14:00 29 July 2012
An RAF fighter jet, whose main task is to defend the Olympics against terrorist attacks, was put to use for the first time today. The jet, codenamed Typhoon, scrambled to intercept a passenger plane after air traffic controllers in London lost contact with a commercial airliner with hundreds of tourists on it. The jet took off shortly before 11:30 AM from the RAF Northolt in north west London. A second RAF warplane was also kept on standby on the runway.
The commercial airliner in question is a Thomas Cook flight traveling from Tunisia to Glasgow. The plane had reportedly lost contact with aviation authorities as it was flying over the French coastline, heading north.
A few seconds after the Typhoon had left the runway, however, contact with the airliner was restored.
The security alert, however, put the Olympics terrorist security under the spotlight and tested the speed at which they can respond to an emergency.
According to an aviation source, there is ‘a lot at stake’ for the RAF. “Their fingers are light on the trigger at the moment, and understandably so.”
Aside from the RAF fighter plan deployed earlier, there are three others at the ready at RAF Northolt. Their main instruction is to intercept rogue aircraft intended to cause carnage during the London Olympics.
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