The Transportation Ministry has imposed new restrictions on air traffic controllers after a Haneda Airport controller caused a security panic last month by posting the flight details of Air Force One.
In line with the restrictions, air traffic controllers will be forbidden from posting job details on blogs, and will not be allowed to bring cameras and cell phones into the control tower.
The incident came to light amid a worldwide travel alert issued by the United States ahead of the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. The air traffic controller in Japan leaked classified Air Force One flight plans of U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Tokyo last year on his personal blog.
According to the transport ministry, the 56-year-old controller obtained the flight plans -- detailing scheduled routes, transit times, and flight altitude -- from computer screen shots he obtained while working at Haneda Airport.
The controller reportedly also disclosed data on the U.S. surveillance jet Global Hawk, which has flown above the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant several times since the March 11 tsunami triggered Japan's nuclear crisis.
The controller has told investigators that he "wanted his friends to see" what he obtained, the Sankei Shimbun newspaper said.
Meanwhile, a Japanese committee of air traffic controllers this week submitted an interim report reviewing laws and ordinances and compliance levels. The report suggested more intense training for air traffic controllers and increased surprise inspections in the future. The report also called for better confidentiality guidelines and regular roundtable meetings.© Japan Today