DefenceNet reports on the continuing tension in the Aegean between Greek and Turkish forces. A few hours after an announcement regarding the discovery of a new oil field on the northern Aegean 8 Turkish fighter aircraft “visited” the area. They entered the Aegean between Chios and Samos where the Turkish Air Force and Navy are conducting a large live fire exercise. The aircraft headed north towards the north Aegean oil fields and exited in the direction of the Dardanelles Straits.
The Turkish aircraft were intercepted by Mirage 2000-5 MkII fighters from the Skyros Forward Operating Base and by F-16C Block 52+ aircraft from the Kastelli FOB. The Greek aircraft approached the Turkish aircraft from the southwest and escorted them out of the area.
During their flight the Turkish aircraft breached Greek airspace 3 times.
According to Energean, which discovered the oil field, the new field (“E”) potentially holds the equivalent of 40,000,000 barrels from oil which is a large amount for the area. The potential for other accessible oil fields in the area can double this amount.
At the same time Turkey as pulled out all the stops by issuing a NOTAM which essentially tries to prohibit the Greek Air Force and Navy from conducting an exercise a few miles outside Mykonos Islands, in other words an area surrounded by Greek islands.
From information available to DefenceNet is seems that this is the first time that Turkey issues a NOTAM “forbidding” the use of the area between Mykonos, Fournoi and Ikaria for exercises by Greece. Turkey’s NOTAM is obviously null and void as it affects an area inside the Athens FIR. Turkey’s previous NOTAM for the area is also considered as void by Greece.
All of Turkey’s NOTAMs in question are within the Athens FIR for which only the Greek Civil Aviation Authority has jurisdiction. Turkey is using supposed violations by Greece of the Lausanne Treaty with regards to Ikaria and Fournoi and does not recognise Greece’s right to reserve these areas for exercises.
Below is the Greek NOTAM for the 19th to 21st of January:
A0061/10 - HELLENIC NAVY AND AIRFORCE WILL MAKE A WITHOUT FIRING EXER WITHIN ATHINAI FIR AS DESCRIBED BELOW:
1- AREA (WITHOUT FIRING) : 10NM RAD 370500N0261200E.
AWYS R19 AND L995 (LURUS-PIDAX) AFFECTED.
VERTICAL LIMITS: 0-FL100.
DATES AND TIMES: JAN 19 0500-0700.
2.- AREA (WITHOUT FIRING): 354000N0281300E 354000N0284900E 360800N0284900E 360800N0281300E.
AWYS R19 AND M601 (LAKAD-EXELA), G18 AND L609 (NILAS-ALKIS), L995(IRBAX-AMONO), L52 (TIRMO-LINRO), RODOS TMA AFFECTED.VERTICAL LIMITS: 0-FL100.DATE AND TIMES: JAN 21 0730-0830.
3.- PROCEDURES FOR EXERCISE AIRCRAFT:
3.1.- EXERCISE AIRCRAFT WILL FLY VFR/VMC IN ACCORDANCE WITH ICAO RULES AND PROCEDURES AS AMPLIFIED IN AIP-GREECE.
3.2.- EXERCISE AIRCRAFT WILL SUBMIT FLIGHT PLANS AND WILL NOT ENTER CONTROLLED AIRSPACE, UNLESS PRIOR PERMISSION HAS BEEN OBTAINED BY APPROPRIATE ATC UNIT.
4.- PROCEDURES FOR NON EXERCISE AIRCRAFT:
4.1.- IN THE INTEREST OF SAFETY DURING THE EXERCISE, NON EXERCISE AIRCRAFT ARE STRONGLY ADVISED NOT TO FLY WITHIN THE AREAS DESIGNATED IN PARAS (1) AND (2) ABOVE. 00000FT AMSL - FL100, DATES AND TIMES AS ITEM E,
19 JAN 05:00 2010 UNTIL 21 JAN 08:30 2010. CREATED: 14 JAN 12:30 2010
Below is the Turkish NOTAM:
A0184/10 (Issued for LTBB LGGG) - NAVIGATIONAL WARNING TO ALL CONCERNED:TURKEY REQUESTED THE GREEK AIS TO MODIFY THE LATERAL LIMITS OF THE FIRST AREA OF NOTAM A0061/10 WHICH OVERLAPS TURKISH EXERCISE AREA (WARNING NOTAM NR:A3914/09) WITHIN INTERNATIONAL AIRSPACE. GREEK AIS DID NOT MODIFY THE LATERAL LIMITS OF THE SAID AREA, THEREFORE THE GREEK NOTAM A0061/10 IS NULL AND VOID. TURKISH NAVIGATIONAL WARNING NOTAM A3914/09 IS VALID AND EFFECTIVE. SFC - FL100, 19 JAN 05:00 2010 UNTIL 21 JAN 08:30 2010. CREATED: 15 JAN 12:09 2010
Another Turkish exercise will be taking place east of Rhodes.