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Julian Bray provides: Opinion, comment, forward thinking speculation 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. Worked 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.

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

A retweet, comment or other publication by any means does not constitute an endorsement.

Quoted Content subject to creditline 'Julian Bray'

NUJ Life Member and Equity Full Member.

During career an active MCIPR, MMC & MBDS

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Saturday, 24 August 2013

Heathrow 1,000 Aero Ground LED lighting part of £20 million runway renewal,all on schedule.


 
• Next phase of £20m runway resurfacing is underway.  Over 130km of cabling and 1000 new LED Aeronautical Ground Lights will be installed. Some 22,000 tonnes of old runway surface has been removed and replaced in under 4 months

 
 
The £20million make-over of Heathrow’s southern runway is one step closer, after the completion of the replacement of the asphalt surface, and the start of the final installation of the new lights and cabling.

After a decade of continuous pounding by millions of aircraft taking off and landing, the runways at Heathrow are undergoing vital refurbishment to ensure they are safe and in good order. As the airport cannot close a runway during the working day, the logistically complex operation happens during the night and on one runway at a time. The work began on the southern runway in April; the northern runway will be resurfaced next year using the same process.

Over 150 construction workers using approximately 80 heavy items of plant and equipment have worked for almost four months to excavate and relay 22,000 tonnes of asphalt - the runway’s hard-wearing surface.

With this part of the project completed the next phase to complete the installation of around 130,000 meters of lighting cable and over 1000 Aeronautical Ground Lights (AGLs) began at the beginning of August. These AGLs help guide the pilots during poor visibility and are fitted within the surface of the Runway.


During each working night more than 1000 cones mark out a temporary road system along the length of the runway to allow safe passage of vehicles and machinery.

Work starts as soon as the last flight has used the southern runway and the team then has a race against the clock to complete the work before the next day’s operations begin.

Andrew Mitchell, Senior Project Manager said:

“During the July heat wave, we had to reorganise our schedule as it was too hot for the asphalt to be laid, but with careful contingency planning and well co-ordinated teamwork the pace of the project hasn’t been affected.

“We’ve successfully laid and grooved the new surface and now we’re cracking on with laying the thousands of metres of new cable and connecting hundreds of lights.”

Before the day’s first flight the sections of new runway are inspected for debris and a safety ‘grip test’ is carried out. The runway is only authorised for use once the Duty Manager Airside is satisfied everything is safe for aircraft to operate.

Once the AGLs are complete, a flight check will be carried out (a small plane will conduct a series on landings on the runway) to make sure all the lights are operating correctly, and then the runway will be returned to its CAT3 status, indicating that the Runway can be used in all weather conditions.

JULIAN BRAY, broadcaster & Journalist, Media, Aviation, & Travel Expert. Broadcaster & Journalist EQUITY Member NUJ Life Mbr. UK Tel: 01733 345581 (isdn link on application)

Monday, 19 August 2013

International Legal Protection for all Seafarers - including cruise ship hotel and entertainment staff finally becomes law



All on board ship crew are now legally regarded as Seafarers
 under the new Maritime Labour Convention


Julian Bray (01733 345581) writes:  What is regarded as a maritime employment and human rights legislative breakthrough and a major seachange in the working and welfare conditions of all who work in a maritime, seagoing environment is the legislative Maritime Labour Convention 2006 [MLC] which after seven years of international legal bickering has now finally become international law and on the statute books from Tuesday August 20th 2013. The new legislation has the potential to make a genuine difference to the lives of ALL seafarers.

Sunday, 18 August 2013

Princess Diana Death, 16 years ago. Scotland Yard to scope new information laid before them...



Princess Diana : What really happened?


(C) JULIAN BRAY 2013

 Julian Bray writes:  I am pleased that Scotland Yard is re-opening the files on the untimely death of Princess Diana, some 16 years ago, and I will be making available the full script of a 45 minute detailed lecture I prepared and delivered to many audiences around the world between the years of 2006 and 2013.




The question of how she died has to my own mind never been fully answered and many of the french police documents were not released to the English investigators. Therefore a  large question mark is still hanging over her death, and the deeper I researched the matter the role of 'a military person' was raised and is also discussed..

