Journalist & Broadcaster. Click ON AIR IMAGE

Journalist & Broadcaster. Click ON AIR IMAGE
Aviation Security & Ops., Travel & Holiday Expert. Commentator on Business & the City, Sports, Golf, Cycling, Ice Hockey, LIVE ISDN Contributions , isdn ++44 1733 345020 G722 & ATX DUAL CODECS SKYPE: JULIAN.BRAY.UK Landline Tel: 01733 345581

Sunday, 14 September 2014

David Cameron adopts "I'll hold your coat attitude to I.S. outrages..." but no ransom and no recall of Parliament.

Time to push the button or adopt an
 "I'll hold your coat" attitude?

Why not pay a ransom and save lives? It's a fair question and some Governments will do so, albeit discreetly, but it's long been UK Government policy not to pay a ransom, no matter how painful or final the threatened outcome may be.  Writes Julian Bray.

The shocking videos emerging overnight thought to show the beheading of Aid Worker  David Haines, 44,  this latest barbaric act followed the earlier beheadings of two American journalists.  David Haines, a family man only seeking to help those less fortunate in foreign lands, and not part of any conflict.

Prime Minister David Cameron returned to London overnight to host a Sunday morning meeting of the 'Cobra' committee.  The constitution of a COBR (Cabinet Office Briefing Room)  meeting  is usually chaired by the Prime Minister or another senior minister, with other key ministers as appropriate, and representatives of relevant external organizations.

COBR meetings are generally held in one of the Cabinet Office buildings in Whitehall, London. Each is held in a secure room fitted with video and audio links able to display all intelligence information relevant to the situation under discussion.

Afterwards in a brief statement, Cameron expressed his condolences but still will not recall Parliament, he will not commit to troops on the ground, and continues to be at odds with many highly respected former Heads of our Armed Forces. You may recall  the Defence Secretary was recently slapped down by Mr Cameron. No air strikes immediately turned into there will be air strikes.

The strategy emerging seems to be an 'I'm in charge' attitude by the Coalition Prime Minister and that  we will work with others, the classic "I'll hold your coat attitude" to I.S. outrages. Mr Cameron only touched on the fact that the beheadings were carried out by a British citizen.

Clearly the elephant in the room, the 'threat' is some say already within our borders. A key component is that of the payment of a ransom. An Italian hostage was recently released, it was rumoured that a £5 million ransom was paid 'under the counter' to secure the release of the Italian national.    

The argument goes that any ransom paid over immediately funds an escalation of the terrorist cause, more bombs, outrages, killings, funding drugs and even 21st Century slave trading. The ransom money finds its way back to arms dealers, gun runners and so on.

Some years back, just before the despot Idi Amin was in power in Uganda, I  spent a few years in the country, immediately after Independence, my task to create a new Uganda company from an old established East African organsation besed in neighbouring Kenya. I was called in by the Foreign & Commonwealth Office to see if I could assist with the negotiations over the release of a Mr Hills.

The options were explained over tea and biscuits, and early on in the discussion, the question of a ransom or bounty came up. The position was clear. No money would change hands. Uganda as a nation even under Amin, though would benefit from activities promoted by the British Council..... even new Libraries for upcountry Uganda!  

But rolling the years on and dealing with the current ISIS situation, and what may be happening in the Ukraine, and elsewhere; the conflict rule book seems to have been thrown out.

There are no Rules of Engagement, the Geneva Convention ignored, and no respecting the position of non-combatents such as aid workers, journalists, photograhers, cameramen and anyone and anything (such as the ill fated Malaysian airlines MH17) venturing intgon conflict zones.

Its all been turned upside down. Nothing can be relied upon and unlike previous recent conflicts the immediate accessibility of  social media means that often the first we hear of any developments is not through normal TV, radio and Press news channels but via Twitter, Facebook and other immediate elements of the internet driven social media... 

We live in dangerous, violent, uncertain but interesting times... trouble is we also need strong credible politics and politicians. All of which is from my own soundings currently in very short supply. We might not be near pushing the 'WAR' button, but clearly only a cigarette paper away from serious international conflict generated by some very well financed barbaric opponents...  

Mr Cameron may well be softening us up for something bigger or is the Scotland Independence vote and a General Election less than a year away, clouding his old Etonian style thinking?

JULIAN BRAY [ 01733 345581 ], Journalist, Broadcaster, Aviation Security &Operations, Travel / Cruise Industry Expert, Writer and Coach EQUITY, NUJ, Broadcast ISDN changed number 01733 345020) SKYPE: JULIAN.BRAY.UK e&oe A later updated version is always on the Website

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

MH17 Interim report released - 3 other commercial aircraft in same ATC sector...

Julian Bray writes: You have to hand it to the Dutch investigation team, the Interim report on the Malaysia airlines MH17 flight has been published, it is very clear, and well written with a minimum of jargon. The full report will appear in a years time and sent out for consultation.

The report has been prepared without visiting the debris field as it is still right in the centre of a conflict zone, and as television news shows much of the vital evidence is still lying out in the open and now largely degraded.

The interim report is a well constructed 34 page document which even at this stage has managed to come up with a cogent set of interim findings effectively giving the Boeing 777-200 extended range aircraft and engine makers Rolls-Royce, a clean bill of health, along with the operator and the crew.

The voice data recorders were recovered and sent to the UK (Farnborough) for examination and nothing appears to be out of the ordinary until 13:20 hrs when the aircraft was 'downed by high energy objects from outside.' Make no mistake the aircraft suffered an in-flight break up. There was no 'probability' about it, as unfortunately repeatedly suggested by one major television news network all day yesterday.

Within 2 hours of the report being released, I demonstrated on television news the effects of an outside impact by simply stabbing a piece of card with a sharply pointed pen. The paper tears at the point of impact, take the surrounding material with it - in the same direction of travel of the impact.

This simple test shows the ripped paper points were consistent with the debris field photographs bending metal back proving beyond any doubt the impact was from outside to the inside thus degrading the structure of the aircraft and triggering the in-flight break up.

This would be consistent with a proximity surface to air missile exploding and sending a barrage of shrapnel through the aircraft skin forcing the ripped metal plates to rip, split and cave inwards. The report makes no mention of missiles and does not seek to apportion blame and indeed the final report will be put out for consultation to several countries including the Russian Federation and Ukraine.

So where do we go from here?

