Allied military jets to conduct test flights, low-altitude flyovers in Estonian airspace
This week, Royal Air Force (RAF) Eurofighter Typhoons based at Ämari Air Base will be conducting test flights, including low-altitude flyovers, in Estonian airspace.
The RAF jets will fly over the Gulf of Riga, southern parts of Pärnu County, Viljandi County as well as Central and Eastern Estonian airspace at altitudes no lower than 152 meters, or just under 500 feet, and preferably away from populated areas.
NATO member states, including all three Baltic States, allocate specific areas of their respective airspace for use for air force drills and exercises, inlcuding low-altitude flyovers. Low-altitude flyovers in Estonia are conducted in collaboration with the Estonian Civil Aviation Administration (CIAA) and Air Traffic Services.
According to a North-Atlantic Council decision, allied air forces have contributed to the aerial defense of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania on a rotational basis since the three Baltic States joined the alliance on March 29, 2004.
The Baltic Air Policing mission makes up a part of the NATO Integrated Air Defence System (NATINADS) and is also part of the alliance's Smart Defence concept of cooperation in the maintenance of NATO's military capabilities necessary to undertake its core tasks as agreed upon in NATO's Strategic Concept.
Together with the Portuguese Air Force, whose F-16 Fighting Falcons are based at Šiauliai Air Base in Lithuania, the RAF took over the air policing mission on April 28 of this year.