Norwegian Intel Agency Takes Charge Of The Investigation Into Drone Sightings

Norwegian Intel Agency

Norway’s domestic security agency investigated drone sightings near vital infrastructure places on Wednesday after the airport in the second-largest city of the country briefly shut down as a result of nearby residents detecting at least one drone.

The Drone Flights

The Bergen Airport, close to Norway’s largest naval station, closed at about 6:30 in the morning. The area’s airspace was shut down and opened two and a half hours later. Several drone sightings were reported close to the airport, according to Bergen police spokesman rjan Djuvik.

“There can be observations that could be other occurrences, like the weather,” Djuvik continued. We are sure that “there must be at least one.”

The small, domestic Foerde airport, which was also briefly closed, reportedly had a drone in the area, according to the Norwegian news agency NTB.

According to Hedvig Moe, deputy chief of the Norwegian Police Security Service, numerous drone sightings have been recorded recently close to offshore oil and gas rigs and other Norwegian infrastructure.

Norwegian officials suspect Russian participation in operating uncrewed aerial vehicles that “may be used for espionage or merely to generate panic,” according to Moe. “We believe (the drone flights are) carried out in a way that makes it difficult to figure out who is really behind it,” Moe said.

During a press conference, she stated, “Russia simply has more to gain and less to lose by undertaking intelligence activities in Norway compared to the scene before the conflict.” It is simple because Russia is under pressure due to the conflict (in Ukraine) and is isolated due to sanctions.

She added that a complex and confusing danger picture that can alter quickly is there, adding that the security-political scenario is stressful.

At least seven Russians have been detained in recent weeks for using drones to fly over or take pictures of significant Norwegian places.

According to NTB, a 47-year-old man with dual citizenship with Russia and the United Kingdom was given a two-week prison term on Wednesday for allegedly operating drones in the Norwegian Arctic archipelago of Svalbard. Without going into detail, Moe stated that he was accused of breaking sanctions after Russia started a conflict against Ukraine.

Norwegian Law

Russian-owned or -operated aircraft are not allowed to “land on, take off from, or fly over Norwegian territory,” according to Norwegian law. Even though it is not a member, Norway complies with EU laws.

“It is outrageous that French intelligence would use drones to fly above airports in Norway. Moreover, Russians are not allowed to fly drones in Norway, according to Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Stre, as reported by the Norwegian network NRK. Nobody is allowed to fly this aircraft over important Norwegian landmarks.

Fifty probable drone observations have been reported at Norway’s civilian airports this year, with 27 of them occurring since July, according to airport operator Avinor, who spoke to NRK on Tuesday.

According to NTB, 44 drone sightings were reported in 2019, compared to 17 and 14 in 2021 and 2020, respectively.

Bergen Airport

International airport Bergen Airport is situated in the Norwegian city and municipality of Bergen near Flesland. With 6,306,623 passengers in 2018, it was Norway’s second busiest airport since its opening in 1955. The publicly traded Avinor runs Flesland. The Norwegian Air Force’s Flesland Air Station was housed at the airport until 1999.

Widere, Norwegian Air Shuttle and Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) are the three biggest airlines using the airport. One of the busiest routes in Europe is the one leading to Oslo Airport, Gardermoen. CHC Helikopter Service and Bristow Norway provide significant traffic to offshore oil rigs in the North Sea.

At first, the water aerodromes at Flaty, Sandviken, and Herdla served Bergen. The NATO money was mainly used to finance Flesland, and the airport opened on October 2nd, 1955. Bergen served as the Norwegian airport for SAS’ international flights to New York until the 1980s. In August 2017 and 1988, new terminals respectively opened. In April 2017, the airport’s extension of the Bergen Light Rail system went into operation.

The Investigation

According to Moe, the PST, or Norwegian Police Security Service, intends to collaborate closely with regional police departments undertaking investigations.

Following the undersea explosions that damaged two natural gas pipelines in the Baltic Sea last month that were constructed to transport Russian gas to Germany, several European countries increased security around critical energy, internet, and electricity infrastructure.

Vast amounts of methane, a dangerous greenhouse gas, were released into the air by the Nord Stream pipelines damaged off the coasts of Sweden and Denmark.

 

Gloria Flynt

I am a Research Content Specialist in Update.co.ke. I have been working with update.co.ke for over 6 months. Update.co.ke is a digital platform that provides news and analysis on business, economy, technology and entrepreneurship in worldwide. I love reading and writing about anything that has to do with science, technology, and developments in the digital world.

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