Hopefully the investigation team will get access to the debris field, for a physical reconstruction, but they will also concentrate on Air Traffic Control surveillance- there were 3 other commercial aircraft in the same ATC sector -  so their data sets will also be examined. Data from the Cockpit Flight Recorder, and the Flight Data Recorder will be examined in detail. Both units were in reasonable condition with some surface and outside damage but the protected data blocks unharmed by the trauma. Radio communications - particularly background sounds and effects may provide additional clues. 

The in-flight break up sequence will be reconstructed  establish the progression of the inbound high energy objects, impact and velocity ratios also calculated. There will also be detailed assessment of the Operator and state of occurrence management of flight safety systems inside or over a conflict zone.  

The Dutch team will also under the heading 'everything else' invite suggestions for areas of examination. Simply nothing is off the table.

9/11 Julian Bray speaking on BBC Radio.

JULIAN BRAY [ 01733 345581 ], Journalist, Broadcaster, Aviation Security &Operations, Travel / Cruise Industry Expert, Writer and Coach EQUITY, NUJ, (Broadcast ISDN changed number 01733 345020) SKYPE: JULIAN.BRAY.UK e&oe A later updated version is always on the Website

Monday, 8 September 2014


Monday PM London Luton Airport Terminal evacuated, suspect package found in security search area.. Bomb disposal unit on site.


Outbound flights cancelled Inbound flights diverted.

Major Incident Plan enacted. Passengers advised to contact airlines and not to arrive at Airport.

All roads surrounding Luton Airport  have been closed. Passengers suggest package was spotted by x-ray operator  passing accompanied baggage through machine. Said to have called over Supervisor.

Widespread traffic disruption in the locality and extending to the motorway network.  "Several ambulances seen arriving, but this could be a precautionary measure"

JULIAN BRAY [ 01733 345581 ], Journalist, Broadcaster, Aviation Security &Operations, Travel / Cruise Industry Expert, Writer and Coach EQUITY, NUJ, Broadcast ISDN changed number 01733 345020) SKYPE: JULIAN.BRAY.UK e&oe A later updated version is always on the Website

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Sir Richard Branson plays a blinder and seemingly denies BA extra landing slots at Heathrow!

Not so red-faced: Sir Richard Branson. At a stroke he's landbanked a whole new series of Heathow slots by dumping the Little Red start up.

Sir Richard Branson has really played a 'blinder' with the news that VIRGIN is set to close its domestic UK airline just 18 months after launch with promises to take on British Airways and cut fares.   At a stroke Virgin has acquired a whole series of extra highly prized slots at Heathrow for seemingly little outlay!  ( slot = one take off, one landing)

Little Red began with flights from Heathrow to three cities: Manchester, Edinburgh and Aberdeen, The aim was to supply feeder flights for Virgin’s long-haul operations. The launch was said to be a response to the takeover of the regional carrier BMI by BA’s owner, IAG, which Branson had fiercely opposed, however commentators have overlooked the simple fact that highly prized virtually impossible to obtain Heathrow slots will now, we understand, revert to Virgin Group putting them well beyond the reach of say British Airways!

JULIAN BRAY [ 01733 345581 ], Journalist, Broadcaster, Aviation Security &Operations, Travel / Cruise Industry Expert, Writer and Coach EQUITY, NUJ, (Broadcast ISDN changed number 01733 345020) SKYPE: JULIAN.BRAY.UK e&oe A later updated version is always on the Website

Saturday, 6 September 2014


Flights to and from the UK and Italy were disrupted today due to strike action by Italian air traffic controllers.

The four-hour stoppage has led to Ryanair cancelling 96 flights to and from Italy, including four return services involving flights to and from the UK. EasyJet removed some up sixty flights, twenty of these affecting services in and out of the UK. The strile also affected some long haul flights using Italian air space.

The strike was effective from 11.30hrs to 15.30hrs UK time but will have a knock on effect lasting up to 3 days says an insider.

Aviation Expert  Julian Bray confirmed that  if any compensation for flight delay is available, frustrated passengers should quote European Union regulation  EU 261/2004 which is also the regulation to claim compensation directly from airlines for any lengthy delays going back to 2008!  

If you have a flight delay because of a strike, your airline has an obligation to offer you assistance if the delay is expected to go beyond a certain point. You could be entitled to food, drink and overnight accommodation, if required. The advice is always to contact your airline before travelling to the airport to check if your flight has been affected."

Ryanair cancellations include Manchester-Bologna, Stansted-Ancona, Stansted-Trieste and Liverpool-Pisa.  The airline warned that further delays and cancellations were likely and advised passengers to check the status of their flight.

EasyJet reported "We are doing everything possible to minimise the impact to our customers and we are offering anyone flying to and from Italy during those times the opportunity to transfer their flight free of charge to another day to avoid the strike. They should go to to make changes to their flights."

British Airways flights are also affected. A BA spokeswoman said: "We are doing all we can to minimise disruption to customers affected by the threatened strike.

"We have re-timed a number of flights and are using larger aircraft where possible to help more customers, from cancelled flights, fly to where they need to be.

"We are advising customers flying to and from Italy to keep checking the very latest information on our website."

JULIAN BRAY [ 01733 345581 ISDN 01733 345020], Journalist, Broadcaster, Aviation Security &Operations, Travel / Cruise Industry Expert, Writer and Coach EQUITY, NUJ, Broadcast ISDN changed number 01733 345020) SKYPE: JULIAN.BRAY.UK e&oe A later updated version is always on the Website

Friday, 5 September 2014

“credible intelligence” reports given to states in the region indicated the Masked Men Brigade “is plotting to use the planes in attacks on a Maghreb state” on the 9/11 anniversary.

Over the last few weeks Islamist militias in Libya took control of 'nearly a dozen commercial jetliners' several intelligence agencies warn these aircraft could be used in terrorist attacks across North Africa and possibly parts of Europe said to include Spain, Portugal, France and Italy

Intelligence reports were circulated within the U.S. government and included a warning that one or more aircraft could be the spearhead for an attack later this month, possibly  marking the anniversary of 9/11 terrorist attacks

The officials said U.S. intelligence agencies have not confirmed the aircraft theft following the takeover of Tripoli International Airport in late August, and are attempting to locate all aircraft owned by two Libyan state-owned airline companies, as security in the country continued to deteriorate amid fighting between Islamists and anti-Islamist militias.

Video surfaced on Sunday showing armed fighters from the Islamist militia group Libyan Dawn partying inside a captured U.S. diplomatic compound in Tripoli. The footage showed one fighter diving into a pool from a second-story balcony at the facility.

