Now they don’t even need to land to raise eyebrows. The Neue Zürcher Zeitung reports that “a small jet chartered by the CIA has flown over Switzerland 19 times since the start of 2003”.
The flights included one on 17 February 2003, the day that Abu Omar was allegedly flown from Italy to Germany during his “extraordinary rendition ” to Egypt:
The Federal Civil Aviation Office has confirmed that on February 17, 2003 a Learjet Model LJ-35, using the call sign “SPAR 92”, twice flew over Swiss air space — from Aviano to Ramstein and back again.
SPAR is short for Special Air Resources, a military airlift service that uses Learjets and other executive-style jets to transport senior military officers and civilian VIPs.
Meanwhile the Malta Independent continues to follow the comings and goings of the suspect flights in Malta:
This week another landing in Malta has surfaced with reports and sightings evidencing the presence of a De Havilland Canada DHC-6-300 Twin Otter in Malta between 2 and 3 August 2005. Plane spotters capturing images of the aircraft at Malta International Airport remark on the unusual blade antennae on its upper fuselage.
This newspaper has also confirmed stopovers in Malta by a Lockheed L-100 Hercules with tail number N8213G on 31 March and on 25 August 2004, a Boeing 737 with tail number N313P 6 December 2003 and a Gulfstream jet with tail number N227SV on 17 December 2004.
It seems planespotting has become a respectable journalistic enterprise.