." LGS was not ready to ensure passage of the fighter planes before regime and protocol of the flights has been determined, he said.

Another source said that LGS was also dissatisfied because flights of the Dutch air force planes were not reported in accordance with the effective procedure.