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Home NATIONALAirspace violation by US C-17 aircraft confirmed
Wed, 21 Oct, 2015 12:03:35 AM
US apologises for violation
FTimes – STT Report, Oct 21
A US military C-17 transport aircraft. File Photo – AFP / Lehtikuva.
The Border Guard on Tuesday confirmed the August 23 violation of Finnish air space by two American C-17 Air Force transport aircraft.
At the end of preliminary investigations, the Border Guard said the planes went as far as 20 kilometres into Finnish airspace. 
The planes, however, did not fly over the Åland Islands demilitarised zone.
Meanwhile, the United States on Tuesday apologised for the violation of Finnish air space by its aircraft.
The US embassy to Helsinki in a statement also announced that the US greatly appreciates strong bilateral cooperation with Finland.
Finnish Foreign Minister Timo Soini said that the ministry has been in contact with the US regarding the air space violation.
According to him, this is the normal procedure, in which the case is first detected and investigated, and only afterwards does the ministry contact the other country for clarification.
He said an apology and explanation were expected of the US, and the ministry obtained both. Soini did not open up any further into the matter.
The C-17 aircraft flew from the east to the west at around 5.00 pm on August 23 and the airspace violation lasted for slightly over 15 minutes.
The transport planes were on flights from Estonia to North America.
Their flight plans followed an international flight path, which runs through Finnish territory, over the sea between Hanko and the Åland Islands.
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