After Near-disaster at B-G, Cabinet Goes to War on Pirate Radio Stations

The government has declared war on pirate radio stations following a near disaster at Ben-Gurion International Airport: The cabinet yesterday charged a team of ministers, headed by Transportation Minister Shaul Mofaz, with figuring out how to combat pirate radio transmissions that disrupt the air traffic communications and endanger takeoffs and landings.

Attorney General Menachem Mazuz also called an urgent meeting on this matter for tomorrow.

A confidential internal document prepared by a public committee on civil aviation safety, which was obtained by Haaretz this weekend, reveals that two aircraft carrying a total of 380 passengers and crew could have collided on landing this February if there had been a disruption due to pirate radio broadcasts.

"The accident was avoided by a warning issued from the control tower at the last minute," the document stated. "Had communications been disrupted in the way that they are on an almost daily basis, an accident would have been unavoidable," killing at least 380 people.

The ministerial panel, which will also include the communications, justice and public security ministers, is to make recommendations for immediate action. It will be assisted by the Prime Minister's Office.