Theater of Cruelty

The CIA cannot escape the rules

The CIA cannot use civilian aircraft and pretend to operate civilian, the Aviation Authority states.


It has come as a surprise to politicians in a number of countries that the US intelligence service CIA extensively uses civilian aircraft for secret prisoner transport.

All air traffic in the world is governed by the rules to which the countries bind. An important distinction is between civil aircraft and military or government aircraft.

In order for an aircraft to operate as a civil aircraft, clear rules apply to what is a civil flight. In addition, all civilian traffic must comply with the so-called Chicago Convention, which governs all civilian traffic.

Robert Haast, Director of Information at the Civil Aviation Authority, says the rules are clear in this area.

- According to the Chicago Convention, civilian operators / aircraft resident in states that are members of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) may perform non-scheduled flights through each other's airspace. The aircraft can also make landings for non-commercial purposes, without applying for a permit. However, all flights are registered with Avinor / Eurocontrol, as overflight fees must be paid for such flights. Here we are talking about, among other things, charter flights – and not scheduled flights.

Robert Haast further states that except for the aforementioned right are state aircraft.

Aircraft used by the military, government or police should be defined as government aircraft, according to the Chicago Convention. In addition, civilian aircraft commissioned by the state or government are considered state aircraft. This may involve the transport of passengers or freight. For state aircraft / state aviation, prior approval must be obtained from the Civil Aviation Authority. In the case of transport of heads of state and others at a high level, to Norway or through Norwegian airspace, the application usually comes via the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Applications normally contain information about the operator's name, aircraft type / registration, type of flight (passengers or cargo), type / amount of cargo, client, itinerary and timetable.

Robert Haast elaborates on this:

- When a commercial airline undertakes transport assignments for the state or government, and the journey is of an official nature, the assignment is considered a state flight. In the case of flights carried out by civil airlines on behalf of the police and intelligence services, these will be considered in each individual case, but often such assignments will also be considered as state flights. If, on the other hand, military aircraft are used, ie the Armed Forces' aircraft with military registration, the case is classified under the Armed Forces and is therefore not processed by the Civil Aviation Authority, says Robert Haast, information director at the Civil Aviation Authority.

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