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An American combat drone landed at a civilian airport near the Polish border. “It’s the first time”

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The US military drone MQ-9 Reaper, controlled from Houston, Texas, landed on Tuesday at the civilian airport in Mosnov near Ostrava, in the eastern Czech Republic. Airport operations director Michael Holubec said it was a historic event. “This is the first time an unmanned aircraft of this size has landed at a civilian airport with basically, I would say, normal traffic,” he said.

For technical support, the Reaper was accompanied by a C-17 cargo plane, one of the largest in the Air Force USA. Both aircraft arrived in Mošnov from the Czech airbase Czaslav, where they are taking part in NATO exercises.

MQ-9 ReaperJaroslav Ozana/CTK/PAP

Mosnov Airport Operations Director Michael Holubec said it was a historic event. – This is the first time that an unmanned aircraft of this size has landed at a civilian airport in principle, I would say, in normal traffic. Of course, some measures had to be taken, we had to establish procedures in cooperation with air traffic control and the Civil Aviation Authority, Holubec said.

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C-17 cargo planeLubos Pavlicek/CTK/PAP

“This is truly pioneering work”

In his opinion, the drone behaves basically like any standard aircraft also when it comes to communication, but the current regulations still do not allow the joint operation of unmanned aerial vehicles and manned machines. ‘In that sense, this is truly pioneering work in this area,’ said Holubec.

Read also: NATO planes hit a record number of times. “The Russian Federation collects information”

Reaper was at the airport in Mosnov in less than an hour. At that time, several charter flights took off from the airport.

A machine of this type was already in Mosnov, but it was brought by a C-5 transport plane. It could be seen during the NATO Days, one of the largest presentations of aviation technology in Europe, which is organized every year. In 2023, Poland will be the special guest of NATO Days.

MQ-9 ReaperJaroslav Ozana/CTK/PAP

Aviation enthusiasts the Czech Republic they hope Tuesday’s arrival of the combat drone was a test, and in September the MQ-9 Reaper will be presented to the public in flight.

Main photo source: Jaroslav Ozana/CTK/PAP

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