The Russian authorities blocked the airspace over the metropolis of Saint Petersburg on Tuesday morning. The city administration announced this via its channels on social networks. Accordingly, planes were not allowed to land or take off at Pulkovo Airport. Flight delays of up to twelve hours have been announced. The city administration initially did not give any further details.
The local newspaper "Fontanka" reported that the Russian Ministry of Defense had sent information to the airport that an unidentified object had been sighted 160 to 200 kilometers from Saint Petersburg. The Tass news agency reported, citing a source, that the airspace within a radius of 200 kilometers around Pulkowo had been blocked at all altitudes.
Earlier, the Telegram channel "112" reported that the airport had been closed due to an unidentified flying object. This looks like "a big drone". The plan entitled "Carpet" was rolled out on the territory of the airport. This plan stipulates that all aircraft, with the exception of military and rescue aircraft, have to leave the relevant airspace.
The Telegram channel "Baza" reported that fighter jets were in the air. According to channel "112", two Su-35 and MiG-31 fighters operated in the airspace of Saint Petersburg. Readers of the Saint Petersburg newspaper "Fontanka" reported that their engines can be heard even in the city: "It sounds like a parade," one reader described the situation.
At 12 noon Moscow time, the Telegram channels "Baza" and "112" and the Ria Novosti news agency, citing several sources, reported that the "Carpet" plan was stopped and the skies over Saint-Petersburg began to open. The Russian Ministry of Defense justified the closure of the airspace with an exercise.
Data from the "Flightradar24" service showed in the morning that the airspace of Saint Petersburg was flown around for several hours in a large radius.
Russian airline Aeroflot canceled all flights scheduled to take off from Saint Petersburg before 4 p.m. on February 28. According to the airport, several flights traveling from Moscow to Saint Petersburg had to turn back.
This article will be continuously updated.