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http://www.freelancedirectory.org/?name=Julian.Bray.aviation.comment Julian Bray provides: Opinion, comment, forward thinking speculation, keynote presentations and workshops for corporate organisations on Travel, Cruise & Aviation: conflict zones, terrorist impact, drone (UAV) issues, safety (black boxes, emergencies), airline operations, aviation finance, political implications, and all forms of incident risk. He operated at board level with several airline and aviation groups, including Alitalia, British Island Airways, British Airways, Galileo , British Aerospace, Skyways, former CEO City firm Leadenhall Assoc. Founder CNS City News Service. Director NTN Television News (joint co. with ITV Wales TWW) Debretts People 2017 and in launch edition of PRWeek Black Book. Journalist and Broadcaster. After-dinner speaker and presenter.

Direct links to a selection of television and radio contributions can be found at foot of this page. Scroll down. Join the conversation here or on Twitter at @aviationcomment

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Friday, 15 December 2017

HUMAN LEAGUE SINGER GETS BOOTED OUT OF POSH AUSSIE BUSINESS LOUNGE FOR WEARING AUSTRALIAN UGG BOOTS...

 
Julian Brays tasteful festive Santa hat
would probably be on the Qantas hit list too
 
 
Ms Catherall a singer with the Band Human League currently gigging in Australia was turfed out of a posh Airport Business Lounge for wearing Australian manufactured UGG Boots.
 
The miffed singer tweeted a picture of herself in the priority lane (naturally) at Melbourne airport, saying: "Hopefully I’m allowed down this lane in my Ugg Australia boots."

In the Qantas Rules or  “Domestic Lounge Dress Guidelines”, it states: “Our lounges are a place where you can sit back and relax before your flight.

“To ensure an enjoyable experience when you're visiting our domestic Qantas Clubs and Business Lounges in Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney, we ask that you follow our smart casual dress guidelines.

“Our team will decline entry if some items of clothing are too casual or inappropriate.
 
This includes, but is not limited to:
 
Thongs (err, flip flops Ed) and bare feet;
Head to toe gym wear;
Beachwear (including board shorts);
Sleepwear (this included UGG Boots and slippers);
Clothing featuring offensive images or slogans;
Revealing, unclean or torn clothing.”

Had Ms Catherall been wearing clean high-visibility clothing, however, she would have been allowed in.

A Qantas spokesperson told The Independent: "We completely understand that no one likes being declined at the door but we've always had smart casual dress standards for our lounges, which are similar for those in place for most clubs and restaurants.

"Over the past couple of years we have had clear feedback from lounge members that they wanted these existing guidelines to be applied more rigorously."
 
Source The Independent Newspaper  Simon Calder - and his shorts are deffo. on the banned list! Merry Christmas Simon! Julian Brays latest Christmas jumper would probably be banned too



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PRINCE HARRY SAYS ITS MAY 19 FOR ROYAL NUPTUALS , AND RYANAIR TO CREATE A RYANAIR ONLY UNION !

Julian Bray Aviation Expert will be live in the studio on BBC Three Counties Radio with Roberto Peroni at 16:30 hours, later today Friday!


Julian Bray Aviation Expert writes: Oh what a good day for some better news:  Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have announced they will wed in Windsor on May 19th 2018! 



And how very smart Ryanair is to finally recognise a pilots union, to be exact Michael O'leary said Unions would only be recognised "when hell freezes over" so recognition? Err well of sorts, it'll be a Ryanair only Union, more an old fashioned 'works council'  style but it does get over the prospects of a pilot walkout over the Christmas season, and widespread disruption to countless festive travellers. 

One affable aviation pundit doing the rounds of TV studios in freezing weather, says he was surprised, but if he'd kept his ear to the ground, in reality with Ryanair still seen as the ideal airline to train with, not so many recently qualified commercial pilots planned - before the current change - to stay with the Dublin carrier for more than a few years. Now its game on for the airline....

The smart move will however have a huge knock on effect as it will mean fewer available pilots for other airlines such as British Airways and Aer Lingus. But what is still a problem is that Italy and Portugal Air traffic control will still be on strike over the Holiday period. You have been advised!

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Thursday, 14 December 2017

RYANAIR PILOTS IN DUBLIN TO WALK OUT ON DECEMBER 20 : ITALIAN ATC CALLS LATEST STOPPAGE ON FRIDAY DECEMBER 15 IN LONG RUNNING SERIES OF


Ryanair supremo Michael O'Leary
 
Air Travellers are in for a rough old time over the Christmas period as pilots and air traffic controllers in Italy are threatening a  walk-out from Friday. Meanwhile closer to home Ryanair pilots have signposted industrial action.

A statement warning that some disruption to Ryanair services might occur as a result of the walk-out. The airline said it had received notification from the Aer Lingus pilots union IALPA warning of a 24-hour strike involving around 28 per cent of its 300 pilots in Dublin on December 20.
Ryanair says none of its pilots are union members, but IALPA is claiming  members in Ireland, the majority voting in favour of industrial action.

IALPA, a branch of the Impact union, says it will commence action including a strike if Ryanair “continues to fail to recognise” the union as the representative body for its pilots, and,or takes disciplinary action against its members or reduces salary.

Ryanair meanwhile says that its Dublin pilots have been offered: “a 20 per cent pay increase at a time when IALPA is recommending a 3 per cent increase to Aer Lingus pilots”, staff in Belfast, Cork and Shannon are said to have already accepted. The airline claims those pilots already earn up to €190,000 for a five on/four off roster. It says it will refuse “to recognise an Aer Lingus pilot union, no matter how often of how long” the union threatens action.
The airline says it has been warned by Italian authorities of a four-hour walk-out this Friday (December 15) between 13.00 and 17.00, which will affect air traffic controllers and some of the carrier’s own pilots and crew. It says any affected passengers will be notified of disruption should the strike go ahead.
Source CNS, Ryanair,

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DRONE GANG OF ELEVEN JAILED FOR USING DRONE UAV's TO DROP PROHIBITED ITEMS INTO 9 UK PRISONS


 
 
A gang have today (13 December) been jailed for over 37 years after they were found guilty of using drones to import prohibited items into nine prisons across the country.

The group of eleven men and women, aged between 19 and 51, were made up of serving prisoners in various jails and their accomplices on the outside.

Between July 2015 and May 2017, the gang trafficked prohibited items including psychoactive substances, crack cocaine, cannabis, heroin, mobile phones, sim cards, Freeview boxes, hacksaw blades and screwdrivers into HMP Hewell, Stoke Heath, Featherstone, Birmingham, Oakwood, Lindholme, Stocken, Liverpool and Risley.

The gang wrapped the items together in packages, sometimes concealing them in drink bottles, before throwing them into the prison grounds or flying them in using drones.

The drones would either deposit the packages in the prison grounds to be picked up by inmates, or they were flown to a specific cell window for an inmate to pull the package in using a broom handle with a hook attached to it.

They used mobile phones to contact each other when drop offs were made.

A number of the packages were intercepted by officers and a police investigation was launched.

Using data from mobile phones and drones, the prosecution was able to identify the defendants as the perpetrators of the offences.

The recovered drugs were found to have an estimated value in prison of up to £370,000. However, there were multiple drone flights that were not intercepted so the true value of the drugs alone, based on an average delivery, is estimated to be up to £1.2 million.

At Birmingham Crown Court, 10 out of the 11 defendants pleaded guilty and one was found guilty after a trial.

Eran Cutliffe, a Senior Crown Prosecutor with the West Midlands CPS Complex Casework Unit said:   “This was a highly organised gang who worked in an extremely co-ordinated manner in order to import prohibited items into prisons.

“They used various techniques, including drones, to smuggle contraband such as drugs, tools and mobile phones. The financial value of these goods was far greater in prison than in the outside world.

“The gang members sought to profit from the misery caused by prison drug use and they must now face the consequences of their actions.”

The defendants were sentenced to the following
 
Francis Ward (dob 22/07/1971), 46, pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiracy to convey prohibited items into prison and one count of conspiracy to supply psychoactive substances. He has been jailed for a total of two years and four months imprisonment
 
John Hickinbottom (dob 19/12/1966), 51, pleaded guilty to three counts of conspiracy to convey prohibited articles into prison, one count of conspiracy to throw an article into a prison and one count of conspiracy to supply a psychoactive substance. He has been jailed for a total of four years and eight months imprisonment

John Quinn (dob 6/8/1981), 36, pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiracy to convey prohibited articles into prison, one count of conspiracy to throw an article into a prison and one count of conspiracy to supply a psychoactive substance. He has been jailed for a total of four years and eight months imprisonment

Craig Hickinbottom (dob 4/7/1982), 37, pleaded guilty to three counts of conspiracy to convey prohibited articles into prison, one count of conspiracy to throw an article into a prison and one count of conspiracy to supply a psychoactive substance. He has been jailed for a total of seven years two months imprisonment

Mervyn Foster (dob 2/10/1979), 38, pleaded guilty to three counts of conspiracy to convey prohibited articles into prison, one count of conspiracy to throw an article into a prison and one count of conspiracy to supply a psychoactive substance. He has been jailed for a total of six years and eight months imprisonment

Sanjay Patel (dob 1/9/1979), 38, pleaded guilty to possessing an electronic communication device whilst in custody. He has been jailed for a total of five years and three months imprisonment

Yvonne Hay (dob 10/2/1975), 41, was found guilty following a trial by jury of two counts of conspiracy to convey prohibited articles into prison and one count of conspiracy to supply a psychoactive substance. She has been jailed for a total of two years and four months imprisonment

Ashley Rollinson (dob 9/9/1995), 23, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to convey prohibited articles into prison. He has been jailed for a total of 11 months

Lisa Hodgetts (dob 12/6/1984), 33, pleaded guilty to one count of money laundering. She has been handed a 16 month suspended prison sentence

Terry Leach (dob 2/5/1998), 19, pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiracy to convey prohibited articles into prison. He has been handed a two year suspended prison sentence

Artaf Hussain (dob 5/8/1986), 31, pleaded guilty to one count of being concerned in supplying a controlled drug. A warrant was issued for his arrest.




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Monday, 11 December 2017

Terrorist sets off pipe bomb at New York City Port authority terminal



NYPD Police have identified a pipe bomb terrorist suspect  as Akayed Ullah,27,  as the perpetrator "attempted a terrorist attack" near New York City’s Port Authority bus terminal at 7:20 am New York time during Monday morning’s rush hour — an explosion that prompted widespread stoppages and closed multiple subway lines, the NYPD said.

Several injuries have been treated, disruption to train and bus services continues as searches are being carried out.
A picture in the New York Post from the scene of the Manhattan subway explosion shows 'a bearded man' crumpled on the ground with his shirt apparently blown off and a police officer holding the man's hands behind his back.
Soot covers the man's bare midriff.

New York Fire and Rescue says four people, including the suspect, have been hurt following the pipe bomb explosion at the height of the morning rush hour Monday.


An "effectively low tech device" pipe bomb attached to Ullah by Velcro and plastic cable tie snap fasteners and was detonated in a subway passageway just before 7:30 a.m., New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo later reported in a news conference.



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TV personality 'Cheggers' Keith Chegwin,60, dies following long term deteriorating lung condition.


 
The ever popular TV presenter Keith Chegwin has died, aged 60, after a "long battle" with a progressive lung condition, in a statement, read out by his family: "We are heartbroken to share the news that Keith Chegwin sadly passed away during the night, following a long-term battle with a progressive lung condition, Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis, which rapidly worsened towards the end of this year.


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Artic Winter snow and blizzard conditions cancels air, rail and road transport systems throughout the UK and lands a ferry on a sandbar




Julian Bray writes: Despite well signposted warnings all over the media and the printed press about heavy snow, blizzard conditions and high winds over the weekend, there are literally thousands of cancellations reported this Monday morning of air, rail and cross channel ferry cancellations with one P&O ferry stranded on a sandbank, it took three oceangoing tugs to pull the vessel and a ship load of worried passengers off the sandbar.

Some service stations are reportedly running out of fuel and thousands of homes and some hospitals have been without power.

Of course with rail cancellations, no rail replacement bus services were operating, and there has been widespread criticism of sparsely operated gritting teams as cash strapped local authority contractors are allegedly conserving road salt piles for more adverse weather conditions said to be on their way during January 2018. 

Heathrow Terminal 5 was the focus of multiple BA cancellations and a total disruption to the schedules due, says the Spanish IAG owned airline, to aircraft being out of position and crews and ground staff unable to reach arrival/departing airports.  

Other airlines reported a raft of cancellations and a few blamed the lack of available de-icing systems to get their aircraft in a condition fit to fly.

Scuffles erupted and armed airport policed were called in to restore some form of order when Heathrow executive lounges were closed and the visitors ejected.

Thousands of stranded passengers curled up on the floor overnight, as some catering outlets ran out of supplies or staff shift changes had affected the number of staff coming on stream due to the new intake being unable to reach the airport.

Regional airports also reported poor conditions and cancellations, the advice being to telephone your airline before setting out for the airport or railway station.

The AA, RAC and Green Flag reported a higher than usual number of roadside call outs but deteriorating conditions also caused problems.

Many motorists were caught unawares and the rescue services say vehicles hadn't checked over or serviced to cope with winter motoring conditions.

Finally schools all over the UK were closed, on safety grounds, as pupils and staff stayed at home.

In all a normal situation for the UK, the first real dump of snow poleaxing transportation throughout the country. It happens most years. Government claims there is little use in gearing up for these conditions, as they do in Switzerland. It is claimed the incidents are not often or heavy enough to justify the expenditure.  

Finally, worse conditions are set for Monday night and Tuesday morning as treacherous BLACK ICE  is set to replace current snowbound conditions.  


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PETERBOROUGH TRIBUNE : Max Clifford unmasked as a ruthless and manipulati...

Max Clifford has died in jail... PETERBOROUGH TRIBUNE : Max Clifford unmasked as a ruthless and manipulati...:    All mouth, no trousers. Disgraced convicted sex offender Max Clifford     Convicted Publicist Max Clifford has been found gu...



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Saturday, 9 December 2017

Air Accident Investigatiion Branch (AAIB) has sends investigation team to an accident involving a microlight aircraft near St Albans Hertfordshire


The AAIB has sent a team to Hertfordshire  
The AAIB have sent a team to investigate an accident involving a microlight aircraft that occurred near St Albans, Hertfordshire.


AAIB Deployment


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LITHIUM BATTERIES AIR SHIPMENTS: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) proposes a $1.1 million civil penalty against Braille Battery, Inc. of Sarasota, Fla., for allegedly violating the Hazardous Materials Regulations


FAA Press Release
FAA logo

 

 
 
 
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) proposes a $1.1 million civil penalty against Braille Battery, Inc. of Sarasota, Fla., for allegedly violating the Hazardous Materials Regulations.
This is the largest civil penalty the FAA has proposed for alleged violations of the requirements for offering an air shipment of lithium batteries.
The FAA alleges that on June 1, 2016, Braille offered four shipments, each containing a 24-volt lithium ion battery, to FedEx for transportation by air. One of the batteries apparently caught fire while it was being transported on a FedEx truck, after it had been transported on an aircraft, resulting in the destruction of the vehicle.
The FAA alleges the lithium batteries in these shipments did not meet testing standards contained in the UN Manual of Tests and Criteria or the U.S. Hazardous Material Regulations, were not equipped with a means of preventing dangerous reverse current flow, and were not in a proper condition for shipment.

The FAA further alleges Braille failed to provide its employees with required hazardous materials training.
On June 8, 2016, the FAA informed Braille about the concerns in its training program. On June 14 and June 15, 2016, the FAA informed Braille that the Hazardous Materials Regulations and the ICAO Technical Instructions prohibit the shipment of lithium ion batteries that are not proven to meet the UN testing standards.
However, Braille continued to offer shipments of these lithium ion batteries for air transportation on 14 separate occasions between July 14, 2016 and August 3, 2016, the FAA alleges. The shipments included a total of 77 batteries. Each shipment contained between one and 27 batteries.
“Improperly shipped hazardous material can pose serious threats to aircraft and the people on board,” said FAA Administrator Michael Huerta. “Adhering to the Hazardous Materials Regulations is critical to ensuring safety.”
The FAA previously assessed an $8,000 civil penalty against Braille in 2013 for shipping undeclared lithium ion batteries.
Braille has 30 days after receiving the FAA’s enforcement letter to respond to the agency.
 
 
 
 





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Monday, 4 December 2017

IATA: October Passenger Demand Rebounds from Weather-Impacted September


IATA
IATA: October Passenger Demand Rebounds from Weather-Impacted September
  
Geneva - The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced global passenger traffic results for October showing that demand (measured in revenue passenger kilometers, or RPKs) rose 7.2% compared to the same month last year. Capacity grew 6.2% and load factor climbed 0.8 percentage points to 80.8%, which was a record for the month.

October’s performance was a strong bounce-back after the hurricane-related disruptions in September. Domestic and international travel growth largely was in balance.

"As expected, the recent severe weather in the Americas region had only a temporary impact on the healthy travel demand we have seen this year, and we remain on course for another year of above-trend growth," said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO.
October 2017
(% year-on-year)
World share¹
RPK
ASK
PLF
(%-pt)²         
PLF
(level)³ 
        
Total Market
100.0%
7.2%
6.2%
0.8%      
80.8%
Africa
2.2%
5.7%
2.2%
2.4%
71.9%
Asia Pacific
32.9%      
10.1%
8.9%
0.8%
80.2%
Europe
26.4%
6.3%
4.5%
1.4%
84.3%
Latin America
5.2%
6.7%
4.9%      
1.4%
82.5%
Middle East
9.6%
6.8%
5.4%      
0.9%
69.4%
North America
23.8%      
4.8%      
5.3%
-0.4%
83.3%
   ¹% of industry RPKs in 2016   ²Year-on-year change in load factor   ³Load factor level   

International Passenger Markets 
      
October international passenger demand rose 7.3% compared to October 2016, which was an improvement compared to the 6.6% demand increase for September. Airlines in all regions recorded growth. Total capacity climbed 6.0%, and load factor increased 1.0 percentage point to 79.4%.
  • Asia-Pacific airlines led all regions with traffic growth of 10.3% compared to the year-ago period, which was up from an 8.7% rise in September. Capacity climbed 8.4% and load factor rose 1.3 percentage points to 78.0%. Seasonally-adjusted passenger volumes are rising at an annualized rate of 8-9%, supported by the solid regional economic backdrop and strong growth in the number of connections.
  • European carriers’ October demand climbed 6.2% over October 2016, which was a slowdown compared to the 7.2% year-over-year growth recorded for September. Capacity increased 4.5% and load factor rose 1.3 percentage points to 84.9%, highest among regions. While economic conditions have shown strong improvement over the past year or so, the upward trend in seasonally-adjusted traffic has slowed considerably since May. This reflects the nature of international travel in the region, which is predominantly short-haul and hence, highly-price sensitive.
  • Middle East carriers experienced a 6.9% rise in demand in October, improved from 3.9% in September. Capacity increased 5.3%, and load factor climbed 1.0 percentage point to 69.6%. As in Europe, the upward trend in RPKs has slowed. Demand to and from North America fell in year-on-year terms for the seventh consecutive month in September (the most recent month for which route-specific figures are available) and it remains the only international market not to have grown in annual terms this year. Traffic has been heavily affected by the now-lifted ban on portable electronic devices, as well as from the proposed travel bans to the US.
  • North American airlines’ traffic climbed 3.7% in October compared to the year-ago period, lowest among the regions but an improvement compared to the hurricane-impacted 3% growth in September. Capacity rose 5.2% and load factor dropped 1.1 percentage points to 79.2%. North America was one of just two regions to post a load factor decline. There continue to be indications that inbound travel to the US is being deterred by the additional security measures now involved with travelling to that country.
  • Latin American airlines had an 8.7% increase in traffic in October, which was a slowdown from September growth of 10.7%, but still the second strongest percentage growth among regions. On a seasonally-adjusted basis, however, volumes are slightly below where they were three months ago. This may indicate spillover from the impact of Hurricanes Irma and Maria. Capacity climbed 9.1%, and load factor slipped 0.3 percentage points to 82.6%.
  • African airlines’ traffic grew 7.5% year-on-year in October, up from 3.6% in September. Conditions in the region’s two largest economies—Nigeria and South Africa, still are diverging, with business confidence levels in Nigeria near a three-year high, while confidence levels in South Africa are consistent with falling economic activity. Capacity rose 3.4%, and load factor jumped 2.7 percentage points to 70.9%.
Domestic Passenger Markets       
Domestic demand climbed 7.2% in October compared to October 2016, while capacity rose 6.6%. India and China continued to lead all markets, with double-digit growth rates.
October 2017
(% year-on-year)       
World share¹
RPK
ASK
PLF     
(%-pt)²     
PLF
(level)³  
Domestic
36.4%     
7.2%
6.6%    
0.4%      
83.4% 
Australia
1.0%
2.8%
1.4%
1.1%
79.8%
Brazil 
1.2%
7.7%
2.7%
3.9%
83.2%
China P.R             
8.7%
10.0%
11.0%       
-0.8%
84.3%             
India             
1.3%
20.4%
15.5%
3.4%
84.9%
Japan             
1.1%
2.3%
-0.8%             
2.3%
76.1%
Russian Fed.             
1.3%
6.1%         
2.3% 
2.9%           
80.2%
US
15.0%
5.3%      
5.4%
-0.1%
85.6%
¹% of industry RPKs in 2016   ²Year-on-year change in load factor   ³Load factor level  *Note: the seven domestic passenger markets for which broken-down data are available account for 30% of global total RPKs and approximately 82% of total domestic RPKs                        
  • Brazil’s domestic market climbed 7.7% year-on-year in October, which was a 27-month high as the economy slowly continues to recover from the deep recession of recent years.
  • Russia’s domestic traffic rose was 6.1% in October, which was the slowest pace in a year.
The Big Picture
"Demand for air travel remains strong as we head into the holiday travel season, and signs point to the broad-based economic upturn continuing into 2018, which is good news for demand for air travel. Tomorrow, IATA will hold our annual Global Media Day, bringing together some 100 journalists and bloggers from around the world, where we will present our updated economic forecast, among other topics. I look forward to this opportunity to discuss and debate the key issues and initiatives facing commercial aviation with our colleagues in the media," said de Juniac.



View full October passenger traffic analysis
     
    



JULIAN BRAY +44(0)1733 345581, Journalist & Broadcaster, Aviation Security & Airline Operations Analyst/expert, ... Travel & Holiday Guru www.aviationcomment.com, ... http://www.freelancedirectory.org/user.php?user=8121 ... www.freelancedirectory.org?name=Julian.Bray.aviation.comment, ... Aviation / Travel / Maritime & Cruise Industries, NUJ, EQUITY, LIVE ISDN LINK, Broadcast ISDN COOBE ++44 (0)1733 345020 ... SKYPE: JULIAN.BRAY.UK e&oe Old faithful NOKIA: 07944 217476

Mega North Korean ballistic missile narrowly misses commercial aircraft as the shell returns to Earth. North Korea missile 'seen by Cathay Pacific airline crew'


Crew on board a Cathay Pacific plane flying over Japan have reported a sighting of last week's North Korean missile test, the airline said.

Julian Bray Broadcaster and Aviation Expert speaking on BBC World on Monday says: "North Korea with this latest development is doing far more than just sabre rattling, urgent consultation and compromise, needs to be established before both sides pre-empt any possible attack, real or imaginary..."  

The airline according to BBC World News confirmed the 'alarmed' crew witnessed "what is suspected to be the re-entry" of the missile into the earth's atmosphere.

The airline said that no conflict zone measures were being introduced and that  no flight routes were being re-routed. On November 29th the North Koreans tested what they term a new intercontinental ballistic missile with a much improved range, meaning that it would be possible to target Hawaii and possibly the USA mainland. The North Koreans maintain they can now target anywhere in the USA. 


The test-launch comes at a time when South Korea and the US, 'lit the fuse' under their largest ever joint air exercise, which the North has branded an "all-out provocation". 

Pyongyang claims this is its "most powerful" missile, the end of November launch ended when the burnt out shell fell back into Japanese waters,  but sources claim the missile flew much higher than any other the North had previously tested.

According to The South China Morning Post reported:  Cathay's Mark Hoey told staff: "Today the crew of CX893 reported, 'Be advised, we witnessed the DPRK missile blow up and fall apart near our current location'".

The launch says local media was also witnessed by two South Korean aircraft en route to Seoul from the US.   Unlike other countries, North Korea seldom announces its intentions over missile tests which results without warning or publication of a flight plan or path.

However Pyongyang does have full and detailed access to international civil aviation data so officials can study the available airspace before any launch.
 
It is accepted the risk of an incident remains very low, as airlines are now routinely taking these launches iinto consideration. Some airlines such as Air France expanded their no-fly zone around North Korea after it became aware one of its planes, flew close to a North Korean missile path.

Monday's air exercise 'Vigilant Ace'  will involve some 230 aircraft, these include two dozen stealth jets, and tens of thousands of military personnel drawn from the US and South Korea, and is scheduled for five days.

The North has repeatedly condemned the exercise, suggesting over the weekend, the US was "begging for nuclear war" and that it would "seriously consider" counter-measures to the exercises.....



JULIAN BRAY +44(0)1733 345581, Journalist & Broadcaster, Aviation Security & Airline Operations Analyst/expert, ... Travel & Holiday Guru www.aviationcomment.com,  ... http://www.freelancedirectory.org/user.php?user=8121  ... www.freelancedirectory.org?name=Julian.Bray.aviation.comment,
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Friday, 1 December 2017

UID device intercepted at the Potsdam Christmas Market in Germany just one day after major Security expo closes in London Julian Bray reports...

Quick assembly and any length ...

Never has security been so strict and the means of enforcement so close at hand, but now the Security Expo 2017 has completed its 2 day record breaking run at Olympia, the complex exhibition stands ripped down and a legion of security firms and highly specialist operatives melt into the night and out of public view.  

It is now possible to give an candid overview of where we are today, writes Julian Bray Aviation expert, broadcaster and journalist, who presented on Day One as part of the Aviation and Border Security Conference: Facing up to International Threat Levels and The Enemy Within ....

The news today (Friday) that a viable improvised explosive device has been delivered but successfully intercepted at a Christmas market at Potsdam, Germany (part of the former East Germany GDR) demonstrates just how fast moving the international security industry now needs to be.

VAW mitigation quickly installed but free access for passenger foot traffic and cyclists


The presentations and internal conferences playing to full houses were all subject to 'Chatham House' rules  so no direct quotes or attribution but it is possible to report on individual views of the state of the nation and where we are as a nation in our approach to those who would wish us harm.

The perils of Brexit came up for discussion, dubbed by many as the 'elephant in the room.' The general feeling being that clearly not enough has been done, and even less, little involvement of UK based experts has been canvassed. 
 
Many delegates suggest a hard Brexit outcome is still on the cards, pointing to the fact that many banks and financial institutions in the UK have already identified new premises within the EU and are in the process of recruiting local staff.  On security, many reception areas in these new offices are being fitted with Kevlar reinforced desking and portable acoustic screens with a Kevlar core.  

It is clear that terrorism and the threat of terrorism remains one of the major international factors needing to be addressed, by our young and mainly inexperienced politicians, I say that as few currently treading the floors at Westminster,  physically experienced the IRA London campaign at its height, and the older politicians have either shuffled off to the Lords, retired, departed, but few have seemingly passed on their experience to the current Westminster intake. This is viewed by some as a serious lapse.  

Concrete blocks which interlock are being increasingly employed at arena events

This is also reflected in the numerous think-tanks that proffer advice, to Governments worldwide, indeed some presented their thoughts during the several internal conferences, the expert audiences listened politely. 

Many commented that whatever happens the 'Good Friday Agreement' needs to be maintained or we politically regress to 'a time none of us or our families, wish to encounter.' 

Some 200 industry speakers, experts and advisers were on hand over the two days to put their targeted messages over in a non-stop series of back-to-back 25 minute presentations, panel discussions and discreet one on one high -level closed briefings.


If you wonder where recently retired highly trained military, aviators and police/MI5 specialists go, then Olympia has never seen so many chiselled chins, well presented physiques and close cropped haircuts packed into the vaulted canopy of the Olympia National Hall.

Many freely admitted that they had piled into Gyms all over west London at some ungodly early hour before heading for the exhibition halls.


Experts at the security conference suggest a national police drone force needs to be established as the advanced computer technology is changing almost daily and some of the kit purchased so far by individual police forces isn't fit for purpose, say the experts and needs to be uniformly upgraded  

There was also high attendance by those holding diplomatic status, but however high in the security management chain of command,  it cut no mustard with the ever alert service dogs unusually on show stand duty, but one just rolling over on his back, with all on display.

The curious case of the snowbound Christmas trees outside Olympia, a closer look the snow is fake, and is there A VAW ( Vehicle as a Weapon) mitigation device behind them? We will never know... 

One such group under the commercial name of Wagtail UK Ltd  www.wagtailuk.com who work in partnership with UK Border Force, (have an impressive number of specialist detection dogs) the ones on duty specialise in explosives, money, cadaver, humans, and drugs but many other 'noses' are employed depending on the perceived threat.


They are highly specialist, with their dogs trained to detect an impressive range of threats and even money!  Managing Director Collin Singer says that large arenas, football grounds and mass transit areas are increasing using Wagtail UK dogs, as large areas can be professionally covered very quickly.  

Slightly amusing, as one particular delegate attracted immediate professional interest by the assembled dogs. The word is the gentleman concerned was given  'a serious talking to'.
The discreet entrance to the Olympia Conference ( the snow on the Christmas tree array is totally fake), possibly covering up a security defence system....

They recently added new resources following the Paris and Manchester major incidents and have highly experienced dog search teams ready to sweep large arenas, airports, ports and even cruise ships.

The speed these highly intelligent animals work is impressive, but their highly trained dogs are even faster (old joke but it works for us). 

An increasing number of City centres are building in VAW (vehicle as weapon) mitigation aids. The new series of substantial seats gracing city centres and ornamental pillars may not be just be as innocent and decorative as they seem. Practical demonstrations, from the complex to inexpensive. The examples on show by Marshalls demonstrate how this is developing.  

On the www.Zenatek.com  stand,  bulk/ low value cargo loads can now be real time tracked anywhere in the word simply by opening up a laptop. The sophisticated tracker unit about the size of an average 3 series boxset container is waterproof and disposable and can be set/installed by anyone with three minutes of training. Units about £190 each for small quantities and overall costs depending on intensity or length of tracking required.    

All very annoying, as some 20 years ago I had an idea along these lines, admittedly on the back of an envelope, hoping to pitch it to an early edition of the Dragons Den TV show but have to admit the Zenatek version is light years ahead...    

Determined demonstrators who block runways, roads and pavements by linking their arms and supergluing hands together and also encasing their arms in a variety of protective sleeves, such as drain pipes covered in carpeting then set in concrete  (the individuals having finally superglued their hands to each other - not to be recommended) will be dismayed to hear that officers can with new techniques, and cutting hardware that 007s' Jaws would be in awe of,  the three hours of disruption, it used to take to safely cut those demonstrators free, is now down to just 70 minutes,  and less... and that a new non-invasive solution removes superglued fingers and hands, in just 18 minutes. Hardly worth protesting !

We know, as we watched a live demonstration. For them just another day at the office, or the more technical term 'sandpit' as there was a simulated unexploded device also to be tacked, then a fingertip search of a Volvo truck cab, and it was ,just the cab, the demo model being minus wheels and mounted on a swivel wheeled bogie...       
   
A dedicated Drone Theatre showed in a series of live demonstrations how the latest eight propeller UAV or drone can approach a threat, travelling at some 100 miles an hour, immediately hover, send back data and retreat from theatre also at 100 miles an hour ...

It was also shown that inexpensive (£2K) drones tethered say at a permissible 200 ft operational altitude can use the tether or tie line as an immediate 200ft transmitter aerial for radio communications AND stay in the air for upto 24 hours rather than the normal 1 hour duration, as the tether could also be used to supply power direct to the UAV. 

In addition, arrange a series of these drones around an area of interest, an instant radio communications array, with a minimum of set up time, real time mapping of a threat area can be achieve in minutes.

We learned Police forces throughout the country all have different Drone UAV protocols , there is no national single purpose drone system, but specialists say this is being worked on by a group based in Wales.  

Alarmingly Police tend to rely on Google maps, but as was pointed out, Google data in some areas is some six years old, but an immediate real time mapping not more than an hour old by UAV is now possible, and the software to decode is already in use.. many, many, hours saved and the mapping data is fresh, accurate and in a format ready for court evidence.

Many of the exhibitors have already  booked their stands for the next show in 2018 and this innovative event may have to be moved to a larger hall at Olympia, such is the initial impact.

Julian Bray   

And heading home....Spectacular Christmas Decorations are alight in Regent Street and St James London


JULIAN BRAY +44(0)1733 345581, Journalist & Broadcaster, Aviation Security & Airline Operations Analyst/expert, ... Travel & Holiday Guru www.aviationcomment.com,  ... http://www.freelancedirectory.org/user.php?user=8121  ... www.freelancedirectory.org?name=Julian.Bray.aviation.comment,   ... Aviation / Travel / Maritime & Cruise Industries, NUJ, EQUITY, LIVE ISDN LINK, Broadcast ISDN COOBE ++44 (0)1733 345020 ... SKYPE: JULIAN.BRAY.UK e&oe Old faithful NOKIA: 07944 217476
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