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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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Thursday, 30 March 2017

Bedfordshire helicopter en route to Dublin crashes in North Wales mountains. Five fatalities as AAIB and Coroner both open investigations

Eurocopter AS 55 Ecureuill - 2 twin Squirrel now manufactured by Airbus.

Five people are now known to have died in a helicopter crash in north Wales. The privately owned helicopter said to be a Eurocopter AS 55 Ecureuill - 2 twin Squirrel,  registered to an owner in the Milton Keynes area, physically took off from Luton, Bedfordshire, the destination being Dublin. An intensive air, sea and land search along the path of the flight plan was actioned on Wednesday.  

On Thursday, North Wales Police Supt Gareth Evans confirmed the crash site had been found by an expert mountain rescue team who have experience of the difficult Rhinog mountains located between Trawsfynydd and Harlech.  Visibility is said to have been poor around 10 metres. 

The bodies of all five people on board are now in the process of being recovered. The alarm was raised when the Eurocopter vanished from radar contact near Caernarfon Bay.

It is thought that a flight plan had been properly filed as police say they had no knowledge of a planned landing in Caernarfon, when enroute to Dublin.  Next-of-kin have been informed, following the opening of an official investigation by a team of investigators from the Air Accident Investigation Board who are already on site.

Police have withheld the exact location of the accident "as bodies have yet to be recovered from the remote and hazardous mountainous terrain." 

The coroner for NWWales, Dewi Pritchard-Jones, has opened an investigation, however formal identification of the bodies, has yet to take place.

JULIAN BRAY +44(0)1733 345581, Journalist & Broadcaster, Aviation Security & Airline Operations Analyst/expert, Travel / Maritime & Cruise Industry, NUJ, EQUITY, LIVE ISDN LINK, Broadcast ISDN COOBE ++44 (0)1733 345020 e&oe Old faithful NOKIA: 07944 217476



Britain must prioritize aviation in Brexit negotiations if it is to avoid major disruption to air travel, budget carrier Ryanair (RYA.I) warned on Wednesday, echoing growing concerns across the sector as Britain triggers its exit from the European Union.

Airlines based in the EU have the right to fly to, from and within any country in the bloc thanks to the single aviation market created in the 1990s, but Britain now has just two years to renegotiate access or come up with an alternative system.

"There is a distinct possibility that there may be no flights between the UK and Europe for a period of time after March 2019," Ryanair's chief marketing officer Kenny Jacobs said on Wednesday

UK-based low cost carriers, especially Luton-based easyJet (EZJ.L), are among those most affected by Brexit, because they typically make more use of the EU rights to fly between other member states and not just to and from the UK.

They could lose that right after Brexit. EasyJet said on Wednesday it was close to applying for a license to set up an operating company within the EU to protect its intra-EU flights. Its headquarters and listing would remain in Britain, it added.
Jacobs said there was no time to lose to strike an aviation deal between Britain and the EU, as airlines need to finalize their 2019 summer schedules in the first half of next year.

While British Prime Minister Theresa May has said no Brexit deal - and a return to World Trade Organisation rules - was better than a bad deal, aviation is not covered by WTO, creating greater uncertainty over what might happen.

Since Britain's June 23 vote to leave the EU, easyJet shares are down 35 percent, Wizz Air's (WIZZ.L) are down 18 percent, Ryanair's are up 4 percent and British Airways owner IAG's (ICAG.L) are up 0.7 percent. Shares in Germany's Lufthansa (LHAG.DE), meanwhile, are up 24 percent.

Read full story here:

JULIAN BRAY +44(0)1733 345581, Journalist & Broadcaster, Aviation Security & Airline Operations Analyst/expert, Travel / Maritime & Cruise Industry, NUJ, EQUITY, LIVE ISDN LINK, Broadcast ISDN COOBE ++44 (0)1733 345020 e&oe Old faithful NOKIA: 07944 217476

Stansted Home Office deportation flights protest at Stansted airport, 17 arrested bailed to appear before Chelmsford magistrates on May 3rd.

