ENR 1.13  Unlawful interference

1.   General

1.1  An aircraft which is being subjected to unlawful interference shall endeavour to set the transponder to Code 7500 and notify the appropriate ATS unit of any significant circumstances associated therewith and any deviation from the current flight plan necessitated by the circumstances, in order to enable the ATS unit to give priority to the aircraft and to minimise conflict with other aircraft.
1.2  If an aircraft is subjected to unlawful interference, the pilot-in-command shall attempt to land as soon as practicable at the nearest suitable aerodrome or at a dedicated aerodrome assigned by the appropriate authority, unless considerations aboard the aircraft dictate otherwise.
1.3  When an occurrence of unlawful interference with an aircraft takes place or is suspected, air traffic services units shall attend promptly to requests by the aircraft. Information pertinent to the safe conduct of the flight shall continue to be transmitted and necessary action shall be taken to expedite the conduct of all phases of the flight, especially the safe landing of the aircraft.
1.4  When an occurrence of unlawful interference with an aircraft takes place or is suspected, ATS units shall, in accordance with locally agreed procedures, immediately inform the appropriate authority designated by the State and exchange necessary information with the aircraft operator or its designated representative.

2.   Procedures

2.1  Whenever unlawful interference with an aircraft is known or suspected or a bomb threat warning has been received, ATS units should promptly attend to requests by, or to anticipated needs of, the aircraft, including requests for relevant information relating to air navigation facilities, procedures and services along the route of flight and at any aerodrome of intended landing, and should take such action as is necessary to expedite the conduct of all phases of the flight.
2.2  ATS units should also:
  1. transmit, and continue to transmit, information pertinent to the safe conduct of the flight, without expecting a reply from the aircraft;
  2. monitor and plot the progress of the flight with the means available, and coordinate transfer of control with adjacent ATS units without requiring transmissions or other responses from the aircraft, unless communication with the aircraft remains normal;
  3. inform, and continue to keep informed, appropriate ATS units, including those in adjacent flight information regions (FIRs), which may be concerned with the progress of the flight;
  4. notify:
    • the operator or its designated representative;
    • the appropriate rescue coordination centre in accordance with appropriate alerting procedures; and
    • the appropriate authority designated by the State; and
  5. relay appropriate messages, relating to the circumstances associated with the unlawful interference, between the aircraft and designated authorities.
2.3  The following additional procedures should apply if a threat is received indicating that a bomb or other explosive device has been placed on board a known aircraft. The ATS unit receiving the threat information should:
  1. if in direct communication with the aircraft, advise the flight crew without delay of the threat and the circumstances surrounding the threat; or
  2. if not in direct communication with the aircraft, advise the flight crew by the most expeditious means through other ATS units or other channels.
2.4  The ATS unit in communication with the aircraft should ascertain the intentions of the flight crew and report those intentions to other ATS units which may be concerned with the flight.
2.5  The aircraft should be handled in the most expeditious manner while ensuring, to the extent possible, the safety of other aircraft and that personnel and ground installations are not put at risk.
2.6  Aircraft in flight should be given re-clearance to a requested new destination without delay. Any request by the flight crew to climb or descend for the purpose of equalising or reducing the differential between the outside air pressure and the cabin air pressure should be approved as soon as possible.
2.7  An aircraft on the ground should be advised to remain as far away from other aircraft and installations as possible and, if appropriate, to vacate the runway. The aircraft should be instructed to taxi to a designated or isolated parking area in accordance with local instructions. Should the flight crew disembark passengers and crew immediately, other aircraft, vehicles and personnel should be kept at a safe distance from the threatened aircraft.
2.8  ATS units should not provide any advice or suggestions concerning action to be taken by the flight crew in relation to an explosive device.
2.9  An aircraft known or believed to be the subject of unlawful interference or which for other reasons needs isolation from normal aerodrome activities should be cleared to the designated isolated parking position. Where such an isolated parking position has not been designated, or if the designated position is not available, the aircraft should be cleared to a position within the area or areas selected by prior agreement with the aerodrome authority. The taxi clearance should specify the taxi route to be followed to the parking position. This route should be selected with a view to minimising any security risks to the public, other aircraft and installations at the aerodrome.
2.10  Verbal reference to unlawful interference should not be made by the controller unless it is first made by the pilot in a radio communication transmission, since it might attract the attention of the hijacker (or of other aircraft) and have detrimental consequences.
2.11  When unlawful interference occurs and the aircraft is unable to notify an ATS unit of this fact, the pilot-in-command who cannot proceed to an aerodrome should attempt to continue flying on the assigned track and at the assigned cruising level at least until able to notify an ATS unit or until within radar coverage.
2.12  When an aircraft subjected to an act of unlawful interference must depart from its assigned track or its assigned cruising level without being able to make radiotelephony contact with ATS, the pilot-in-command should, whenever possible:
  1. attempt to broadcast warnings on the VHF channel in use or the VHF emergency frequency, and other appropriate channels, unless considerations aboard the aircraft dictate otherwise. Other equipment such as on-board transponders and data links should also be used when it is advantageous to do so and circumstances permit; and
  2. proceed in accordance with applicable special procedures for in-flight contingencies in ENR 1.8.