This is an extract from the lecture script, the full lecture of 45 minutes duration goes into greater detail of what was known and additional information passed to me by several members of the many audiences who attended the original presentations:


After the birth of Prince Harry, Diana lived with a constant fear that she would be murdered.  Those close to her also watched over their shoulders, some were warned off and a few totally severed their relationship with Diana. So you might ask what gives me the right to delve a little further?

 
It was a chance meeting and a conversation with journalist Noel Botham, he’d written a draft of a book suggesting that Diana had been deliberately and coldly assassinated, he had newspapers falling over themselves, throwing cash at him, for a chance to publish extracts, then suddenly the promised serialisation failed to happen.

 

Friday, 16 August 2013

EGYPT : Baroness Warsi resisting pleas to change FCO advice says Travel Expert Julian Bray

EGYPT LATEST:

Following a telephone call between the Foreign Secretary and the Egyptian Foreign Minister this evening (Saturday 17th August 2013), a Foreign Office spokesperson reports:

The Foreign Secretary and the Egyptian Foreign Minister spoke about the tragic violence and loss of life over recent days. The Foreign Secretary emphasised UK condemnation of all acts of violence, whether disproportionate use of force by the security forces or violent actions by some demonstrators.

 
They also discussed the recent attacks on places of worship and the Foreign Secretary stressed that attacks on mosques and churches were unacceptable and that places of worship must be protected.

 

The Foreign Secretary noted the Egyptian government’s stated commitment to the political roadmap published on 4 July, based on dialogue between all parties who accepted peaceful political processes. He underlined the need for urgent steps by all sides to end the violence and enable a return to dialogue. The Foreign Secretary also emphasised the EU’s collective determination to support a peaceful resolution of the situation.


Wednesday, 14 August 2013

No wonder Spain coverts Gibraltar - the world leading home of "remote gambling"




Is this why Spain is really very keen to get its hands on Gibraltar? They could buy several Spanish fishing fleets with the HUGE profits made from "Remote Gambling" ie internet casino companies, all operating from the Rock .... each company has several approved brands ( click on links to expose the brands)





Remote Gambling
Print E-mail


REMOTE GAMBLING FROM GIBRALTAR
All gambling operations in Gibraltar require licensing under the Gambling Act 2005 (“the Act”). Remote Gambling licences, including for telephone and internet betting, are issued by the Licensing Authority.
 
The Gambling Commissioner is appointed under the provisions of the Act. The Act grants the Gambling Commissioner powers to ensure that licensees conduct their operations in accordance with their licenses and in such a manner as to maintain the good reputation of Gibraltar.
 
GENERAL

The Licensing Authority will only consider licensing blue chip companies with a proven track record in gambling, licensed in a reputable jurisdiction, of good financial standing and with a realistic business plan. Licences are generally difficult to obtain. As at 1st March 2012 the licensed operators were as follows:-
 
Licensed OperatorsGambling ActivitiesLicence No.

1
Ladbrokes (International) Plc

Ladbrokes Sportsbook LP  


Approved Brands
Fixed-odds
Casino
Fixed-odds
RGL No. 010
RGL No. 012
RGL No. 044

2
Victor Chandler (International) Ltd
                                            


Approved Brands
Fixed-odds
Casino
RGL No. 001
RGL No. 014

3
Stan James Plc
                                            


Approved Brands
Fixed-odds
Casino
RGL No. 004
RGL No. 023

4
bwin.party digital entertainment Plc
                                                                            


Approved Brands
Fixed-odds
Casino
RGL No. 051
RGL No. 050

5
Spielo International (Gibraltar) Ltd
                                                                                                         


Approved Brands
CasinoRGL No. 017

6
32 Red Plc
                                                                          


Approved Brands
Casino
Fixed-odds
RGL No. 019
RGL No. 045

7
Digibet Ltd                    

Approved Brands
Fixed-odds
Casino
RGL No. 021
RGL No. 037

8
Cassava Enterprises (Gibraltar) Ltd (888.com Plc)                

Approved Brands
Fixed-odds
Casino
RGL No. 039
RGL No. 022

9
Mansion Online Casino Ltd
Onisac Limited                          


Approved Brands
Casino
Casino
RGL No. 029
RGL No. 053
10Prospreads Limited (formerly FuturesBetting.com Ltd)                                 

Approved Brands
Financial Spread BettingRGL No. 028
11WHG (International) Ltd (formerly William Hill (Gibraltar) Ltd)
WHG (International) Ltd   


Approved Brands
Casino
Fixed-odds
RGL No. 034
RGL No. 042
12Hillside (Gibraltar) Ltd (Bet365 Group Ltd)

                                    Approved Brands
CasinoRGL No.035
13Betfred (Gibraltar) Ltd (Betfred)  

                                          Approved Brands
Fixed-odds
Casino
RGL No. 038
RGL No. 036
14Gamesys (Gibraltar) Ltd (Entertaining Play Ltd)

                                     Approved Brands
Casino
Approved Betting Products
RGL No. 046
RGL No. 063
15Probability (Gibraltar) Ltd

Approved Brands
CasinoRGL No. 047
16TSE (Gibraltar) LP (Betfair Group)

Approved Brands
Betting exchangeRGL No. 049
17tombola (International) Plc

Approved Brands
CasinoRGL No. 052
18St Endellion Ltd

Approved Brands
CasinoRGL No. 054
19BetClic Everest (Gibraltar) Ltd

Approved Brands
Casino
Fixed-odds
RGL No. 055
RGL No. 056
20IGT (Gibraltar) Ltd

Approved Brands
Casino (B2B)RGL No. 057
21Gala Interactive (Gibraltar) Ltd
Coral Interactive (Gibraltar) Ltd


Approved Brands
Casino
Fixed-odds
RGL No. 059
RGL No. 060
22SHFL Entertainment (Gibraltar) Ltd

Approved Brands
Casino (B2B)RGL No. 061
23Bally Technologies (Gibraltar) Ltd

Approved Brands
Casino (B2B)RGL No. 062
24Ongame Network Ltd (Amaya Inc Group)

Approved Brands
CasinoRGL No. 064
25EU Lotto Ltd

Approved Brands
Fixed-oddsRGL No. 066
26Odobo Ltd

Approved Brands
Casino (B2B)RGL No. 067


JULIAN BRAY, Media, Aviation, & Travel Expert. Broadcaster & Journalist NUJ EQUITY UK Tel: 01733 345581 (isdn link on application)

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

In less than 10 years, UK rail fares up by nearly 60 per cent and from January 2014 UK rail fare some rises of nearly 10% approved




As the Coalition Government confirms the latest rail fares linked to today's RPI figures, meaning that regulated fares will rise by an average 4.1%,  the rail union RMT point out that rail fares have easily outstripped the soaring housing market.

The UK, says the union, has experienced one of the world's most spectacular and sustained property booms. Even while the price of property has collapsed in other crisis hit countries such as Ireland, Spain and the USA - in most of the UK, house prices continue to rise out of all proportion to earnings.
The boom in house prices, however, is nothing compared to how high rail ticket fares have soared says the RMT. Between 2004 and 2012 the average house price (for all types of dwelling in the UK) rose 36.7% - from £180,000 to £246,000.

Yet in the decade to January 2013, rail fares (specifically, all types of tickets offered by every train operator) increased by 57.7%.
Today the regulated rail fares for 2014 have been announced - and they are going up yet again. Next year's rail fares will increase by an average of 4.1% with some fares rising by nearly 9.2%.
 
RMT's Bob Crow, commented: "While rail fares are rising by nearly 10 per cent on some routes, the private train companies are in there stitching up secret franchise extensions with the government that are a one-way ticket to the bank for the shareholders who couldn't care less about passengers and staff.  The money ripped off from rail passengers under privatisation has even put the booming house market in the shade.

"Passengers stuck for hours on broken down trains will be commonplace as maintenance schedules slide and the whole rail operation remains in the hands of racketeers and speculators. The only solution is to renationalise lock, stock and barrel."

JULIAN BRAY, Media, Aviation, & Travel Expert. Broadcaster & Journalist NUJ EQUITY UK Tel: 01733 345581 (isdn link on application)

Saturday, 10 August 2013

BBC Cambs Managing Editor Dave Harvey calls us up...


