Two Eurofighter fighters of the Italian Air Force, in alarm service on the national territory, took off yesterday shortly after the 15 hours: 00 from the Gioia del Colle airbase to intercept a Boing777 aircraft of the company SAUDI AIRLINES that during the overflight of the national air space had lost radio contact with air traffic control (ATC) operators.
The civilian aircraft, departed from Paris Charles de Gaulle, was directed to Jeddah, in Saudi Arabia. The immediate take-off order - in technical jargon "scramble" - was given by the 22 Group AM Radar of Licola (NA) on behalf of the CAOC (Combined Air Operation Center) of Torrejon (Spain), NATO body responsible for area , in coordination with the Air Operations Command (AOC) of Poggio Renatico and the Armed Forces bodies appointed to oversee national and NATO airspace.
The staff of the 22 ┬░ Radar Group immediately provided the two fighter pilots in flight with the information necessary to intercept the aircraft that did not respond to radio calls.
Once in the area concerned, the two F-2000 Eurofighter fighters of the 36 ┬░ Stormo identified the civil aircraft for the planned VId (Visual Identification) and after ascertaining that there were no emergency conditions, escorted it to the border of space national plane.