It has been reported today that the German government plane "Konrad Adenauer", operated by the Luftwaffe, had a total loss of radio connection and diverted to Köln.

That made me think the following:

  1. It was extremely fortunate that the problem did not occur somewhere over the Atlantic in the middle of the night.
  2. How on Earth did they communicate their intend to land to the airport?

So, assuming it was indeed a complete loss of radio communications, how does a large plane like this indicate it has to land on an airport were it is not scheduled to land? Has that necessarily involved some jetfighters that communicate 'manually' (literally)? Is there an established protocol, e.g., a specific flight pattern?

1 http://www.spiegel.de/politik/deutschland/angela-merkel-verpasst-g20-start-flugabbruch-wegen-komplett-ausfall-des-funksystems-a-1241166.html

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    $\begingroup$ The Konrad Adenauer did not have a complete loss of communications, the regular radio comms were down but they did still have a satellite link for voice communication. They diverted to Köln because the pilots feared other systems could be down as well making a landing at Schiphol too risky. source $\endgroup$ – MadMarky Nov 30 '18 at 13:10
  • $\begingroup$ related: aviation.stackexchange.com/questions/3794/… $\endgroup$ – Federico Nov 30 '18 at 13:17