 
North Cambridgeshire
 
Julian Bray writes: I had a long and interesting conversation with David Harvey managing editor of BBC Cambridgeshire when he called earlier today, picking up on comments in the PBROTRIB news post, and in return I constructively put over the real concerns from this City, all following on from the PBROTrib blog suggesting the BBC station is pulling out of Peterborough, and the 'Cambridgecentric' resident mafia has in effect made a bloodless takeover, and we on the edge of the well heeled 'shires, relegated to a battered bin marked 'North Cambridgeshire.'

Curiously David made no mention of his meeting earlier this week with Stewart Jackson MP.

The substance of the blog is still as they say, "bang on the money", and sadly we seem to know more about what is going on, than the local troops have been told.

Certainly the BBC studio in Peterborough, as we know it, will close down in October, but Managing Editor David Harvey suggests that other systems might be put in place along with a physical base. I'm not totally convinced by his position, but he is running the show, and at best, I am just an interested observer, we do after all own the Corporation...

To a great degree we have to understand, David Harvey is working to a very narrow set of guidelines imposed on him, both in policy and money terms, hopefully being more strategic in his remit than operationally hands on. Perhaps in the overall scheme of things Peterborough isn't that important to the long term BBC corporate planners?

Perhaps the new DG - a former well respected BBC head of radio news - will in time clarify some of the dubious technofuzz noise that has bedevilled the Corporation, and looted funding from programme making over the last decade.

However whan a high visibility politican publicly jumps up and down, a previously twinned Breakfast Show, boiled down into one, has now suddenly been taken apart and now again broadcasts as two elements or strands. So it is possible. Perhaps we need in our camp, a political heavy hitter and a known dining companion of the Chair of the BBC Trust to make it happen here. Who knows?

To be fair to all, and as a infoRmation hub ( our sister blog) the PBROTrib is more than happy to put David Harveys points forward, and any other he may care to make in future.

It might well reflect the different use of future technology, and the fact that a BBC reporter could be armed with nothing more than a beefed up i-fone possibly with a LuciLive app [ IMHO no patch on ISDN - frequent drop outs - trust me] but does it address the core concerns that the spoken word - a crucial part of the BBC local station remit - will in future carry an equitable selection of our 'North Cambridgeshire' views and very real concerns?

We have installed in our Peterborough City Council Town Hall, a 'robotic voting' majority party who have all but managed to kill off debate in council. Many of the decisions being agreed before the council meeting takes place, and the rubber stamping of the decision by a sea of hands.

Cambridgeshire County Council however has a wholly different political make up, demographic and approach to life.

They have County councillors who are confusingly on BBC Cambs routinely called councillors, and speak as if their policy/ appeal covers the wholly different Unitary Authority of the City of Peterborough, when it clearly does not. It probaby works the other way round to the refined ears of the 'shires audience.

Peterborough has City Councillors. Cambridgecentric presenters daily refer to their journey into work, and almost hourly the perils of travelling on the A14, something called Parkers Piece ( in Peterborough, that would be a slice of Pizza? ) and a possible cleric called Jesus Green. Royston also gets a good plug in the mid mornings So easily identified as to where the broadcast studio is from..ie not on our Manor...

Rather than debate each point here, this is the core message David Harvey wishes to get over with some of our comments:

>>> BBC Radio Cambridgeshire is not pulling out of broadcasting from Peterborough and will continue to maintain an office, reporters and the ability to make radio and television content from Peterborough. 


>>>> No person is being ‘let go’ and staffing levels will remain as they are.


>>>> The number of reporters available to go out on stories will remain as now. BBC Look East will also continue to have a reporter in Peterborough.


>>>> The Breakfast Show, like all of our daytime shows, has already been broadcast from Cambridge, without any noticeable difference in quality or story count relating to content from Peterborough.

>>> We don’t talk on-air about which studio the show is broadcast from, because our studio base does not impact on the material in the programme.

As ever what do you think?

JULIAN BRAY, Media, Aviation, & Travel Expert. Broadcaster & Journalist NUJ EQUITY UK Tel: 01733 345581 (isdn link on application)

Boeing Corporation 'secretly' buying back 747-400 claim brokers, to boost sales of troubled 747-8's

 
Although no names are being released according to russian sources the Boeing Company has already started a B747-400s buyback from airlines,  who order new Boeing 747-8s, but these 747-8's are not selling as well as they should be, or as the planners estimated.

