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by Louise Wilson
18 May 2022
SNP call for answers over greenlighting of Scotland - Russia flight

SNP call for answers over greenlighting of Scotland - Russia flight

The SNP has demanded answers from the UK government over a private flight that was given the go ahead between Scotland and Russia.

A private jet departed Inverness airport on 26 February 2022 despite a ban on Russian aircraft in UK airspace coming into effect from midnight the day before.

This Notice of Air Missions (NOTAM) is meant to prevent in aircraft owned, chartered or operated by a person connected with Russia from entering UK airspace.

But a memo uncovered by the Press and Journal earlier this week revealed the Home Office approved the rule-breaking flight.

Two SNP MPs have now written to the cabinet secretary for clarification.

The letter, signed by transport spokesman Gavin Newlands and Inverness MP Drew Hendry, said unless answers were forthcoming, “the suspicion will naturally grow that both you and your department are attempting to cover up why your department authorised a flight which broke the sanctions you had yourself had imposed.”

Newlands added: “This whole situation grows murkier by the day - something we are becoming used to with this Westminster government mired in sleaze and scandal. The public deserve clear and transparent answers immediately.”

Grant Shapps, the UK transport secretary, previously placed the blame at the door of HIAL, the company which runs Inverness Airport.

Responding to a tweet by SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford in the days after the flight, Shapps said it was “always the responsibility of Aviation to check NOTAMs before flight”.

Read the most recent article written by Louise Wilson - What is Scotland's place in the world after Russia's invasion of Ukraine?

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