Tripoli airport and at least seven aircraft were reported damaged during fighting that began in July. Photos of the airport in the aftermath showed a number of damaged aircraft. The airport has been closed since mid-July.

The state-owned Libyan Airlines fleet until this summer included 14 passenger and cargo jetliners, including seven Airbus 320s, one Airbus 330, two French ATR-42 turboprop aircraft, and four Bombardier CJR-900s. Libyan state-owned Afriqiyah Airways fleet is made up of 13 aircraft, including three Airbus 319s, seven Airbus 320s, two Airbus 330s, and one Airbus 340.

The aircraft were reportedly taken in late August following the takeover of Tripoli International Airport, located about 20 miles south of the capital, by Libyan Dawn.

Al Jazeera television reported in late August that western intelligence reports had warned of terror threats to the region from 11 stolen commercial jets.

In response, Tunisia stopped flights from other Libyan airports at Tripoli, Sirte, and Misrata over concerns that jets from those airports could be on suicide missions. Egypt’s government also halted flights to and from Libya.

Military forces in North Africa, including those from Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, and Egypt have been placed on heightened alert as a result of intelligence warning of the stolen aircraft.

Egyptian military jets reportedly have conducted strikes inside Libya against Libyan Dawn positions recently, and U.S. officials said there are signs a larger Egyptian military incursion is being planned.
Egyptian President Abdel-Fatah al-Sisi was quoted as denying Egyptian air strikes into Libya have taken place but suggested that military action is being considered.

Secretary of State John Kerry last week told his Egyptian counterpart that the United States would speed up the delivery of Apache attack helicopters, although it is not clear the Apaches would be used in any Libyan operations.

Egypt’s military-backed government appears to be seeking a more significant role in regional security after the Obama administration helped engineer the ouster of Libyan strongman Moammar Qaddafi in 2011. Since then, the Obama  administration, through its announced policy of “leading from behind,” has stood by while Libya gradually has spiraled into chaos.

The Libyan government announced Sunday that it no longer controlled the capital of Tripoli.
“We announce that the majority of the ministries, institutions, and associations in the capital Tripoli are no longer under its control,” a government statement said.

Libya’s parliament in August declared both Ansar al Sharia and Libyan Dawn as terrorist organizations working to overthrow the government.

Ansar al Sharia, which is based in Benghazi, recently publicized on social media that it has obtained large numbers of more sophisticated weapons, including SA-6 surface-to-air missiles, anti-aircraft guns, rocket-propelled grenades, shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles, assault rifles, and armored vehicles. The group is closely aligned with al Qaeda-linked rebels in Syria.

Abderrahmane Mekkaoui, a Moroccan military expert, told Al Jazeera television, which first reported the airline theft(9Aug. 21), the alert regarding the stolen jetliners was preventive and covers the region from Cairo to Lagos Nigeria.

Mekkaoui said the jets are being held by the Libyan group called Masked Men Brigade, which was designated as a foreign terrorist organization by the State Department in December.
The Masked Men Brigade is linked to al Qaeda and Ansar al Sharia—the group behind the Benghazi terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2012.

Until the Libya Dawn takeover of the airport, announced Aug. 24, two other militia groups, known as Al Qaqa and Al Sawa controlled the airport and all aircraft belonging to Libyan Airlines and Afriqiyah Airways.

Mekkaoui said “credible intelligence” reports given to states in the region indicated the Masked Men Brigade “is plotting to use the planes in attacks on a Maghreb state” on the 9/11 anniversary.
Counterterrorism expert Sebastian Gorka said that if the theft is confirmed, the stolen aircraft could be used in at least two ways.

“The first would be how commercial airliners were used on Sept. 11, 2001, literally turning an innocent mode of mass transit into a super-high precision guided missile of immense potency,” said Gorka, who holds the Maj. Gen. Charles Horner chair at Marine Corps University in Quantico, Va.
“The second tactic could be to use the airframe with its civilian markings as a tool of deception to insert a full payload of armed terrorists into a locale that otherwise is always open to commercial carriers,” he said.

Michael Rubin, a counterterrorism specialist with the American Enterprise Institute, said commercial jetliners in the hands of terrorists could be formidable weapons.

“Who needs ballistic missiles when you have passenger planes? Even empty, but loaded up with fuel they can be as devastating,” Rubin said.

“Each plane could, if deployed by terrorists to maximum devastating effect, represent 1,000 civilian casualties.”

Among the potential targets are urban areas and economic targets, like Saudi Arabia’s oil fields.
“Anyone who has ever flown over Saudi Arabia at night can see refineries like Yanbu lit up like Christmas trees against the blackness of the desert,” Rubin said. “One Saudi security officer once told me that they would only have about 90 seconds to shoot down a hijacked plane from the time it left international airspace to impact in one of the region’s most important refineries.”

Rubin said in 2003 a Boeing 727 went missing in Africa fueling concerns about a terror attack on the U.S. consulate in Karachi.

“What is striking is that more than a decade later, the United States hasn’t taken the need to safeguard what are effectively giant guided missiles seriously,” he said.

A former Libyan general, Khalifa Haftar, has been leading anti-Islamist forces. His group has access to Libyan air force MiG jets that have conducted strikes on Libyan Dawn positions in recent days. Haftar also has conducted military raids in Benghazi.

The United Nations Security Council on Aug. 27 announced plans for new sanctions on Libyan militias and terrorists. In a resolution the U.N. warned of the “growing presence of al Qaeda-linked terrorist groups and individuals operating in Libya.”


JULIAN BRAY [ 01733 345581 ], Journalist, Broadcaster, Aviation Security &Operations, Travel / Cruise Industry Expert, Writer and Coach EQUITY, NUJ, Broadcast ISDN changed number 01733 345020) SKYPE: JULIAN.BRAY.UK e&oe A later updated version is always on the Website

YOU WANT WI-FI WITH THAT? United Airlines Takes Delivery of First 787-9 Aircraft in North America

United Airlines [UA] is the first North American carrier to take delivery of a stretched Dreamliner, the Boeing 787-9, The aircraft is the first of 26 stretched Dreamliners UA has on order, says Aviation World News.

"The 787-9 builds on fuel efficiency, coupled with customer comfort while giving even more flexibility and range," said United's Vice President of Fleet Ron Baur.

"Last year our passengers gave the 787 the highest customer satisfaction scores of any aircraft in our fleet, and we know they'll enjoy what the 787-9 has to offer.

" The airline's technicians will now perform United-specific software installations and hardware upgrades. United pilots will then fly the aircraft to the airline's Houston hub for additional flights before it is expected to enter domestic service in late September.

