Nato-Russia Council

Vigilant Skies 2013 Russia-Turkey live flying exercise

NRC CAI2Russian Federation Sukhoi Su-27 fighters during Vigilant Skies 2011

Due to poor weather conditions the first day of live exercises was postponed until Thursday the 26th of September 2013.

The next stage of the NRC Cooperative Initiative’s live flying exercise ‘Vigilant Skies’ 2013 takes place today, involving Russian and Turkish air traffic controllers and fighter jets.

During this live event, over the Black Sea, an act of “unlawful interference” will occur through a flight plan diversion and communication loss by a Russian renegade aircraft. Russian and Turkish fighters will be scrambled to intercept the renegade aircraft. Actions will be coordinated through the CAI Information Management System starting with Local Coordination Units in Russia and Turkey and then Coordination Centers in Moscow and Warsaw.

Boris Shestakov, Russian specialist in monitoring the use of airspace and coordination of the NATO-Russia Coordination Centre, explains the procedure for when a renegade aircraft is detected.

“When the ATC agencies discover that an aircraft is in violation of regulations, the information is sent to the Local Coordination Unit which informs the Coordination Centre.  The Coordination Centre Duty Team Leader assesses the situation, takes a decision, designates a violation category, and tasks the duty specialist. The Coordination Centre reports immediately to the Russian Single Air Traffic Control System (SATCS) Main Centre, cooperating agencies and the Head of the Russian Federation Coordination Centre. At the same time, the duty specialist forwards the information to the NATO Coordination Centre. The shift manager of the SATCS Main Centre immediately informs the national security agencies of the situation.”

Over the course of the whole exercise the technology, operation and procedures of the CAI system will have all been fully tested, providing valuable insight into the future development of the project, as well as providing the practical experience for NRC nations and bodies working together against terrorism in the skies.

This exercise will be a key test of the NRC Cooperative Airspace Initiative’s ability to respond to air terrorism through a rapid exchange of information between air traffic controllers. Keep updated on its progress through the NRC website. Live updates and images will be coming in through the day on the NRC’s Twitter and Facebook:


NATO-Russia Council Facebook Page

Watch here the video simulating today’s exercise: