Man Arrested for Impersonating ATC at Buenos Aires Airport

Dec 3, 2018

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

On Monday, Nov. 11, a man was arrested for impersonating Air Traffic Control at Buenos Aires Jorge Newbery Airport (AEP) and sending false messages to a pilot.

The pilot, who was set to fly Aerolíneas Argentinas flight AR-1694, noticed something was off when he was issued a permit for take-off toward Bariloche on runway 13 from the wrong vector data. He was able to inform the real air traffic controller, who then contacted the police. The impersonator, a 60-year-old who had previously acquired an amateur radio license as a private pilot, was caught red-handed nearby the airport. The incident caused an airport-wide delay of 30 minutes, and the perpetrator now faces up to eight years in prison.

Argentine Air Navigation Company, EANA, have since claimed to have “tightened up” security measures at the airport. For the time being, police intend to keep how the impersonator was able to interfere with airport radio frequencies under wraps due to the proximity of the 2018 G20 Summit. However, according to TPG editor-at-large Zachary Honig, interfering with ATC and pilot communication via radio is easier than you would think. “Pilots are able to transmit on the same frequencies as Air Traffic Control, since the two need to communicate. And you don’t need to be on a plane to broadcast — brand-new handheld radios are widely available for a couple hundred bucks,” Honig says. “Even planes from the 50s have compatible radios, so the necessary equipment is easier to come by than you might expect.”

To learn more about how ATC handles emergencies, click here.

Featured image by EITAN ABRAMOVICH/AFP/Getty Images.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points


CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Plus earn up to $50 in statement credits towards grocery store purchases within your first year of account opening.
  • Earn 2X points on dining including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel. Plus, earn 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories.
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for a minimum of one year with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
  • Get up to $60 back on an eligible Peloton Digital or All-Access Membership through 12/31/2021, and get full access to their workout library through the Peloton app, including cardio, running, strength, yoga, and more. Take classes using a phone, tablet, or TV. No fitness equipment is required.
Regular APR
15.99%-22.99% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.