The 787-9's extended range – 8,550 miles compared to the 787-8's 8,200 – will service and launch its Los Angeles to Melbourne, Australia, service on October 26, the airline's first regularly scheduled international deployment of the aircraft. It is the longest Dreamliner route in the world to date.

 In advance of the Melbourne route launch, United will primarily fly the aircraft between Houston and Los Angeles. United's 787-9 will be configured with 252 seats – 48 in United BusinessFirst and 204 in United Economy, including 88 Economy Plus seats with added legroom and increased personal space.

Wi-Fi on the 787-9 United's 787-9 fleet comes with factory-installed Wi-Fi connectivity. Starting with this aircraft delivery, all of the airline's subsequent Dreamliners, including the -8 and -10 variants, will be delivered with Wi-Fi. United currently has Wi-Fi on more than 300 aircraft, including all of its Airbus and Boeing 747 aircraft, and plans to equip the vast majority of its mainline fleet with Wi-Fi by mid-2015. -

See more at:

JULIAN BRAY [ 01733 345581 ], Journalist, Broadcaster, Aviation Security &Operations, Travel / Cruise Industry Expert, Writer and Coach EQUITY, NUJ, Broadcast ISDN changed number 01733 345020) SKYPE: JULIAN.BRAY.UK e&oe A later updated version is always on the Website

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Norwegian Chefs get £ 1.5 billion worth of new cruise ships to cook on...


Any talk of over capacity on the high seas has now to be discounted as 2 more ships are on order for  Norwegian Cruise Lines.  This development underlines the success of NLC's Getaway, cruising out of Miami last February, and before that NCL Breakaway, with New York as its home port.

 Norwegian Escape and Norwegian Bliss will enter service late 2015 and early 2017.

Two more vessels - 164,600 gross tons and 4,200 passengers will be delivered delivery 2018 and 2019.  The ships at a budgeted cost of  €1.6 billion (£1.3 billion) - will be constructed by the Meyer-Werft shipyard, Papenburg, Germany.

"Norwegian Breakaway and Norwegian Getaway have proven themselves as industry game-changers and are extremely popular with our guests," said Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian Cruise Line's chief executive officer.

"It was only natural that we build on their success with this new order, and further solidifies our long-term growth strategy." commented Kevin Sheehan, CEO Norwegian Cruise.

Bernard Meyer, managing partner, added: "We are thrilled that Norwegian Cruise Line has the continued confidence in Meyer Werft to expand their fleet. We are very proud of our longstanding relationship with Norwegian Cruise Lines."

JULIAN BRAY [ 01733 345581 ], Journalist, Broadcaster, Aviation Security &Operations, Travel / Cruise Industry Expert, Writer and Coach EQUITY, NUJ, Broadcast ISDN changed number 01733 345020) SKYPE: JULIAN.BRAY.UK e&oe A later updated version is always on the Website

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Are our politicians equipped to combat stealth attacks from the Enemy within?

East African Airways Comet 4c in 1960's livery

Julian Bray writes: During the mid 60's, I flew out to Entebbe Uganda on an East African Airways Comet 4c, the jet aircraft had to stop at Benghazi, to refuel. The UK's then finest jet aircraft, couldn't do the trip, all in on hop.   Before the refuelling began, a Libyan with a backpack pump entered the aircraft and gave us and the interior of the Comet a good spraying in case we had imported any bugs ...from London! He was told to spray every flight and that is what he would do!

Benghazi Airport was then little more than a series of wooden huts, and a Coke machine dispensing warm bottles of Coke.

It was my introduction to Africa and the start of a contract to split up an old well established East African company, born during the British colonial era, and now needed to respect Ugandas recent Independent status as a Republic within the Commonwealth. My target company was to be split into three, with new national manufacturing and retail businesses to reflect changing political positions in each of the old East African territory.

In those days, international companies took good care of their expat staff. In preparation for my posting I was sent on an expensive residential induction course at the Overseas Service College [OSC] based at Farnham Castle. The purpose was simple, to ensure that in the shortest possible time, we knew all there was to know about the countries we would be living in "and the effects of tribalism in the community"; and becoming a part of and possibly leading commerce in our new country and train up local staff to undertake key roles..

The OSC had been set up for Civil Servants and Diplomats but a few 'business types' were allowed in as well.  I remember being told to take lots of soap as it was in short supply (it wasn't) and to learn Swahili from a 18 LP set of Linguaphone records. Duff advice as Ugandans all spoke perfect English, due to the then large Indian (3rd generation) Asian population, and the fabled BBC Transcription Service: English by Radio service.  (the BBC installed and trained up Radio Uganda staff) 

The country being made up of seven very different kingdoms,  also had a variety of languages and tribes... My hastily mastered Swahili was only good for Zanzibar thousands of miles away, you'd need to first travel through neighbouring Kenya and Tanzania to get there.... 

I was lucky to be in Uganda the year the UK won the World Cup legendary High Commissioner Rex Hunt who later ran the Falklands was in charge...we saw the match 2 days later  on black and white televisions spread around the grounds; the High Commissioner had also laid on a good party at the Kampala High Commission...the 3 inch Ampex videotape being played out several times that day by UTV. I'd made an arrangement with the genial new TV station director James Bwogi, he was to be slaughtered a few years later by Idi Amins secret police squads.

The point is the UK had at that time deep and constant knowledge (intelligence) of local conditions, tribes and political factions, through its diplomatic service but even then totally misread the eventual direction General Idi Amin Dada would take after he unseated Dr Milton Obote...  Little of this detailed knowledge is available today, as our diplomats have been cut right back, and the introduction of computing cuts down on the 'out of office' socialising, as London would be constantly demanding information. 

Make no mistake the tragic events unfolding in real time ovder the last few days on a multiplicity of  media platforms is just the start. Time for the politicians to listen to the Military, the enemy is no longer at our door, it is now clearly wrapped up within our communities. Sadly our politicians don't have enough gravitas to make it all work.

Perhaps Mr Cameron might start urgently making a few phone calls to the several Tory Grandees and Generals 'he put out to grass' and starting delegating responsibilities to experts?

The political talent pool however isn't that big or experienced, but this is a situation that truly requires 'Action this Day'  from all parts of our community. Our foreign policy can no longer be guesswork. We need a plan.....

JULIAN BRAY [ 01733 345581 ], Journalist, Broadcaster, Aviation Security &Operations, Travel / Cruise Industry Expert, Writer and Coach EQUITY, NUJ, Broadcast ISDN changed number 01733 345020) SKYPE: JULIAN.BRAY.UK e&oe A later updated version is always on the Website

Saturday, 16 August 2014


Containers stowed on the open flat deck, not ideal for stowaways..

Julian Bray [01733 345581] writes:  Up to now its been the poor security surrounding air cargo shipments from middle and far east airports that has concerned cargo professionals, but the news that a Major Incident Plan was put into action at Tilbury, when 34 people and several children, all believed to be of Indian origin, were found locked inside an international shipping container,which had arrived and been offloaded at the Port of Tilbury has ensured that security issues surrounding shipping containers will now be high on the agenda.

It could also mean that all UK bound container shipments into secondary UK ports have to start CO2 air-sniffing, and x-raying all incoming containers. The additional cost and time delays could well put some ports out of business, and generally raise the cost of importing,  if the Government makes enhanced security measures, at all UK ports mandatory, as clearly we can no longer trust container traffic to be loaded at the point of departure and be 100% secure...

The occupants  (or stowaways) started screaming and banging on the inside of their metal tomb, they were found to be suffering from hypothermia and dehydration. Standard shipping containers are NOT airtight, as wrongly stated by one reporter, there are several small vents essentially to prevent any gas built up and to maintain a flow of fresh air, but designed for cargo, rather than people converting that air stream to CO2.

Possibly if all inside had been very passive, with minimal movement and conserved the available oxygen, then the people trafficers might have got away with it.  The question remains: How long has this been going on?  At a thirty plus headcount for each container say one a week... You do the maths!

Sadly one person died at Tilbury, and the others have all been rapidly transferred to several major hospitals in the region.  And due to the rapid response of the Ambulance paramedics, all those hospitalised are now said to be out of immediate danger.

The Eastern Region Ambulance Service which has come under many attacks and top management cahnges in recent years, was at the location within 11 minutes, with 7 ambulances and 2 rapid respnse units. This was backed up by a mobile Command Centre with a satellite communications scanner deployed. A rapid triage and logistics major incident plan was greenlighted, and all regional hospitals immediately alerted and put on a virtual 'war' footing. 

The next stage has to be identification of the truck(s) and driver(s) involved, along with those running this deadly trade in human suffering... Clearly if this is a pipeline operation, other consignments of stowaways could already be on their way to the UK from India...

JULIAN BRAY [ 01733 345581 ], Journalist, Broadcaster, Aviation Security &Operations, Travel / Cruise Industry Expert, Writer and Coach EQUITY, NUJ, Broadcast ISDN changed number 01733 345020) SKYPE: JULIAN.BRAY.UK e&oe A later updated version is always on the Website


A LinksAir Jetstream Aircraft

Doncaster's Robin Hood airport is closed to all flights Friday evening following a hard crash landing.

A spokesman for the Airport said:  "Around 7.30pm Friday evening, a LinksAir flight returning from Belfast City Airport suffered a problem with the undercarriage during landing. 

"The aircraft remains adjacent to the runway and cannot be moved until aircraft investigators arrive on site.  As a consequence the Airport is currently closed and is not expected to reopen this evening."

Agency reports suggest that a LinksAir aircraft was unable to lock its undercarriage and as a result made a hard controlled 'crash' landing. The aircraft came to rest beside the runway and cannot be moved as it now forms a crash site investigation.

LinkAir operate 3 British Aerospace (BAe) Jetstream aircraft.  It's understood no passengers or crew were hurt and they all evacuated the aircraft in accordance with emergency drills.

The airport has a single extra long runway designated 02/20, length  2,895 m x 60 m (9,498 ft x 197 ft). This is a legacy from the airport's former use as RAF Finningley, a  long-range nuclear bomber base.

JULIAN BRAY [  01733 345581 ], Journalist, Broadcaster, Aviation Security &Operations, Travel / Cruise Industry Expert, Writer and Coach EQUITY, NUJ, Broadcast ISDN changed number 01733 345020) SKYPE: JULIAN.BRAY.UK e&oe A later updated version is always on the Website

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Two shining lights of comedy fade: Robin Williams and Welsh Comedian Bryn Phillips

Robin Williams
Bryn Phillips

Sorry to hear of the death of Robin Williams, age 63, a huge talent. Ironically a cut price CD release of all the 'Good Morning Vietnam' pop icons interlaced with Robins iconic military radio 'shock' disc jockey inserts, was released just a couple of weeks ago.

Equally sorry to hear of the death of very funny Welsh comedian Bryn Phillips, who was one of the original The Comedians 'turns'.  The world of entertainment is just a little poorer today. 

JULIAN BRAY, Journalist, Broadcaster, Aviation Security &Ops,Travel/Cruise Industry Expert, EQUITY, NUJ UK Tel: 01733 345581 (HOME ISDN NEW NUMBER 01733 345020) e&oe

Monday, 11 August 2014


N. IRELAND STRANGFORD LOUGH GP14 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS DINGHY RACING HIT BY VIOLENT STORM WAVE SURGE  Multiple Collisions involving 105 boats  -  97 in water  - Casualities expected -  Major Incident Plan Enacted Helicopter & lifeboat on site.
The Northern Ireland Coastguard is this afternoon coordinating a rescue response after some 80 sailing dinghies were hit by stormy weather in Strangford Lough. 97 people are reported to be in the water.  

Belfast Coastguard was first contacted just before 2pm reporting that some of the boats had capsized, while others were struggling to cope in the strong winds and squally showers. A number of casualties are already ashore.

Friday, 8 August 2014


Flight MH17 Crash site

Julian Bray writes: As I predicted, Malaysian Airline System is now the subject of  a full scale damage limitation exercise.  Malaysian  Airlines share trading has today been suspended and the public company will be delisted, taken private, but in effect to be nationalised, and taken into the Government portfolio of investments - they already hold 69 per cent of the issued share capital.  The cost will be around £255 million.

Existing shareholders are being offered a modest premium for their shareholdings in this, serial loss making airline, and as there is no other way of recovering their existing investment, the offer - the only one on the table - will be fully taken up.


 New Peers in Full


Conservative Party

  • Karren Brady CBE – Vice-Chairman of West Ham FC; Senior Non-Executive Director of the Syco and Arcadia Brands; Small Business Ambassador for the Conservative Party; and member of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport’s Women in Sport Advisory Board
  • Martin Callanan – former Conservative Member of the European Parliament for the North East of England; former Leader of the Conservative MEPs and of the European Conservatives and Reformists group
  • Carlyn Chisholm – senior volunteer in the Conservative Party; Co-Chairman of the Conservative Candidates Committee; former nurse
  • Andrew Cooper – former Director of Political Operations to the Conservative Party; founder and Board Director of Populus

Thursday, 7 August 2014


Food was an issue during previous conflicts

Julian Bray writes: The news that Russia is considering imposing an airspace ban against European and US Airlines was on the cards as retaliation against EU sanctions, and specifically the moment they were imposed on Aeroflot's 'budget' airline Dobrolyot, which forced the carrier to suspend operations, as exclusively reported a couple of days ago on this blog, but seemingly overlooked elsewhere.

Monday, 4 August 2014


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The Russian airline Aeroflot has announced that subsidiary airline Dobrolet will temporarily suspend flights as of midnight Moscow time on August 4th 2014.

Saturday, 2 August 2014



Suspects can now be named by police
before being charged says Court of Appeal

This has to be a 'gamechanger' in the reporting of crime.  The Court of Appeal has ruled that suspects arrested by the police should be publicised even before they are charged. 

Lawyers argued that the public did not understand the concept that suspects are 'innocent until proven guilty’ and to name them breached their privacy.

Is this behind Gatwick Baggage Chaos ? In April Swissport and Aviator signed binding agreement on merger remedies divestment


Following the swallowing up of Servisair by Swissport, the EU stepped in. Could it be the EU Commission is the root cause of the baggage problem at Gatwick Airport? This is the 'official statement'  then its followed by UNDERCOVER LOADERS take on what is really happening to your luggage!:

Swissport and Aviator signed binding agreement on merger remedies divestment

Swissport International (Swissport) and Aviator signed a binding
agreement regarding the divestment of four stations that were affected by the  merger remedies the EU Commission imposed on Swissport in order to get merger clearance for Swissport’s acquisition of Servisair. The closing of the  divestment is subject to EU approval.

On 10th April, Swissport and Aviator signed a binding agreement regarding the divestment of the former Servisair ground handling business in Helsinki, London Gatwick, as well as Newcastle and the former Swissport ground handling business in Birmingham.

Wednesday, 30 July 2014


Juilian Bray writes: GAZA Thankfully I've not been directly involved in the news development and reporting of this tragic series of events, but the British news teams on the ground have stitched all the conflicting stories together to make some sense out of this. You can only hope World opinion will do the rest, and bring some respite to this troubled land.

Unlike earlier conflicts, what is happening now in Gaza is being reported in real time, not only by cameramen and women, but by everyone with an iphone, tablet and an Internet connection, or the simple ability to mail out an SD card. A fact that seems to be lost on both sides and many factions.

Whatever the nominated spokesmen say in justification, cannot compare with the stark visual images constantly being transmitted around the clock. What I cannot understand is why the non-combatants such as women, babies and children are not allowed to leave, possibly evacuated by sea and taken out of harms way. Shelling, bombing and counter measures, no longer make any sense. Admittedly Isreal is entitled to defend itself, but it has to be proportionate, otherwise it becomes a series of war crimes. 

Equally those marooned inside Gaza - an area smaller than the Isle of Wight are entitled to protection and safe passage. The UN needs to act and quickly, regardless of whoever is to blame. A Peace needs to be brokered, time has already run out.  

JULIAN BRAY, Journalist, Broadcaster, Aviation Security &Ops,Travel/Cruise Industry Expert, EQUITY, NUJ UK Tel: 01733 345581 (HOME ISDN NEW NUMBER 01733 345020) e&oe


The Ebola virus  (108,000 times magnification).

Julian Bray writes: Aviation security personnel at all UK airports are on the alert for any outward signs signs of EBOLA and according to a UK government spokesman they 'are on the front line.' This is a disease for which there is no known cure and is easily passed, person to person, though the transfer of bodily fluids, sweat, saliva, blood and even handshaking if contaminated matter is on the hands of one or more members of a group.

The incubation period is anything from 3 to 21 days... Initial symptoms could be mistaken for early stages of the common Norovirus, winter vomiting bug, but this pernicious disease EBOLA takes 3 to thirty days to incubate, then for some 60 per cent its just too late. They die.

At the moment EBOLA is centred on West Africa, but daily both passenger and cargo aircraft are leaving the region and passsengers transferring to other flights, transiting through airport hubs and possibly contaminating/ infecting other passengers. 

Graphic Courtesy THe Daily Mirror, London

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

MH17 TUESDAY 29th June: This is a War Crime says the UN Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay

British Airways: An early adopter of diverting flights to avoid war zones

European and US Tier 2 (against individuals) and Tier 3 (against countries, institutions ect) Sanctions have been agreed today (Tuesday) against Russia and will be immediately targeted at Finance, Oil and Energy.

It is expected that Russian companies will not be able to list on the London Stock Exchange and that Companies such as BP who own some 19% of the Russian energy firm Rosneft, will be hit as shareholders offload stock.

Western major car manufacturers are also expecting repercussions from any sanctions as Russia is estimated to account for 1/3rd of European car sales and a higher proportion of the luxury car market. Shareholders are expected to demand some form of compensation from Western governments, if the sanctions are put in place.

Meanwhile Airline leaders are meeting in closed session in Montreal, Canada to consider if airlines should fly through or over conflict zones, and if full information is being passed onto aviation operations.

Any deviation by flights from direct air corridors, is conservatively expected to cost around £4,000 per leg (£8k per return  flight) and to add around £15 to the retail price of a single one way air ticket.  Even so, looking at the radar screens some one hundred and thirty flights are shown to be in the air over Iraq; meanwhile Ukraine airspace shows only 3 civil aircraft.

In the UK, a spokesman for the High Street Travel Agents Lobby ABTA, is frantically doing the rounds of TV and Radio studios. Consider that Travel Agents will be badly hit by any new hike in air flight inclusive tour holiday prices. The ABTA Spokesman Sean Tipton is seemingly clinging onto the hope that some airlines will swallow the increase. Our information is that the charge, like an airport tax, will be applied equally to ALL FLIGHTS including cargo and 'repo' repositioning logistics flights.

Data from the 2 flight data and voice recorders recovered from the debris of the Malaysia Airlines MH17  Boeing 777-200 aircraft suggests it crashed due to a "massive explosive decompression" after being hit by shrapnel from a missile,. The news was released not by the investigation team but by Andriy Lysenko, a spokesman for Ukraine's Security Council. He claimed that his information came from Fanborough based experts analysing the flight recorders from MH17, shot down over eastern Ukraine, killing all 298 people on board.