Seventeen people 9 women and 8 men were arrested by police following a protest at Stansted Airport, Essex. They temporarily halted airport operation preventing take-offs and landings on Tuesday.
Police were called at 21:30 BST as the trespassers gained access via a service runway, well away from scheduled public operations and the airport terminal. The invaders opened up an aircraft and then locked themselves inside. 

Reports suggest those involved were trying to stop a 'Home Office' charter flight which it is claimed was set to deport illegal immigrants and others on the deportation list from the UK and destined for return to West Africa, namely Nigeria and Ghana.

Airport Operations said the runway was closed as a "precaution" but reopened at 23.17 BST.
In total, some 9 women and 8 men were arrested by police, then bailed to appear before magistrates in Chelmsford on May 3rd.

Incoming flights to Stansted were diverted to other airports in the UK, including scheduled arrivals from Naples, Cologne, Glasgow, Riga, Belfast and Bilbao.

Julian Bray Aviation Expert said: "Stansted Airport is the UK security airport of choice and is used as the destination airport for incidents such as hijackings or emergency landings or incidents requiring police, military or RAFjet escort support (ie when a commercial aircraft needs assistance, possibly due to radio comms. failure).  

"An academic who sadly seemed to be out of touch with 21st century aviation operations, speaking on regional television news channels earlier today (Thursday) claimed Stansted management had failed and an enquiry should be set up, as trespassing of this type should be prevented.

"Well nothing can be further from the truth. Stansted, a recent acquisition, is part of the Manchester Airport Group, thought to be one of the most progressive aviation management operations in the UK.

"Clearly unless you make UK airports, a locked down prohibited area with highly restricted access and regular continuing military/ police patrols then, from time to time determined protesters will breach perimeter lines."   

Essex Police claimed that officers were quickly at the incident and in the process of removing protesters from the aircraft, which was destined for Nigeria.

Acting Assistant Chief Constable Sean O'Callaghan said police "quickly contained" the protesters in one area of the airport.

"We continue to work closely with our partners and the airport authority as we work to apprehend any protesters quickly and effectively," he said.

The protesters posted images on social media, including a picture of people lying on the ground and surrounded by airport security staff and police (who due to current threat levels are routinely armed at airports).

source: PA, CNS, BBCNews, Carters,

JULIAN BRAY +44(0)1733 345581, Journalist & Broadcaster, Aviation Security & Airline Operations Analyst/expert,   Travel / Maritime & Cruise Industry, NUJ, EQUITY, LIVE ISDN LINK, Broadcast ISDN COOBE ++44 (0)1733 345020 e&oe Old faithful NOKIA: 07944 217476  

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

IATA Urgent Call to politicians for Alternatives to Large Electronic Restrictions

IATA Urgent Call for Alternatives to Large Electronic Restrictions
Montreal - The International Air Transport Association (IATA) calls on governments to urgently find alternatives to recently announced measures by the United States and the United Kingdom to restrict the carry-on of large electronic items on certain flights departing the Middle East and North Africa.

The Case for Alternative Measures

"The current measures are not an acceptable long-term solution to whatever threat they are trying to mitigate. Even in the short term it is difficult to understand their effectiveness. And the commercial distortions they create are severe. We call on governments to work with the industry to find a way to keep flying secure without separating passengers from their personal electronics," said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO.

De Juniac made this demand in a speech to the Montreal Council on Foreign Relations in which he highlighted the need to maintain public confidence in the security of the global aviation industry which safely and security operates an average 100,000 flights a day.

"With the measures now in place, our passengers and member airlines are asking valid questions. Why don’t the US and the UK have a common list of airports? How can laptops be secure in the cabin on some flights and not others, including flights departing from the same airport? And surely there must be a way to screen electronic equipment effectively? The current situation is not acceptable and will not maintain the all-important confidence of the industry or of travellers. We must find a better way. And Governments must act quickly," said de Juniac.

IATA Calls for Better Coordination and Information Sharing

IATA also expressed frustration at the process used by governments to put in place the security measures which was woefully lacking. "The industry came together quickly to implement the new requirements. That was a challenge because there was no prior consultation and little coordination by governments," said de Juniac.
IATA has long called for better information sharing and coordination on security measures among governments and with the industry.

"While governments have the primary responsibility for security, we share the priority of keeping passengers, crew and aircraft secure. To do that effectively intelligence is king. And it needs to be shared amongst governments and with the industry. It’s the only way to stop terrorists before they get near an airport, let alone aircraft," de Juniac.

Moreover, cooperation between industry and governments yields a better result. "Airlines don’t want access to state secrets. But if airlines understand the outcome governments want, they can help with the operational experience to deliver that result effectively and efficiently," said de Juniac.

International Cooperation

Challenges to aviation security were highlighted in Resolution 2309 of the UN Security Council which tasked the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) to develop a Global Aviation Security Plan (GASeP).

"The need for such a plan has been made very clear by wide gaps in the measures taken by governments in recent days. States need to lend their full support to ICAO in developing GASeP quickly. And even before that can be achieved, there is an early opportunity to make a real improvement to international cooperation on security. In May, ICAO member states will consider amendments to Annex 17 of the Chicago Convention that would require information sharing. The security experience of recent years should compel States to support this," said de Juniac. Link to Alexandre de Juniac's speech

Source IATA statement

JULIAN BRAY +44(0)1733 345581, Journalist & Broadcaster, Aviation Security & Airline Operations Analyst/expert,   Travel / Maritime & Cruise Industry, NUJ, EQUITY, LIVE ISDN LINK, Broadcast ISDN COOBE ++44 (0)1733 345020 e&oe Old faithful NOKIA: 07944 217476  


On Article 50 day....Guido nails CH2M...

Our good friends at Guido Fawkes (and just mentioned as a special Point of Order in the House of Commons citing Press Association 'wires')  are claiming a major victory in the decision of CH2M to walk away from a £170 million HS2 related contract. This is what they say:

Victory! HS2 has scrapped the scandal-hit £170 million contract awarded to CH2M following our repeated revelations of conflicts of interest. The announcement that CH2M will be withdrawing its bid comes on Article 50 day as the government tries to bury the humiliating climb down. The company says it is pulling out due to “protracted delays and ongoing speculation”.

“CH2M today provided formal notice to Hs2 Ltd that we are withdrawing our interest in the Hs2 Phase 2b contract. CH2M has demonstrated all appropriate measures taken throughout to ensure the integrity of the procurement process. Notwithstanding these efforts, we have taken the decision to alleviate any further delays to this critical national infrastructure project which could ultimately lead to increasing costs to UK taxpayers, as well as to our firm.”
UPDATE: Statement from the rival bidder Mace:

“We have just been informed of CH2M’s decision through Guido Fawkes. The investigation regarding our concerns about conflict of interest has clearly raised some serious questions about the process. A meeting is scheduled between Mace and HS2 on Friday, and we look forward to hearing what HS2 propose to do next and their response to our questions. When millions of pounds of British taxpayers’ money is being spent, the public rightly expect decisions to be made following a thorough process and on a level playing field.”
UPDATE II: Taxpayers’ Alliance comment:
“The revolving door between HS2 Ltd and CH2M never passed the smell test and serious questions were rightly raised around HS2 continuously appointing staff from one of their contractors. There was never a convincing case for HS2 and its multi-billion pound budget would be far better spent on local infrastructure projects that would cost much less and deliver much better value for money. Hopefully today’s decision is the first step towards this expensive vanity project being binned altogether.”

The final straw was Guido’s story last week reporting that HS2’s former chief of staff Chris Reynolds had worked on CH2M’s bid as its director for the development partner contract. A stunningly blatant, undeclared conflict of interest, and a win for Guido’s public interest campaigning blogging…
How Guido forced the climb down:

JULIAN BRAY +44(0)1733 345581, Journalist & Broadcaster, Aviation Security & Airline Operations Analyst/expert, Travel / Maritime & Cruise Industry, NUJ, EQUITY, LIVE ISDN LINK, Broadcast ISDN COOBE ++44 (0)1733 345020 e&oe Old faithful NOKIA: 07944 217476

Donald Tusks' President of the EU, his first reaction to the UK triggering Article 50.

