NATO Monitors Libyan Air Space

Though the Administration remains leery of setting up a no-fly zone over Libya, Al Jazeera reported yesterday that NATO surveillance aircraft have started to monitor Libyan airspace.

The English service of the Qatar-based news channel reported yesterday it had picked up a transmission from a NATO E-3 Airborne Early Warning and Control System aircraft to an air traffic control center on Malta asking for information on the flight of a Dassault-Falcon 900 private jet, which is part of Libya's VIP fleet.

The AWACS -- tail number LX-N90442, operating with the call sign NATO 07 -- asked Malta ATC, according to a recording made by Al Jazeera:

"Do you have information on an aircraft with the Squawk 2017 position about 85 miles east of our [position]?"

Malta ATC replied: "Seven, that sounds to be Falcon 900 -- at flight level 340, with a destination Mitiga, according to flight plan." Mitiga is an airport in Libya used by the country's VIP fleet.

Al Jazeera reported aircraft from seven NATO countries operate out of Malta, and if you want to listen to possible exchanges between these aircraft and Malta ATC, offers a live feed from Malta.

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