There is however dismay from the Air accident expert team based in Farnborough, Hampshire, who within days had successfully downloaded the first tranche of core data from the two black boxes and passing preliminary information on to international investigators. The formal public release was not due for another week or so, until all parties had been properly briefed.

Generally most countries  blame Pro-Russian separatists or 'rebels' for allegedly shooting down the MH17 aircraft with a Russian manufactured BUK missile, possibly mistaking it for a Ukrainian military transport plane. Possibly due to military and civil radar being on different systems and leading to confusion in positive identification of the target aircraft.

On the ground, a team of Dutch and Australian police are making fresh attempts to reach the crash site having been forced to turn back after heavy fighting and a series of explosions in the area.    Ukraine rebels claim they have lost control over part of the MH17 crash site located in a war zone, now behind Ukranian Government forces lines.

The Australian Deputy Commissioner for National Security Andrew Colvin has pointed out evidence is being degraded and in some cases lost.  At the United Nations,  the UN Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, is demanding a full inquiry into the plane attack  condemned the "horrendous shooting down" of flight MH17, en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur. She is demanded a "thorough, effective, independent and impartial investigation.... This violation of international law, given the prevailing circumstances, may amount to a war crime."

JULIAN BRAY, Journalist, Broadcaster, Aviation Security &Ops,Travel/Cruise Industry Expert, EQUITY, NUJ UK Tel: 01733 345581 (HOME ISDN NEW NUMBER 01733 345020) e&oe

Sunday, 27 July 2014



Julian Bray writes: Its not the last voyage anyone ever wanted, but the striken former cruise ship the Costa Concordia has after a four day final leg entered its home port of Genoa. The hulk supported by air and bouyancy tanks welded to each side of its shattered hull; the next few weeks, will see them removed, as the wreck is broken down in dry dock for scrap, and all parts either recycled or melted down.

Friday, 25 July 2014

MH 17 Australian Troops & Police head for the MH17 crash site in the Ukraine

Abbott: We don't know how many bodies we have
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott says that 2 Australian victims of the MH17 disaster are being flown to the Netherlands on Friday, but that still means many Australian bodies still remain unaccounted for.
Air accident investigators in Farnborough, England have already extracted core data from from the Flight & Voice Data Recorders [black boxes] recovered from Malaysia Airlines flight MH17.  

Meanwhile International monitors continue to  frustrated in their preliminary assessment and prevented from gaining full access to the site where flight MH17 was shot down.
It has also been confirmed that a group of Australian soldiers will be sent to the Ukraine, to protect a squad of Australian police officers who will be securing the MH17 crash site from looters, and the rebels who may have allegedly shot it out of the sky using a russian manufactured BUK missile.

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, speaking in Canberra, confirmed "there would be some ADF deployment”.
The mission it was suggested is a joint one with other countries that lost citizens in the MH17 disaster, which killed 298 people, and would be led by the Netherlands.
Mr Abbott said an understanding was close to being finalised allowing Australian police and troops into the Ukraine.
He said the mission was a “humanitarian” one that was ultimately trying to bring innocent people home and repeated that when asked what effect the presence the soldiers would have on the volitaile situation in Ukraine.
It is for others to talk about the internal politics of eastern Europe. “All we want to do is claim our dead and bring them home.”
The Australian Prime Minister added: “This will be a police led mission, an international police-led mission — a humanitarian mission that’s what it is ... To ensure we bring them back ...”
 Treat this link with caution but does add to the overall story but6 stiil needs testing:
JULIAN BRAY, Journalist, Broadcaster, Aviation Security &Ops,Travel/Cruise Industry Expert, EQUITY, NUJ UK Tel: 01733 345581 (HOME ISDN NEW NUMBER 01733 345020) e&oe

Thursday, 24 July 2014


The Swiftair MD-83 wet leased to Air Algerie.

Saturday AM: Four hundred French troops have secured and are now guarding the crash site, as a team of air crash investigators start work. Debris field is confined to a small area.  
The Associated Press reported the flight was carrying 51 French nationals, 27 Burkina Faso nationals, eight Lebanese, six Algerians, five Canadians, two Luxemburg nationals, one Swiss, one Belgian, one Egyptian, one Ukrainian, one Nigerian, one Cameroonian and one Malian.

The UK Foreign Office has confirmed that 1 British National named as David Morgan was also on board.

[Saturday AM]A passenger list has now been published, although official sources are refusing to confirm if it is the final confirmed boarding list:

REYNAUD Zoe (France)
REYNAUD Natahan (France)
REYNAUD Michelle (France)
REYNAUD Laure (France)
REYNAUD Julia (France)
REYNAUD Franck (France)
REYNAUD Estelle (France)
REYNAUD Eric (France)
REYNAUD Bernard (France)
REYNAUD Alexis (France)
MOREAU Christelle (France)
CAMISSOGO Brahima (France)
RAUZIER Jean Marie (France)
PARDINA Alain Pierre (France)
REDIN Marie Jesus (France)
CAIlLLERET Elno (France)
CAILLERET Chloé (France)
CAILLERET Bruno (France)
BOINARD CAroline (France)
SOKAMBI Nadège (France)
FLOURY Katell (France)
GALLON Jennifer (France)
TRICOT Frédéric (France)
SCELLIER Patrick (France)
TRAVERS Laurence (France)
KOUSSIKANA Rivel (France)
OUEDRAOGO Vinciana (France)
OUEDRAOGO Seydou (France)
OUEDRAOGO Samson (France)
OUEDRAOGO Noa (France)
OUEDRAOGO Elora (France)
LHEUREUX Maryse (France)
SAVADOGO Dessay Celes (France)
JULIA Richard (France)
JULIA Paulina (France)
KABORE Nabolé Mariata (France)
POLICE Nicolas (France)
POLICE Didier (France)
LOUIS Véronique (France)
LOUIS Jason (France)

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

MH17 THe focus switches to Eindhoven and Hilversum in The Netherlands also to Farnborough in the UK.

Julian Bray writes: Wednesday Afternoon. MH17. So where are we now? The on ground investigation inside what now has to be regarded as a war zone,  has virtually slowed to a halt, as the focus is now on the two transport aircraft taking human body parts to Eindhoven airport.

The first to land at Einhoven at approx 14:45 hrs is the C130 transport is Dutch (Royal Netherlands Airforce) the second from the Australian Air Force a C17, according to reports 40 coffins are on the first aircraft and 24 on the second.

