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Commercial pilots' radio traffic signal invaded by FM rock station

Stations near Singapore banned for scrambling radio chatter with Top 40 songs
Singapore flights 2011 09 20Enlarge
A Singapore Airlines Airbus A380 arrives at Chek Lap Kok airport in Hong Kong in 2009. (MIKE CLARKE/AFP/Getty Images)

Finally, proof emerges that Top 40 radio is a threat to life and limb.

Indonesian authorities have shut down 10 radio stations around Batam, an industrial island off Singapore's coast, according to the Jakarta Post.

Their offense: broadcasting signals, including "Adult Contemporary" playlists, that bled into pilots' dedicated feed with air-traffic controllers on the ground.

You know, those guys in the towers that ensure planes don't clip each other in the sky or land on a busy supermarket. Singapore's Changi Airport is one of the region's busiest hubs with 3.7 million passenger logged in just one month.

Authorities blame faulty equipment for the "leakage of frequency" that could potentially override crucial traffic controller instructions with Katy Perry's "Last Friday Night." That's just one of the jams included on the "Weekly Hot 20" playlist of KEI 102.3 FM, one of the more prominent stations closed down.

"If this continues unchecked, we fear that flight disruptions in Singapore and Batam could cause casualties," said an Indonesian communicatons official to the Jakarta Post.