Air controller posts Obama flight info

Sept. 12, 2011 at 1:24 PM
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TOKYO, Sept. 12 (UPI) -- An air traffic controller at Tokyo's Haneda Airport posted in his blog secret flight plans for U.S. President Obama's November trip to Japan, officials said.

The leak, which a Japanese Defense Ministry official called "terrible," may require Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda to apologize to Obama when the world leaders meet in New York later this month, Yomiuri Shimbun reported Monday.

Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Ministry is investigating the posting of 12 images by the air traffic controller onto his blog, including images believed taken in the airport's control room and radar room, where photographing surroundings is banned. Yomiuri Shimbun did not identify the controller.

The ministry said two images showed computer screens displaying flight plans. A government source said an aircraft identification number in one image indicated the flight plan was for Obama's flight to Japan from Seoul Nov. 12 for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum in Yokohama.

The ministry said the air traffic controller told investigators he took pictures of his workplace and computers and posted the photos to his blog.

"I wanted to show the photos to my friends and acquaintances," the worker said.

Another image was a flight plan for a U.S. warplane that occasionally has flown over the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant to gather data since the March 11 earthquake and tsunami triggered a nuclear crisis, the newspaper reported.

Three images of radar screens showing other flight routes also were posted to the blog, but have been removed, the ministry said.

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