On arrival in the Netherlands, the dead will be accorded full honours, Church bells are being rung for a period of five minutes through out the country, the Dutch Royal family together with the Prime Minister and around 1000 relatives will attend. This part of the reception process involving relatives and diplomats from all affected countries, will be carried out behind screens and in private. 

Today in the Netherlands is a national day of mourning. Some 40 hearses will leave the airport at around 16:15hrs and take the bodies to Hilversum, a town about an hour away,  made famous by its radio transmitter that featured on early radio dials. At Hilversum, the grim process of identification, will take place.

The UK is supporting the Dutch identification commission with 9 disaster victim identification personnel; they will assist by using dental records, possible DNA, photographs, bloodtype and other external data from relatives. This will take some time as sadly not all the remains are complete, and despite earlier reports, not kept constantly chilled to preserve the tissue.

Evidenced by the train freight truck doors being opened and effectively ruining any low temperatures, that might have been briefly achieved. What does impress the observer is the way the Dutch have risen to this challenge, and finally the dead recovered so far are being given a nations full respect in this stage of their final journey.

The 'last post' will be sounded by a lone bugle, as the coffins are prepared to be unloaded from the two transports into the first of the waiting 40 identical motor hearses and in convoy flanked by motorcycle outriders. This is followed by a minutes silence, the Royal party now on the airside apron, the bugle will sound again.  Relatives are watching from behind a series of discreet screens.

Elsewhere in the country all radio stations have dropped commercials and playing 'sombre music'.

In Amsterdam, the population will gather at around 7pm, wearing white and release a shoal of white balloons, it is unlikely that any of these will reach the Ukraine. Which is a pity.

Meanwhile the two back box recorders torn from either end of the the downed #MH17 are now being examined in Farnborough. Ironically now that much of the 'external circumstances' are known, it will be a slightly easier task for the scientists as they can direct their energies to core aspects of the data to be unravelled.

The Boeing 777-200 had safely completed some 75 thousand hours and completed 11,434 round trips or cycles. It entered service in July 1997 and was powered by Rolls Royce Trent 800 turbojet engines. Despite this and the earlier Malaysian Airlines incidents, the Boeing 777-200 series has a good safety record, and is well regarded by airlines and passengers all over the world. 

At last some dignity has been restored to this series of tragic events..

Meanwhile in Taiwan:

A Transasia Airways plane has crashed ( Wednesday PM ) whilst making an emergency landing in Taiwan, killing 51 people, according to reports from Taiwan’s Central News Agency and the Associated Press.

The agency said that 54 passengers and four flight crew were on board.

Reports claim the accident occurred in the city of Magong, which is off the western coast of Taiwan. The flight was heading from the capital Taipei, heading for Penghu Island.

JULIAN BRAY, Media, Aviation, & Travel/Cruise Industry Expert. Broadcaster & Journalist, EQUITY, NUJ Life Mbr. UK Tel: 01733 345581 ( ISDN 01733 345020  and isdn remote location kit available)

Tuesday, 22 July 2014


Wednesday 9am 200 (not 270 as rebels claimed) MH17 victims given a formal Ukranian Army send off, the transport aircraft will fly to the Netherlands.  (Picture: Courtesy ITN/ITVNews)

European airlines reroute to avoid Ukraine airspace meanwhile USA airlines are banning all all flights
to Isreal for the next 24 hours

Julian Bray writes:

The Rt. Hon Philip Hammond MP has only been the UK Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs since July 15th, having previously held the UK  defence portfolio, and yet on July 21st Mr Hammond is forced to declare: "The World has changed since last week," possibly a classic understatement, as today the United Nations meets to impose wide ranging 'sectorial' sanctions on President Putins Russia.
Shrapnel indications detected....

 By sectorial, it is thought the sanctions will simply wipe out whole industrial categories regardless of the collateral damage the imposition may cause.  UK suppliers like Smiths Industries, will find their calibration and measuring instruments are effectively on a banned list of technology products, the sanction also clearly financially and unexpectedly damaging to the UK supplier.

Sunday, 20 July 2014

MH17 UPDATE: Flight MH17 to be retired and redesignated MH19 says Malaysian Airline as blackbox data recorder in 'bits' says rebel leader

18 :00 hrs Sunday: QUESTION:

Rebel Leader confirms that 'bits' of the 2 black boxes have been recovered and are in his custody. The big question: Why is he now talking about 'bits' when these units are designed to withstand execeptional trauma, and the earlier video footage (courtesy Reuters)of one being carried at the crash site shows the 'dayglo' orange painted unit in once piece?

Sunday 12 Noon:  Julian Bray Aviation Security Expert and Journalist writes: President Putin hopefully has a very thick skin and his press relations man a fast Air Ticket out of Russia? Simply the President isn't getting a bad International press, its far, far, far, worse than that. But stepping back from the media view of what has happened, where do we all go from here?

Saturday, 19 July 2014


Russian BUK missle array

Julian Bray writes: With my 'Aviation Security' hat on, I've popped up on countless BBC and BBC World TV and Radio networks, in the last few days all beamed from Trib Towers, but not had time to post about the MH17 air crash until now, as the situation is changing by the hour, and now virtually confirmed it was shot down by a ground to air missile.

In my contributions, I was one of the first to publicly question the continuing use of a flight corridor routed directly over a war zone. Initially shouted down, by some so called telly 'experts' but now a major concern as the Malaysian Transport Minister - formerly the Defence Minister...has repeatedly tried to justify the decision and doing so again this Saturday morning.

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Sunny Spain ? So Ryanair puts 6 Spanish bound UK holidaymakers on flight to.... Latvia...

Check in desks serve several gates
A major aviation security inquiry has been ordered by Ryanair and no doubt the East Midlands Airport authorities, after it emerged six holidaymakers bound for sunny Almeria in Spain, were misdirected towards and boarded an identical Ryanair aircraft  at an adjoining Gate - bound for Latvia.
The story was picked up by BBC Nottingham DriveTime (at 17:10pm) and will be repeated on the BBCPlayer and regional newspapers, it  featured painter and decorator Stephen Pritchard, from Cannock, Staffordshire.  He told the Birmingham Mail  his boarding pass was checked three times, but he was still directed to the wrong plane with his son.

Spain or Latvia? It's all Greek to Ryanair! 

Mr Pritchard described the incident as a massive security risk, he told the newspaper: "This comes at a time when they are supposed to be tightening security. It's unbelievable."


MEDIABLOGLINES: Key in your long URL to make tiny: