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, 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."

Monday, 14 July 2014

BY 2020 Car companies could be providing household energy across Europe

By 2020, car companies could provide energy to households across Europe, according to a discussion document released by a ** Business School. The paper looks at how recent developments will affect the energy market and impact businesses and consumers alike. Professor Leonardo Meeus, advisor to the European Commission on energy, considers the four big energy game changers that could disrupt the electricity market.



Starting today Monday 14th July 2014, The wrecked hulk of the Italian cruise ship Costa Concordia is being raised and will within a week be floated off; in one of the most complex maritime salvage operations in maritime history.

Specialist engineers are lifting the vessel by pressure pumping air into pressurised tanks retrofitted to the wreck. By Noon the wreck had been raised one metre free of the temporary supporting structure, bringing two more deck levels above the water line.

The refloatation is scheduled to take a full week. With the tanks providing bouyancy, the structure will be towed to its home port, Genoa, where it will be broken up and scrapped.

The Costa Concordia cruise ship operated by Costa Crociere, struck a reef off the Italian island of Giglio in January 2012, gashed open its side and capsized. Some 32 passengers lost their lives.

The wreck was put in an upright but much lower partially submerged position in September, resting on a lattice work of specially constructed platforms.

Franco Gabrielli, the head of the Italian civil protection agency commented:

"The first phase of the operation is the most dangerous, and very complex, because the vessel will be detached from the platforms."

The cruise ship capsized in January 2012, killing 32 people

A damaged part of the cruise liner Costa Concordia is seen at Giglio harbour, Giglio Island, 13 July 2014

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

Sunday, 13 July 2014

Musical Chairs as Camerons last Shuffle derailed by historical love train...

Julian Bray writes: Lots of reshuffle rumours doing the Westminster rounds, bookies say Ester McVey is worth a good punt...

David Willetts is said to be to leaving the Cabinet,Penny Mourdaunt to become a (career dead ending) Defence Minister, as budgets cut to the bone, and the spectre of unfinished, possibly unloved aircraft carriers have to make do with choppers instead.

 Philip Hammond always uneasy in the Defence role, as several sources suggest Hammond is changing places with Iain Duncan Smith at the Department for Work & Pensions to mastermind the discreet burial of a massive but dysfunctional DWP computer upgrade.

Former TV Presenter Esther McVey needs to hire in Pickfords as well, and like Dr Who, is the new incarnation for none other than Eric Pickles at Communities and Local Government, whilst Eric Pickles is set to become the Election bound Party Chairman.  A case of goodbye Mr Shapps..

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Have A&E waiting times fallen?

This blog post seems to have been cruelly amended and generally 'refreshed' on the main HoC Library site. And misquoted in the House...Tsk Tsk... It deserved better....

Have A&E waiting times fallen?

This post has been amended on 4 July. It was taken down on 3 July on the initiative of the Library.  The post’s analysis of the data has not been changed. However, the description of the Prime Minister and Health Secretary’s use of these statistics did not meet our expected standards of impartiality. Also, we speculated on the patient’s view of the different measures of waiting time without firm evidence.

We strive to be a trusted and authoritative source of unbiased information that informs democratic discourse and encourages debate. On this occasion we got it wrong and we will learn lessons.

There has been recent debate about the situation in NHS accident and emergency units, with changes in the waiting time for treatment being used as an indicator of performance. This blog post explores what data is available and what it shows.

On 2 July at PMQs the Prime Minister stated:

When [Labour was in Government], the average waiting time [in A&E] was 77 minutes; under this Government, it is 30 minutes.
This claim has been made previously (for instance on 9 June* and 18 June). Other reports indicate that A&E performance has declined, with the 4-hour target having been missed in England’s major departments every week since last July. What is the basis for the claim that average waiting times have fallen, and what are the best indicators of waiting time trends?


Former Prime Minister Gordon Brown during the run up to the last General Election, has his make up refreshed before stepping off an aircraft, to face a barrage of TV cameras... 
I was invited to participate in a lively discussion on BBC Scotland Morning Call, this morning, following a change in the latest security measures at certain airports, with the enhanced measures demanded by the American authorities affecting flights into the USA, now being rolled out to all airports.

Clearly the airport experience is being changed for all of us, and the suggestion is that we should also change our view, preparation for travel and actions at the airport. Simply the changes are here to stay as the whole world order and international political landscape has sadly entered into a new phase.

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

NEW DIRECTIVES ANNOUNCED: Electronic devices and electrical items at UK airports


Friday, 4 July 2014

Simple Samsung Galaxy phone. app puts worldwide aviation security at risk

Julian Bray writes:  It is now belatedly emerging that an easy to obtain Samsung Galaxy app. is the main cause of the latest round of draconian aviation security demands by the USA Department for Homeland Security and being imposed on all airlines and airports wishing to send aircraft into the USA. Air Passengers are already subject to new searches at Uk Airports and specifically now have to produce all battery driven and other electronics for 'swabbing.'

Intelligence suggests that Samsungs Smart Home App. designed to control household appliaces remotely though the internet or mobile phone networks could be easily adapted with very little skill to act as a remote trigger device for an explosives or other package. The US authorities are also aware that other apps, for iphones could perform the same simple switch function, but the current suggestion is that the Samsung appl. is far more reliable, and the corresponding remote switch sender can be harvested from easily to source Samsung domestic appliances.  If that isn't alarmist enough, other developers are getting in on the remote switching act, like this one!  . 

Its clear that Samsung Smart Home isn't going to be limited only to Samsung's products, as the company says it will also be integrating third-party partner solutions, although at this stage we're not sure if that's going to let you do things like control Philips Hue lightbulbs or the Belkin WeMo light switch. Samsung wants to take over your connected home and let you control it all, through the Smart Home app.


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