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Swedish air traffic glitch a technical issue, not sabotage

Published fredag 27 maj 2016 kl 11.07
Infrastructure Minister Anna Johansson said no crime behind radar problem. Photo: Henrik Montgomery and Johan Nilsson / TT.
Infrastructure Minister Anna Johansson said no crime behind radar problem. Photo: Henrik Montgomery and Johan Nilsson / TT.

Infrastructure Minister Anna Johansson on Friday confirmed that a radar issue that affected flights in southern and central Sweden last week was not a result of sabotage.

On May 19, aviation authorities said a "communication problem" with a radar system forced them to ground departing planes at three major airports: Stockholm's Arlanda and Bromma airports as well as Landvetter airport in Gothenborg. The radar problem was fixed several hours later but the subsequent delays and disruptions lead some to worry if the nation's air traffic control system had been compromised.

Johansson said all information from the day shows that isn't the case.

"The important conclusion is that there was no infringement (on the air traffic control system) from the outside, so it wasn't sabotage and there are no connections with other events that occurred during the day," Johansson told news agency TT.

The radar breakdown followed two acts of sabotage against TV and radio broadcasting towers in southwest Sweden. Police still have no suspects for those crimes.

Johansson also went on to say that although the technical glitch disrupted air traffic throughout Sweden, it did not pose a safety risk to passengers or specific flights.

"We have also noted that flight safety was, at no time, threatened," she said. "To avoid potential flight risks, it was decided to shut down the airspace. There were too few open radio channels."

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