   Picture The Press Association

EC President Donald Tusks' strange response to the UK, invoking Article 50 thereby starting the two year exiting process from the European Union, speaking as if he was at a funeral wake rather than accepting 'divorce' papers:     "...............thank you and goodbye! 

The signed letter from Mrs May handed over by Sir Tim Barrow.  All remaining EU members have to agree the final outcome within the two year period. If there is no deal, Bloomberg point out the EU will 'fall over a financial cliff edge' as the UK financial contribution to the EU coffers is cut. The chart from our friends at Bloomberg says it all ( UK in second position behind Germany ) ...

JULIAN BRAY +44(0)1733 345581, Journalist & Broadcaster, Aviation Security & Airline Operations Analyst/expert, Travel / Maritime & Cruise Industry, NUJ, EQUITY, LIVE ISDN LINK, Broadcast ISDN COOBE ++44 (0)1733 345020 e&oe Old faithful NOKIA: 07944 217476

Jota Aviation signs LoI on third BAE Avro Regional Jet RJ100 to join charter fleet next month

Jota Aviation signs Letter of Intent for third BAE Avro Regional Jet RJ100 to join charter fleet next month

Jota Aviation, the independently owned ACMI charter airline has signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) with leasing company Falko Regional Aircraft for an Avro RJ100 regional jet.  The ex-Brussels Airlines aircraft (Serial Number E3355) is due to arrive at Jota Aviation's London Southend Airport base before the end of April, joining an Avro RJ85 and BAe 146-200.  Jota Aviation Managing Director Andy Green confirmed the acquisition at the European Regions Airline Association  Spring Meeting in Copenhagen.

"We are delighted to have identified a highly suitable aircraft and we will be purchasing the jet from Falko later next month," commented Andy Green.  Jota Aviation also intends to further expand the fleet with a dedicated freighter variant. . 

The aircraft is scheduled for service in May with  97 seats configured five abreast, following a maintenance check at Avalon Aero at Cranfield Airport and full livery repaint in Jota's colours.   "Its arrival will be well timed for the summer period when the legacy carriers get busier and tend to depend on sub charter, short term leases," said Head of Commercial Mike Sessions.

Europe's legacy and regional airlines are progressing with their plans to phase out this aircraft type companies, including Malmo, Swiss International, CityJet, so the supply is there for us, especially for London City Airport, he added.

The new RJ100 will join Jota's Avro RJ85; BAe 146-200 and two Beechcraft King Air turboprops, one of which is dedicated to freight. 

Background: Jota Aviation

Jota Aviation is part of the independent Jota Group, which comprises Jota Sport, Jota Design and Jota Historic.  Set up six years ago to service motorsport travel and cargo demands, Jota Aviation is nows a leading specialist air charter operator serving the UK and Europe with passenger and cargo flights focused on Beechcraft King Airs, and moving into BAe 146 jet operations in October 2014.

The company is run by Andy Green, Managing Director and CAA post holder, who set up the company for the directors of Jota Sport in 2009.  Jota Aviation was granted a type B operating licence in September 2010, initially flying light piston aircraft and then progressing to Beechcraft King Airs. The Company gained it's A licence in 2014 with the introduction of the BAE Avro RJ series.

Jota Sport
The racing division of the JOTA Group currently competes in the European Le Mans Series plus selected rounds of the FIA World Endurance Championship including the Le Mans 24 Hours – a race JOTA Sport first contested in 2005 and has claimed a top-six overall placing in.

Jota Historic focuses on restoring and running historic race cars at Blue-Ribbon events such as the Le Mans Classic and Goodwood.

Jota Design specialises in the design, development and manufacture of road, race and rally projects.

The Jota Group is majority owned by British businessman and entrepreneur Simon Dolan, who is involved in several financial industries.  A Le Mans racing driver he set up racing team Jota Sport in 2008. 

About Falko 
Falko was formed in July 2011 when funds managed by Fortress Investment Group completed the purchase of BAE Systems Asset Management and its associated aircraft portfolio. Falko now manages a portfolio of regional jets and turboprops manufactured by BAE Systems, Bombardier,

Ex-military aircraft with a CAA Permit to Fly

TrainingCom Newsletter

Categories: Air displays and events, flight training, maintenance engineers, microlights, private pilots

Ex-military aircraft with a CAA Permit to Fly

We have published a Safety Notice to remind operators, Continuing Airworthiness Maintenance Organisations (CAMOs), Maintenance Organisations (MOs) and pilot of ex-military aircraft with a CAA Permit to Fly of their responsibilities with regard to correctly monitoring, on an ongoing basis, the airworthiness of these aircraft.


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Monday, 27 March 2017

An air ambulance dubbed ANGLIA TWO regularly piloted by the Duke of Cambridge was involved in a Category A incident

Typical UAV 'drone' Library shot

An air ambulance dubbed ANGLIA TWO regularly piloted by the Duke of Cambridge was involved in a Category A incident "narrowly avoided" a mid-air collision and " was averted by pure chance"with a drone, an Airprox UK Board report has revealed .

Julian Bray, a Peterborough based broadcaster and aviation expert, speaking on the BBC Cambridgeshire Breakfast Show very early this morning said the report was highly disturbing. "Pilots in charge and flying a drone, risk a 5 year prison term, if convicted for a Category A offence under the Air Navigation Rules. Parents who buy these drones in High Street retail shops, must properly supervise the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs)  also known as drones, a new app developed jointly by the CAA and NATS is available for free download from "   

UK Airprox investigators said the Eurocopter 145, used by the East Anglian Air Ambulance, missed the remote-controlled machine "by chance".

The incident occurred at 1,900ft (579m) well above the 400ft limit set by the CAA Dronecode, above London in August last year.

Prince William was not in the aircraft at the time but the East Anglian Air Ambulance (EAAA) said it had been piloted repeatedly by the Prince during his work for the service.

The UK Airprox Board, which examines such incidents to improve air safety, said the drone had passed within 98ft (30m) of the air ambulance, which was carrying three paramedics and 2 pilots.

The drone was flying above its permitted altitude and the near-miss was the highest category of risk, the report stated.

It said: "This was a situation where a collision had only been narrowly avoided and chance had played a major part."

The near-miss happened at 19:45 BST on 26 August.
The ambulance control room was contacted by the pilot telling them to inform the police, the report said.
The drone pilot was never found.

An EAAA spokeswoman added: "There are strict rules that drone operators must follow and it is important they are aware of their responsibilities for safe operations at all times."

Source: BBCNEWS, CNS, Julian Bray

JULIAN BRAY +44(0)1733 345581, Journalist & Broadcaster, Aviation Security & Airline Operations Analyst/expert, Travel / Maritime & Cruise Industry, NUJ, EQUITY, LIVE ISDN LINK, Broadcast ISDN COOBE ++44 (0)1733 345020 e&oe Old faithful NOKIA: 07944 217476

Thursday, 23 March 2017


Total AT42 at Coari on Mar 20th 2017, runway excursion
A Total Linhas Aereas Avions de Transport Regional ATR-42-500, registration PR-TTH performing a flight from Coari,AM to Coari Urucu,AM (Brazil) with 4 people on board, landed at Urucu Airport in Coari in night conditions and during heavy rain at...
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Virgin Atlantic B744 at London on Mar 22nd 2017, lightning strike
A Virgin Atlantic Boeing 747-400, registration G-VLIP performing flight VS-65 from London Gatwick,EN (UK) to Montego Bay (Jamaica), was climbing out of Gatwick's runway 26L when the crew suspected a lightning strike and stopped the climb at FL130....
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Virgin Australia B738 at Christchurch on Mar 19th 2017, bird strike
A Virgin Australia Boeing 737-800, registration VH-YIO performing flight VA-101 from Christchurch (New Zealand) to Melbourne,VI (Australia), departed Christchurch's runway 02 when an engine (CFM56) ingested a bird and began to vibrate. The crew...
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Airblue A320 at Multan on Mar 21st 2017, rejected takeoff due to bird strike
An Airblue Airbus A320-200, registration AP-EDH performing flight PA-872 from Multan (Pakistan) to Jeddah (Saudi Arabia), was accelerating for takeoff from runway 36 when the left hand engine (CFM56) ingested a bird prompting the crew to reject...
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British Airways B772 near Delhi on Mar 19th 2017, lonely oven seeks attention
A British Airways Boeing 777-200, registration G-YMMP performing flight BA-143 (dep Mar 18th) from London Heathrow,EN (UK) to Delhi (India), was nearing the top of descent into Delhi when smoke emanated from the aft galley prompting the crew to...
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JULIAN BRAY +44(0)1733 345581, Journalist & Broadcaster, Aviation Security & Airline Operations Analyst/expert,   Travel / Maritime & Cruise Industry, NUJ, EQUITY, LIVE ISDN LINK, Broadcast ISDN COOBE ++44 (0)1733 345020 e&oe Old faithful NOKIA: 07944 217476  

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

WESTMINSTER MAJOR TERROR INCIDENT IN LONDON FIVE FATALITIES, MULTIPLE CATASTROPHIC INJURIES. Earlier USA and UK enact ban on electronic devices in carry-on cabin baggage on flights

Further updates are on the BBC website,
sign in here:

By Justin Parkinson

Shock over 'sick and depraved' attack at Westminster

"He was someone who left for work today expecting to return home at the end of his shift, and he had every right to expect that would happen." Those are the words used by the Metropolitan Police's head of counter-terrorism to describe the sense of shock at the death of 48-year-old husband and father Keith Palmer, the unarmed PC who gave his life protecting Parliament.

attack at Westminster, which left five people dead - including the attacker himself - was described by Theresa May as "sick and depraved". A car ploughed into people on Westminster Bridge, many of them students and schoolchildren, before the driver got out and ran into the grounds of the Palace of Westminster, stabbing Mr Palmer.

Police and security services are working out whether the attacker, who seems to have been inspired by international and Islamist-related terrorism, worked alone.

prime minister, who spoke in Downing Street last night, is expected to make a statement in the Commons later, while the UK remains in a state of "severe" terror alert. Extra armed and unarmed police are on duty on the streets of the capital.

leaders of France and Germany, whose countries have also suffered terror attacks involving vehicles being driven into crowds in recent months, have expressed their solidarity with the UK.

Met Police Command INCIDENT ROOM  

0800 789 321 or 999 +++






Met Police Command  0800 789 321 +++  










The London terrorist major incident plan which is still at 18:00 BS 22nd March 2017 in operation is likely to continue for the rest of today and rolled out through out the UK over the next week or so.

Already 6 Birmingham addresses linked to the hire car used by the seemingly lone attacker (armed with two large knives), have been raided overnight and 7 arrests made. All UK police leave has been cancelled and a greater physical police presence will be noticed throughout the land.

Police have not ruled out more 'copycat incidents; all this follows on from the Trump Administration in the USA banning electronic devices from cabin carry-on baggage on flights from eight mainly Middle Eastern and North African countries

USA Fox News (who are negotiating to take over SkyNews in the UK put its own spin on UK events >

The UK announced an almost identical type of ban with a few minor variations, simply anyone (including UK subjects) returning to the UK will now have to go through the same security screening process, and have their banned electronics consigned to the aircraft hold and later recovered from the airport baggage carousel.  

A US government source says the measure would affect nine airlines operating out of 10 airports:

  1. Mohammed V International, Casablanca, Morocco
  2. Ataturk Airport, Istanbul, Turkey
  3. Cairo International Airport, Egypt
  4. Queen Alia International, Amman, Jordan
  5. King Abdul Aziz International, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
  6. King Khalid International, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
  7. Kuwait International Airport
  8. Hamad International, Doha, Qatar
  9. Abu Dhabi International, United Arab Emirates
  10. Dubai International, United Arab Emirates

US media reported the order was sparked by intelligence gathered overseas which suggested 'a terrorist event was likely to happen within the next few days.'

Julian Bray Aviation Expert speaking live on BBC World  Service and on BBC local radio stations throughout the UK  said: "It was only a matter of time, there has also been widespread disquiet over the carriage of lithium metal batteries, as they are prone to electronic  runaway and liable to combustion, by contagion unless securely packaged.  In addition, what has caught out security services is the power and reach of new generation in-flight satellite based on-board Wi-Fi systems, extending the effective range of laptops and computer games consoles in the process making them harder to immediately track as the aircraft is moving so quickly.

This latest terrorist threat intelligence is thought to have originated in Australia and suggested a variety of consumer electronics such as  laptops and games consoles although still operational might be additionally cavity packed with explosives and then detonated (possibly remotely) whilst in flight.

US United Airlines alone has spent over $550 million developing their in-cabin passenger w-fi systems. 

The British government has announced a cabin baggage ban on laptops on direct passenger flights to the UK from Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia and Saudi Arabia.

The ban, which also applies to tablets and DVD players, follows a similar US move affecting eight countries.

Downing Street said it followed talks on air security and was "necessary, effective and proportionate".

US officials said bombs could be hidden in a series of devices, not just laptops.

The ban applies to any device larger than 16cm long, 9.3cm wide or 1.5cm deep essentially the size of a postcard. It includes smaller smart phones, only some fall within the new limits.

Another major concern is that airport security systems in some parts of the world are known and continue to be of very low quality, despite state-of-the-art scanning systems being installed and expert tuition in their use initially given. Investigators found that when airport systems and throughput is put under pressure, vast quantities of carry-on luggage are routinely waved through.

All that will now be frustrated under the new system as airlines and  airports will be held jointly liable.  

The new in flight cabin ban will extend to Lithium-ion. It will include all large electronic devices such as laptops, tablets, cameras, DVD players and electronic games, and large phones but not small thin pocket smart phones.

All will have to be bagged and held in the aircraft hold throughout the entire flight, and then recovered from the airport carousel on arrival, along with regular hold luggage.

This is likely to cause extreme delays at peak holiday periods as the new security systems are worked through. It will also create a field day for petty criminals, to easily acquire a new computer...


Hardline Former IRA Commander and Northern Ireland Deputy First Minister Martin McGuiness dies.

Martin McGuinness, a former 'hardline' Irish Republican Army (IRA) commander turned politician, has died aged 66, after a short illness allied to a rare heart disease.

McGuinness become deputy first minister of Northern Ireland after turning peace-maker and took a prominent role in bringing peace to N. Ireland.

He never once apologised for his terrorist past, and was never charged with some 18 murders, the authorities are said to have evidence of, indeed towards the end of  'the troubles' McGuiness was briefly captured by a British Army unit in Belfast but his release was ordered by Whitehall due to 'a peace negotiation' that was underway. This information came from a Major Napier, (now deceased) a former D-Day beach Commander, and later with the Kings Troop Royal Horse Artillery.

Martin McGuinness was a hard line IRA commander who was responsible for, and ordered hundreds of killings, but then it has to be acknowledged, used his skills and hardline influence to broker a peace within Northern Ireland. He never ever, apologised for his terrorist activities and never set foot inside the House of Commons, as he was later entitled to. as an MP.  HM The Queen later shook hands with Mc Guinness.  

His partnership at the top of Stormont's power-sharing administration with fundamentalist unionist leader the Rev Ian Paisley would have been unthinkable in the days when republican bombs were ripping Northern Ireland and Great Britain's major cities to shreds and in the process costing thousands of lives.

Mr McGuinness was the extremist who once defended the slaughter of police and soldiers for a united Ireland but finally offered the hand of friendship to Britain and to unionists and toasted the Queen.

His partnership with the DUP leader as deputy first minister at Stormont was an example of peacemaking - of turning swords into ploughshares - and in 2009 he dubbed dissident republicans who killed a police officer as traitors to Ireland.

