Finland to rule next month on Iceland flight monitoring

Finland’s government will decide in November whether or not the country will participate in a joint Nordic scheme that will see the region help monitor Icelandic airspace.

The news came on Tuesday (23 October) via Carl Huglund, the Finnish minister of defence. He told the media that prior to a decision by both the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Defence, the programme’s “impediments and command structures” will be assessed.

The news follows a debate in Finnish parliament last week in which lawmakers weighed the pros and cons of monitoring only Iceland’s flights or whether the country should also take part in a similar effort for international airspace. Under international scheme, Finnish resources would be used to help photograph unidentified aircraft in the region.

Haglund argued that his country should participate in the international effort because it would be beneficial to Finland’s Defence Forces, whose Hornet jet fighters would be used to approach aircraft with no flight plans on file.

Meanwhile, Swedish premier Fredrik Reinfeldt said that Sweden is also still undecided on the Icelandic proposition. However, he said that at least one Nordic nation should take part in the effort, despite it being overseen by NATO.