The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has told local media that unauthorised aircraft spotted in Maldivian airspace belong to the United States Air Force.
CAA Director Abdulla Rasheed told local paper Haveeru the aircraft had originated from Foalhavahi – also known as the Chagos Islands – home to a US military base.
“No one can enter the area, without our knowing. If anyone were to enter, they would have to gain our permission first,” Rasheed told Haveeru.
The paper reported last week that the unidentified craft had been spotted over Huvadhoo Atoll – over 500 miles north of the base – on two consecutive days. Witnesses reported the aircraft circling the area at low altitude.
It was also revealed last week that the aircraft had dropped two buoys which were subsequently confiscated by the Maldives National Defence Force.
While the Maldives 1996 Maritime Zones Act stipulates that unauthorised foreign military aircraft cannot use Maldivian airspace, the US has previously disputed the legality of this restriction.
The Chagos Islands – a British Indian Ocean Territory – have been home to a US military base in the Diego Garcia atoll since the early 1970s, and are largely uninhabited since the indigenous islanders’ forced migration to Mauritius and the Seychelles.
The US had argued in 2001 that the Convention on the Law of the Sea – ratified by the Maldives in 2001 – grants all aircraft free access to archipelagic sea lanes.
An unclassified US State Department telegram sent to the US embassy in Colombo in 2001 noted that the Maldives’ restrictions on innocent passage “could set an adverse precedent regarding the development of international practice generally”.
Despite this objection, the department has noted that the Maldives offered the free use of its airspace to US aircraft during Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003, as well as granting similar access during Operation Desert Storm in 1991.
A leaked Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) revealed last year that preliminary discussions regarding a potential US base in the Maldives had taken place.
After President Abdulla Yameen was reported in January to have opted against the SOFA agreement for fear of upsetting regional partners, pentagon officials responded by saying that a permanent base had never been considered.
The US did, however, donate the Personal Identification Secure Comparison and Evaluation System – or PISCES – border control system to the Maldives in 2013.
The system, criticised by previous providers of Maldivian border control software as nothing more than a “terrorist tracking system”, came into use 12 months ago and was said to have been used to identify alleged hacker Roman Seleznyov before his controversial detention in June.
14 thoughts on “Unauthorised aircraft identified as belonging to US military”
They must be carrier based spy drones equipped with high definition cameras that can read number plates at 30,000 feet and see whether you're wearing underpants or not.
It doesn't look good for you boys.
Best behavior now. Stay indoors, switch off the jihadi videos and pray nobody presses the FIRE button at the control centre in Nevada.
Instead of denouncing ISIS our so called foreign minister should investigate these real terrorist of the world who invades our airspace! PICES should also be sent back to the US with a not saying "NO THANKS" freedom fighter do not need to be tracked all.
Maldives is now the 57st state of the USA due to SEZ.
The vast majority of Maldivians welcome the presence of US military not only in our air space but also in our seas and our islands.
The US military enjoys a very close and cordial relationship with our military and it is in the Maldives national interest that the US keeps a close eye in this area of the Indian Ocean.
Thank you USA!
Phew! So relieved to hear that the aircrafts are from the US Air Force .
Keep up the good work Uncle Sam!
at least now your Government had started to out some efforts to provide toilet faciities for 60% of your population who does not have them.
Pls. stop bothering us and clean up your own backyard first .
@ Zero aka Hero
Maybe your government should provide you with better health and educational facilities. Then you won't need to travel to India and clog up our system.
The visa section in our Male Embassy is closed permanently.....but the Iraqi Embassy is open for special jihad visas.
Good ole Uncle Sam is keeping an eye on the SEZs and the Chinese. Uncle Sam knows best, for he sees things that us mortals cannot.
If this is allowed without without the least oppositions, it would set a precedent for others.
Next You would see Pakistani, and the Chinese flying over the Maldives.
@Logal Sumaari kaleyge
Just because the US military is welcome in Maldives territory doesn't mean other countries like Pakistan can do the same!
Keep in mind the USA has a major military base just to the South of Maldives in the Indian Ocean. It's thanks to their close presence that we can sleep soundly at night.
The true depth of this Hero guy is very obvious,isnt it.Pray that you do not get sick,for whcih you have to go to India
@maumoon: Nah, he'll take a flight to singapore for botox treatments when he gets sick. 😛
Goodness gracious, we sleep soundly at night because of the US who ultimately were the reason why the Chagos people had to leave their own lands!
WAKE UP YOU DARN SHEEP PEOPLE!!
THE US KILLS THEIR OWN PEOPLE!!REMEMBER 9/11.
and remember Malaysian airlines flightMH370.
You dumbo heads will always look to the people with money and power and never the truth.
Well said, US is the real terrorists of the world always making excuses to attack muslims, the Maldives must end presecution of leading Jihad in Syria, Iraq and China!! Islam is under attack and people should not be suprised when it fights back. Maldives should end relations with US and demand the US release MH370 which has been detain on Diego Garcia.
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