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Government of Belize Releases Statement on Recent Spate of Illegal Airplane Landings

Belmopan. April 25, 2018. The Ministry of National Security along with its regional partners, including the United States, Mexico, and Central American neighbors rely on information from each other, and the available radar capabilities, to keep informed of any airplane tracking towards Belize and the region. Despite these efforts, there has been a spate of illegal airplane landings in the country as the aircraft manage to avoid detection from the available regional radars.

The local law enforcement response is based primarily on initial tracking information and intelligence provided by regional partners. In the case of illegally flown airplanes, that information changes by the time the plane enters Belize’s airspace. These aircraft actively avoid radar detection, therefore, Belizean authorities must rely principally on actual sightings and the most recent intelligence received locally, or from our regional partners, to try to anticipate the landing areas for the planes. Although law enforcement authorities try to cover multiple possible landing sites, the pilots also have several landing options and are therefore able to elude authorities.

The Ministry of National Security in conjunction with regional partners continues to seek ways to improve detection capabilities to prevent the illegal landings. In the meantime, the Ministry encourages the public to immediately report suspicious aircraft sightings to law enforcement agencies (Police, Belize Defence Force, Belize Coast Guard); doing so can aid in a timelier response by the authorities.

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