In fact its fair to say Boeing are currently experiencing hard times, industry experts believe that the list might include Cathay Pacific Airways and Korean Airlines.

The buyback program allows Boeing to support airlines’ fleet renewal with NEW Boeing product, and reducing available in flight seat numbers. In current market conditions, when the demand for older wide-body aircraft is rapidly vanishing,  its an astute move. Some of the buyback aircraft will be reconfigured for cargo or dual combi ie passenger and/or cargo working ( as used by Alitalia for  a specific car body contract between the USA and Rome).

THe Boeing 747-400, was in the production from 1988 until 2009, and is currently the best selling model of the 747 family. The new generation of B747’s is now regarded as the longest passenger aircraft in the world (beats the Airbus A340-600 by just 1 metre), with redesigned wings and improved efficiency.
 
Cargolux Airlines, Atlas Air, Lufthansa and Cathay Pacific Airways currently have the greatest number of B747-8 in service.

Boeing’s main competitor – Airbus – has also been embracing the buyback strategy to massage the process of manufacturing of their new generation of airliners. , last year the Airbus covertly bought back 10, and this year 3 making so far a buyback of 13 A340s.


JULIAN BRAY, Media, Aviation, & Travel Expert. Broadcaster & Journalist NUJ EQUITY UK Tel: 01733 345581 (isdn link on application)

Thursday, 8 August 2013

Farewell BBC Peterborough I'ts been fun, but Cambridge has won....

All switched off by October...very sad.:


Julian Bray writes:  Well its now openly confirmed BBC Radio Cambridgeshire will be fully pulling broadcasting out of the City of Peterborough, after some 30 years, and concentrating broadcasting resources for the whole County of Cambridgeshire on the City of Cambridge, so as these things go, the invaluable local knowledge of all things unique to the City of Peterborough, will in the fullness of time, be watered down.

Sadly it took another BBC region to tip me off some months back. They all seemed to know long before the local troops did, how can that be? Peterborough residents will however still be required to pay the licence fee.

THe City of Peterborough as an influence in the wider broadcasting scheme of things will clearly cease to exist, and who knows it might be part of an even bigger plan where the Unitary Authority of the City of Peterbrough calls it a day, and throws its lot in with the better financially resourced County Council?

What is probably not realised, is that good BBC Peterborough studio quality interviews are routinely fed into national and international networks - both radio and television. In the form of both audio and scripts and TV audio fed back to radio. Telephone quality interviews are rarely used again and are just one offs..

It probably didn't help our local cause, that Stewart Jackson MP and other Westminster select committee members, came over as exceptionally boorish and downright rude to the BBC suits ( its repeated from time to time on BBC Parliament TV), including the very new Director General Sir Tony Hall (Tony Hall in a previous life, being a very hands on well respected Head of BBC Radio News, at the time when our Stewart was still being potty trained) during the Parliamentary Select Committee hearing.

All live broadcasting from the Central Peterborough studios will cease in October, ironically just as the Peterborough Unitary Authority Link Bus network is also dismantled and off the road, but we hear a small admin. office for visiting TV crews will be maintained somewhere.

Hopefully presenter Paul Stainton, and his hard working award winning breakfast crew with their unique knowledge AND UNDERSTANDING of this City will all be able to make the move to Cambridge, but I don't think so, some will be let go, as many already have. Sadly for the cost of a single BBC TOP GEAR smash 'em up TV Show, several BBC Peterboroughs could be comfortably maintained with cash to spare.

The long serving troops at the BBC Cambridge broadcasting base are clearly better located 'and well dug in' to service the 4:20 am call and short commute to be 'bright eyed and bushy tailed' by the 6am transmission start. Andy Harper includes Breakfast generated Peterborough content, but Sue in the afternoon? Jeremy Sallis has little or no on air connection with this City, and it shows.

If the Peterborough City Council controlling political party, had an ounce of sense, it would do what most large grown up authorities do, and set up its own remote studio with a simple dial up ISDN line and a small ISDN self operated terminal. All can be done for the price of a few plastic corporation green planters, (but to be fair to Cllr Goodwin she has properly planted them up this year, so they look much better - but designwise still tres naff IMHO).

