Finnish fighters to patrol Icelandic airspace

The news as reported by Aftenposten's online service. Image: Yle Uutisgrafiikka  Finland’s Defence Minister Carl Haglund believes that the government in Helsinki will decide the issue within a month.

The Norwegian press reports that Finnish fighter aircraft will be defending Iceland’s airspace under Norwegian command.

The Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten reported Friday that President Sauli Niinistö confirmed to officials in Oslo this week that details for Finnish participation in joint Nordic surveillance of Icelandic airspace are falling into place.

According to Defence Minister Carl Haglund, a final decision should be forthcoming within the next few weeks.

“Indeed, my impression is that the spirit around this is very positive, both within the government and within Parliament. There are certain conditions that are being clarified and on that basis a final decision will be made. But, yes, I hope and believe that this will be possible,” Haglund said on Friday.

Issues that have not yet been settled are connected to legal matters, funding and Swedish participation. Finland has coordinated closely with Sweden in preparations for the venture.

“An important condition is that we reach a common decision with Sweden,” Haglund added.

The plan calls for Finland and Sweden, which are not NATO members, to patrol Icelandic airspace under Norwegian command for a three-week period in 2014. If plans go ahead, Finland is to provide three Hornet fighter aircraft and 30-40 personnel. A Defence Ministry estimate of the costs Finland would incur ranges between 200,000 and 300,000 euros.

According to Haglund, Finland looks at the plan as a joint Nordic exercise. Finland and Sweden would patrol, but any actual action would be left to Norway, as a NATO member country.

During peacetime, NATO is responsible for the surveillance of Iceland’s airspace. In a conflict, responsibility for defense would be taken on by the USA.

Related items:

Nordics positive on Icelandic airspace patrols, Yle News

President Niinistö: No solo Finnish role in Iceland airspace surveillance, Yle News

For more stories from Yle News, click here

Yle News

For more news from Finland visit Yle News.

Do you want to report an error or a typo? Click here!

Leave a Reply

Note: By submitting your comments, you acknowledge that Radio Canada International has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Radio Canada International does not endorse any of the views posted. Your comments will be pre-moderated and published if they meet netiquette guidelines.
Netiquette »

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *