Diverted Air France Flight Lands in Maine

BANGOR, Maine (AP) -- An Air France jetliner en route from Paris to Boston was diverted Thursday to the U.S. state of Maine so U.S. authorities could check on a passenger, officials said.

Flight 332 was sent to Maine because one of its 169 passengers had the same name as someone on the U.S. government's no-fly list, said Ann Davis, spokeswoman for the Transportation Security Administration in Boston.

Air France and the Federal Aviation Administration were in regular contact with the flight, and no unusual behavior was reported, Davis said.

The flight was originally scheduled to land in Boston at 3:30 p.m. (1930 GMT) but touched down about an hour earlier at Bangor International Airport, Davis said. Federal agents were on hand to meet the flight when it landed.

U.S. law requires airlines to electronically transmit to the Homeland Security Department the passenger lists for flights bound for the United States within 15 minutes of takeoff. Officials at the Customs Service's National Targeting Center check the names against terrorist watch lists.

Bangor International Airport is a common stopping-off point for trans-Atlantic flights. It is the last major U.S. airport for jets headed across the Atlantic and the first for incoming flights.

Last September, a London-to-Washington flight carrying the former singer Cat Stevens was diverted to the Bangor airport.

Security officials later said a gap in the airline passenger-check system permitted Yusuf Islam to board the flight to the United States despite being on a no-fly list for suspected ties to terrorists - a claim he strongly denied.

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