Although the BBC may be leaving the City, the voice and those of its residents must still be heard in broadcast quality sound from time to time on the local and national networks. Just not so often and as this mornings virtually music and fun free outside broadcast about a plan to build thousands of new houses on an old airfield somewhere in South Cambridge, could be the imposed shape of things to come . Who knows?

The dear leader the grandly sounding proud Italian Cllr Marco Cereste of Peterborough City Council however thinks he sounds good on the end of a smartphone - err he doesn't - so unless he is prepared to physically travel out of his manor and into Cambridge, speech content from this City will evaporate. Peterbrough has a set of challenges, unique to this City, both good and bad. It also has a unique way of dealing with multi-ethnic social challenges, all of which are of absolutely no interest to the well heeled county 'shire residents, 'Cambridge academia', transient Uni students and punting Japanese day trippers who make up the local population.

Within this City we have a virtually unique multicultrual macro society, which during the summer riots and burnings of a couple of years ago actually came together to keep the rioters out of this City. Not many other Cities can say that.

There will also be a physical price to pay, the Cambridge studio is already overstaffed with 'Cambridgecentric' presenters who care little for Peterborian matters, and we in turn have absolutely no interest in the grumbles of distant county councillors, or the happenings on the misguided busway or the afternoon musings of a brace of Cambridge society mums who bake and sell cup cakes to support hospices in Africa, from their Smallbone designer kitchens, whilst their husbands earn trillions in the nearby Cambridge Science Park. Where does the bedroom-tax fit in here? Or the hundreds waiting every Tuesday at 8am, for the Peterborough magistrates court to open, facing eviction from a council issued summons, or a recently parachuted in £125k salaried Head of Childrens Services, who is too posh or rarely available for media comment.     




JULIAN BRAY, Media, Aviation, & Travel Expert. Broadcaster & Journalist NUJ EQUITY UK Tel: 01733 345581 (isdn link on application)

Sunday, 4 August 2013

When the Apes leave Gibraltar.... Why the reef really is being constructed...




Julian Bray writes: The news that the Spanish Government has decided to 'get tough' on the whole question of the sovereign ownership of Gibraltar is nothing new to readers of this news blog.  Shades of the Falklands War, and an impending Spanish election campaign, have placed Gibraltar in the spotlight as a convenient diversion, from mounting political problems, corruption investigations, and a 50% unemployment rate on the Spanish mainland.  

The construction of a fisheries protection reef, was in reality only commissioned as a result of regular incursions by large Spanish inshore fishing boats, and smaller 'private' craft regularly testing 'the Gib maritine defences' by frustrating the safe arrival and departure of international cruise ships, many American owned.  Protecting fisheries are in fact a secondary consideration but don't tell anyone, we told you!

Millions of hours of cameraphone holiday footage contains video of the well drilled fully armed 'British Police' Gib marine defence sqaud equipped with high speed zodiacs, who see off all who pose any kind of threat to those lawfully within Gibraltarian waters. Woe betide any craft who try and impede the cruise ships! During my onboard lecture tours with all the major cruise lines, I have landed at Gibratar countless times, to witness all
 kinds of maritime operations.

Gibraltar was at one time a mandatory first port of call, for duty free shopping, but not so important these days, as the cruise lines on their new generation of floating self-contained destination mega ships, developed their onboard shopping malls and actually now undercut Gibraltar mainland retail prices.  

Sinking ship in Gibraltar docks, the high density residential blocks to the left are built on reclaimed land adjacent to Gibraltar (click on picture to enlarge).

It was clear that Gibraltar was in fact becoming a liability as shore excursions needing to cross the border from Gibraltar into Spain, were increasingly unreliable due to 'administrative' delays and in terms of ensuring all coaches, private hire buses and taxis were back alongside for a 6pm or earlier departure. It is also a problem where some ships wee replenishing supplies from Gibraltar but increasingly Vigo (Northern Spain) and Lisbon (Portugal) have  taken over this role.

