Ukraine Live Day 299: Three Airports Closed Due To ‘Security Threat’

December 14, 2014
Flights cancelled across Ukraine due to terrorism threat.

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Dnepropetrovsk Airport Closed Until December 15 ‘Due to Security Concerns’; Kharkov, Zaporozhye Also Closed

The air space over Dnepropetrovsk is closed until December 15 due to threat of a terrorist attack, Ukrainska Pravda reported, citing a source in the airport administration (translation by The Interpreter):

[Notice to Airmen] came into the Dnepropetrovsk airport (information or
notice disseminated urgently on changes in the rules for handling and
securing flights and in air navigation information) in which the closure
to flights for 2 days, until December 15, was indicated.

The NOTAM said that the Dnepropetrovsk air space was closed “due to
security concerns,” implying it was the threat of a terrorist attack,
said Ukrainska Pravda.

Kharkov and Zaporozhye airports were also closed last night, according to a report yesterday, December 12.

at the National Security and Defense Council (NSDC), officials said
they had no information about why Gosaviasluzhba, the State Air Service,
was closing the airports in the three cities. At a briefing, spokesman
Andrey Lysenko said the reasons were not known, and that the decision
was up to the company managing the air traffic.

Denis Antonyuk,
head of the State Aviation Service, said at first it was not certain how
long the airports would remain close as assurances of safety had to be
obtained, but then later it was announced that the airports will reopen
on Monday, December 15, reported.

TSN reported that passengers were being provided free buses to Kiev where they would catch other flights.

Airports in Odessa, Lvov and Kiev were operating normally.

— Catherine A. Fitzpatrick

Russian Aircraft Nearly Collides With Passenger Plane Near Swedish Airspace

By now reports of Russian jets flying too close to airspace belonging to NATO or non-aligned countries are becoming routine. But so too are reports about the consequences of these actions. Aggressive Russian behavior has repeatedly endangered civilian lives, to say nothing of the fact that each one of these actions could accidentally trigger a military confrontation.

Today Sweden’s Minister of Defence is reporting that a Russian military aircraft nearly collided with a civilian airliner near Swedish airspace. The Local, a Swedish newspaper, reports that the plane was “invisible,” likely meaning it had switched off its transponder, and was confirmed by Swedish military pilots to be a Russian jet:

A Danish military spokesman told DN that at least one Russian military jet was seen flying in the airspace between the Danish island of Bornholm and the southern Swedish city of Malmö on Friday at around the same time that a commercial flight nearly collided with an unidentified military aircraft…

Upon discovery of foreign plane over Östersjön both the Swedish and Danish armed forces dispatched combat planes to identify it.

“Suddenly the military plane took a sharp turn and the way I understood it is that there was about a minute from being a collision course with a passenger plane,” Daniel Josefsson, who works in combat management at the combat control centre in Luleå, told the newspaper.

After becoming aware of the foreign plane the military air traffic control centre gave a frantic message to their counterparts in civilian air traffic control.

“Our staff gave them a clear recommendation – ‘do something, turn away’ – the civil traffic controller then did that,” added Micael Bydén to TT.

James Miller