22:33 GMT +318 March 2019
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    Lancair 320

    Norwegian Pilot Draws 'Eff You' Sign in Sky to Protest Congestion Charge

    CC BY-SA 3.0 / FlugKerl2 / Lancair 320
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    Protests against extra charges for drivers in Norway have reached new heights as a disgruntled pilot drew a symbolic middle finger in the air to express his disapproval.

    Norwegian amateur aviator Klaus Nødland chose to demonstrate his resistance to the projected congestion charges by giving them the finger, national broadcaster NRK reported.

    While flying over the Rogaland County, Nødland shaped his flight track in the form of a hand showing the middle finger. According to Nødland, the exploit took him approximately 25 minutes to accomplish.

    "I have great sympathy for all who protest the new congestion charges. Although I do not have small children and don't belong to those hit hardest, the system is unjust," the exasperated owner of a Lancair 320 explained.

    Nødland received his pilot certificate back in 1980 and has been taking to the skies above Norway ever since; he's also made trips to Sweden and Germany.

    Nødland's protest received considerable attention in the Norwegian social media, with some users commenting on "the world's most apt surname for a pilot" ('Nødlandning' means "emergency landing" in Norwegian), while others inquired what finger Nødland was showing.

    "Why, it's the middle finger. The thumb is back, so you do not see it. There should be four fingers visible, with the middle finger pointing up," the pilot explained.

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    Sigurd Sjursen, the leader of the Facebook group protesting congestion charges in Sandnes and Stavanger, which currently has over 55,000 users, said the flight stunt did indeed bolster the common cause.

    "This is cool, and it shows that there is commitment to this cause," Sjursen said.

    The congestion charges, which will come into effect on October 1, when 38 new booths will open, are part of the so-called Urban Environment Package, whose aim is to ensure zero growth in passenger car traffic, while ensuring better road accessibility and putting the emphasis on public transport, cycling and walking. For private cars, the charge will vary between NOK 44 ($5) and NOK 22 ($2.5), depending on rush hour.

    According to a recent survey by NRK and the newspaper Stavanger Aftenblad about 70 percent of the affected municipalities are against the congestion charges. In recent weeks, a series of demonstrations were held to protest the measure.

    congestions, taxes, Scandinavia, Norway
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