The shortsightedness of the Spanish Authorities is quite astonishing as they have overlooked that on any one day some 7,000 international cruise ship passengers will board Spanish owned coaches and head for the Spanish mainland for day trips. Where they will spend substantial funds at various tourist centres including Santiago de Compostela, the location of the recent railcrash.   

As the British Government has reserved the right to retaliate against Spanish owned enterprises, we could well see the bizarre situation developing whereby Spanish owned British Airways flights are surcharged or denied landing at British Airports albeit that the UK main airports are these days Spanish owned. In any event frustrating dividend payments to their Spanish masters, could well be on the cards, and cause the Spaniards even greater economic problems - and very quickly.    

This is the official UK reaction to the current impasse:

Following comments reported today, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London "has reasserted its ties" with Gibraltar.

The Foreign Office has also called for a political answer to the current situation, looking to continue the UK’s strong relationship with Spain.
A Foreign Office spokesman said:
The Prime Minister has made clear that the UK government will meet its constitutional commitments to the people of Gibraltar and will not compromise on sovereignty. Our differences with Spain on Gibraltar will be resolved by political means through our relationship as EU partners, not through disproportionate measures such as the border delays we have seen over the past week. We have many common interests with Spain and wish to continue to have a strong relationship at every level with the Government of Spain.
The Cordoba Agreement was an example of our relationship with Spain working effectively, with the Agreement benefiting many in the Campo area of Spain. We are continuing to abide by our obligations under the Agreement and we look to the Government in Spain to do likewise. In the meantime, we will be seeking an explanation from Spain following reports that the Spanish government might target Gibraltar with further measures.

 

On Friday 2 August the Spanish Ambassador was summoned to the Foreign Office in relation to delays at the Gibraltar border

This is the post from last October :-     

Julian Bray writes: Gibraltar could soon be dumped as a regular Port of Call by cruise ships in coming seasons, senior industy sources have indicated. As reflected in a parliamentary debate on Gibraltar in the House of Commons, London, earlier today (Wednesday 15th October); which reported the recently elected Spanish Government is no longer co-operating in the trilateral talks on maintaining cordial relations between Gibraltar and Spain.
It also comes on a day when the Home Secretary Theresa May MP announced the UK is withdrawing from all EC pre Lisbon Police and Criminal Justice matters, reserving the right to opt back in to single EC measures as appropriate.
As a result a growing number of cruise lines are considering dropping Gibraltar and no longer consider it as an important port of call, following a renewal of repetitive border delays between the Rock and Spain.
Delays of up to five hours at a time are being experienced as the local Guardia Civil [GC] (The Guardia Civil is in essence the Spanish gendarme. It is a police force that has both military, maritime and civilian functions plus a foreign peace-keeping role. It enjoys military status and is the equivalent of a federal paramilitary police), GC units are closing the border for several hours at a time, on the pretext of conducting searches for smuggled goods from Gib into Spain and the reverse. In addition they are conducting patrols allegedly within British territorial waters, which has frequently involved the armed intervention of the Royal Navy.
Clearly cruise line guests making day trips to Spain, and on organised coach excursions are not arriving back in time due to the border delays, and in most cases the cruise ship has to vacant its berth, leaving passengers stranded. The delays either require the offloading of the missing passengers luggage, or at their own expense passengers to travel by rail or air to the next port of call.
Cruise lines have also noted that by excluding Gibraltar they can extend time at provisioning ports such as Lisbon, Vigo and Barcelona, and also preserve the high level of on-board spend where duty free tobaccos, alcohol and shopping are now an important part of the profitability of any cruise. In particular Vigo in Gallicia, Northern Spain has made a substantial investment in a new cruise terminal, ship provisioning and port side visitor attractions,
The border delays have also affected the rapid transit of seriously ill passengers to Spanish hospitals. In some cases it is claimed, 'private ambulances' (hearses) have also been refused entry to Spain, and the body has had to be repatriated 'Medevac' by air from Gibraltar airport.
Other problems are also caused by Spanish hospitals and medical clinics refusing to accept the European Health Card, and demanding payment in full from British Citizens before they will offer treatment or supply medications. They say the Central Governemen,t of Spain isn't refunding the costs involved although the funds are being paid by the UK.
 
This roads sign greets travellers in Gibraltar
as they embark from cruise ships
 
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