Air France jet diverts after being told to stay clear of US airspace

If you ever wondered just how serious the US takes its security policies, then read on, because even people on the terrorist watch list that are flying over the US are enough of a threat to force a plane to divert.

An Air France flight from Paris to Mexico had to make an unscheduled stop in Martinique when US air traffic controllers notified the jet that it would not be receiving permission to fly over US airspace.

That’s right – the plane was not en route to the US, just passing over some of it, on its way to Mexico.

On board the plane was Colombian Journalist Hernando Calvo Ospina, who works for Le Monde Diplomatique.

What makes the whole incident even more interesting is that Air France had only sent its passenger manifest to the Mexicans, but now it is clear that Mexico shares this information with the United States.

Hernando Calvo Ospina has written articles about the United States involvement in Latin America, and is currently writing a book about he CIA. The exact reason for him being on the terrorist watch list is unknown, and we’ll probably never know what criteria are used for adding people to it. Air France is considering asking the United States for compensation. Good luck with that.

Update: A commenter left this link to a detailed descrption of what happened, written by the “terrorist” himself.