Air traffic grounded in northern Sweden

All air traffic in northern Sweden was canceled on Thursday night due to a radio communications problem.

Some flights resumed late in the evening, but routes north of Umeå were still at a standstill at midnight, according to Swedish Airports and Air Navigation Service (LFV) spokesperson Anders Stålhammar.

“Eight SAS flights with 800 to 900 passengers are affected by this, but we are hopeful that most flights will resume during the night,” said SAS spokesperson Linda Sjödin to news agency TT around 10 o’clock Thursday evening.

“When contact with a plane in the air is broken, the plan continues to its final destination and lands. Thereafter no new planes are sent up until the problem can be fixed. At this point we’ve been able to resume two take-offs per hour,” she added.

By taking a more easterly route between Stockholm and destinations on Sweden’s northern coast, planes were able to make contact with Finnish air traffic controllers during their flights.

A technical problem with the connection to LFV’s control station in Stockholm lead to the cancellation of the flights.

The problem caused the Stockholm control center to lose contact with plans in northern Sweden.

All scheduled flights to the north from Stockholm’s Arlanda airport were canceled and planes which were already in the air continued to their destinations.

“We don’t know what caused the problem. We’re working as hard as we can to get everything fixed by the morning,” said Stålhammar.