Pilots demand investigation into Schiphol false hijacking alarm
To prevent unrest, the authorities must thoroughly investigate how an Air Europa pilot accidentally triggered a hijacking alarm at Schiphol on Wednesday evening, according to Dutch pilots' association VNV. Chairman Willem Schmid is confused about how it could have happened - multiple actions are needed to send such a signal from the cockpit, he said to AD.
"There are two methods of doing this", Schmid explained. "A pilot can call or contact the control tower via the radio to report a hijacking. The second way is to do this via a device, the so-called transponder. The device is in constant contact with the control tower and by typing the four-digit code 7500 the pilot can indicate that there has been a hijacking.
The VNV wants this incident to be explained as quickly as possible. "We could in any case see that the protocols work at Schiphol, but it seems clear to me that this should not happen too often", Schmid said. "It must be thoroughly investigated how this could have happened."
The alarm triggered the hijacking protocol at the Amsterdam airport, sending emergency services from various forces responding en masse. Air Europa later announced that it was a false alarm, saying that the pilot triggered it by accident. Minister Ferdinand Grapperhaus of Justice and Security praised the emergency services' quick response, calling the authorities "sharp and alert".