First Benelux Air Policing Scramble

by Nicholas Fiorenza
Mar 08, 2017

Two Belgian air force F-16s intercepted a Hungarian civil aircraft which did not react to air traffic control March 7. The aircraft, with three people on board, was detected over German airspace and crossed the southeastern Netherlands.​

The Belgian fighters were scrambled from Florennes air base in southern Belgium and intercepted the Hungarian aircraft at around 7:30, escorting it until UK Royal Air Force Eurofighters took over until it landed in Birmingham.

Until the end of last year, the scramble would have occurred from a Dutch air base, but since 1 January, Belgium and the Netherlands have been taking turns policing each other's airspace, as well as that of Luxembourg, under an arrangement agreed by the three nations, known collectively as the Benelux, in March 2015.

Two Belgian F-16s are currently on quick action alert until May 10, when they will be relieved by two Royal Netherlands Air Force F-16s.

Belgian Defense has posted a video of the intercept.

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