The Saville Inquiry into Bloody Sunday in 1972 fudged the issue by suggesting McGuinness "probably" carried a sub-machine gun during the massacre of 13 unarmed civil rights protesters by soldiers in Londonderry. He admitted to being second-in-command of the Provisionals that day.

The bluntly-spoken young man was a ruthless proponent of republican violence, which caused more than half of the 3,600 killings between 1969 and 1998, in opposition to British rule in Northern Ireland but became a senior member of Sinn Fein as the conflict neared its end.

He was integral to nearly every major decision taken by the republican movement over the last 30 years, promising to lead it to a united Ireland. He did not succeed.

The former butcher from the Bogside in Derry, who was a man of action during the street fighting of the 1970s
Mr McGuinness negotiated the 1998 Good Friday peace agreement, secured IRA arms decommissioning in 2005 and shared government with former enemies in Belfast as deputy first minister.

But critics argued that just as the IRA should have halted the violence a lot sooner, Mr McGuinness could have met the British head of state earlier.

His final significant act was to resign as deputy first minister and take first minister Arlene Foster with him, ending a decade of testy coalition government with the DUP.

Mr McGuinness was born in 1950 in a terraced house in Londonderry's Bogside housing estate, a one-time no-go area for soldiers and hotbed of IRA planning and activity.
He was educated at the local Christian Brothers school.

Unlike Gerry Adams, who came from a traditional hard-line republican family, Mr McGuinness showed little interest in politics before the start of the Troubles.

Nor did he join the IRA until after the British Army had been sent to Northern Ireland in August 1969 to restore order after a pitched battle between the RUC and inhabitants of the Bogside.

He was sufficiently highly regarded to be one of the IRA delegation flown to London to talk to Willie Whitelaw, the first-ever Northern Ireland secretary.

The republican was sentenced to six months in prison in the Republic of Ireland after being caught in a car containing large quantities of explosives and ammunition.

Mr McGuinness has said he left the IRA in 1974.
Other accounts suggested he was made chief of staff of the organisation in 1978 and streamlined it into an urban guerrilla force based on small, tightly-controlled cells.

Former Irish justice minister Michael McDowell said he was a member of its ruling Army Council.

In 1997 he was elected Mid Ulster MP but did not take his seat as he would not swear an oath to the Queen, but he did bank the allowances that came with the position....

As Sinn Fein's chief negotiator of the 1998 Good Friday Agreement he helped establish the powersharing institutions and renounced violence.

In 1999 he became education minister at the Assembly who was to scrap the transfer test at age 11, part of a power-sharing coalition of unionists and Irish nationalists at Stormont.

The DUP refused to work with him because of his chequered past.

By 2005 the Provisionals decommissioned arms after Mr McGuinness led negotiations - a process which started with the armed group vowing to volunteer not an ounce of explosives.

By 2007 Sinn Fein had pledged support for the police force and Ian Paisley, the fiery preacher of "never", was prepared as leader of the largest party to enter government with Sinn Fein.

When the Queen visited Dublin that year the veteran republican was absent but by June 2012 he was ready to meet her.  They shook hands at a Belfast theatre and Mr McGuinness said the encounter was "a result of decades of work constructing the Irish peace process".

In 2014 he attended a banquet at Windsor Castle as part of a state visit by the Irish president and joined in a toast to the monarch.

In 2013 he travelled to Warrington to speak at the invitation of Colin and Wendy Parry, whose son Tim was killed by an IRA bomb, to acknowledge their pain.

But he enjoyed more strained relationships with Mr Paisley's successor as First Minister at Stormont, Peter Robinson, as the joint office was embroiled in controversy over property dealings.

Difficulties also surfaced over welfare reform, investigating thousands of conflict deaths and a green energy scheme which is predicted to be £490 million overspent.

After Mr McGuinness gave first minister Arlene Foster an ultimatum to step aside, which was ignored, he announced his resignation in January 2017.

He is survived by his wife Bernie and four children

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