It is interesting having tracked this story through the media how much more information has been released today, and how much contradictory information is still being released. I can understand why Sunday newspaper journalists 'hold on to' useful information until their stories can be published, but BBC online have no such excuse. Elsewhere it is also reported Israeli military aircraft have also been landing at Prestwick over the past weeks, presumably also shipping US bombs to Israel, unless they are just shipping the newly-painted aircraft themselves. Perhaps the Israelis are planning to bomb Tipton from Prestwick - I doubt Blair would complain if they did.
Atlas Air are one of the US Civil Reserve Air Fleet and so any of their flights are targets for direct action whether the BBC information is a red-herring or not. It is interesting looking at those airlines cargo flight schedules how much of their work is to and from the middle-east both for the US and corportate work. I think peace groups should officially boycott those airlines and will be proposing this to whatever groups I know. I am aware that probably none of us use those airlines but middle-eastern businesses and governments do, and could easily be embarrassed ny a boycott into stopping using what are effectively Israeli gun-runners.
I also think we should be publicising the extra dangers anyone using Prestwick airport now faces due to it's deliberate policy of attracting explosive and politicised cargoes. I'm happy to take risks with my own life but if I really wouldn't fly from Prestwick now with any of my loved ones. The security of Prestwick is a joke. Have a look at it on GoogleMaps and you see the airport fuel tanks are about 15 feet from an unguarded perimeter fence. There is always plenty of military hardware on site including up to 11 tons of explosives as it is effectively an RAF site without RAF guards, and the CAA guards are less fit and less scary than your local supermarket security staff. It's not like Scotland hasn't suffered civilian casuality 'blow-back' from US aggression before - Lockerbie isn't too far away.
The Irish government doesn't allow US bombs to be shipped through Shannon and refused these flights - I think credit for that goes to the Shannon activists. I think the people of Scotland are now in a race to close down Prestwick peaceably before someone else closes it down forceably. It won't stop the flights though - they just reroute them to military airfields. The big question is why do we accept US gun-running but also why were they ever routed through a civilian airfield unnecessarily ?
The US Civil Reserve Air Fleet is the modern aerial equivalent of the Merchant Navy. They not only ship arms regularly but play vital roles in military offensives. For instance, their 6 Eagle Flag exercises where they build airfields from scratch on any surface for any aircraft to establish local air superiority, this is how they invade countries now. Secure an airstrip and then bomb the locals to smithereens. They have established 32 airstrips using Eagle Flag techniques since 2001, all to bomb muslims. And yet other supposedly muslim governments also employ them.
US Civil Reserve Air Fleet
Long-Range International Section:
Air Transport International
Astar Air Cargo
Delta Air Lines
FEDEX Express Airlines
Gemini Air Cargo
North American Airlines
Polar Air Cargo
United Parcel Service Airlines
Each airport has limit on the total explosives permitted at any given time, referred to as the NEQ or Net Explosive Quantity. The NEQ for any object varies according to the type of explosive so to ease calculations the NEQ of any explosive device is labelled on the device. Thus to check the NEQ for the Aiport you have to check the cargo of all transit flights.
Prestwick Airport have stated that they didn't check the cargo of transit flights. In this case they could hve no idea whether the airport breached its own NEQ limits. While this one flight may not in itself have breached the airports NEQ, given that the airport is used by other military flights it seems more than likely that they have. Not checking cargo seems to in itself criminal negligence.
I reported this as a potential crime to Prestwick police station but was told to report it to the CAA Aviation Regulation, Enforcement and Investigation branch. I was asked to phone back as the head of dept was on lunch. Then he was in a meeting. Then he had left the building and wouldn't be back for a few days. The dept. suggested I phone Aerodrome standards but noone there was available. So I phoned back the CAA Aviation Regulation, Enforcement and Investigation branch again and insisted on reporting it as a potential crime. I was told someone would phone me back. They haven't.
Off the record I was told by one airport freight manager that NEQ limits don't apply to military flights. These were not all military flights, many of these these were flying under civilian call signs as chartered air transport. No one in the CAA has yet been able to inform me which legislation or regulations limit airport NEQ. The CAA regulations mistakenly refer to section 59 of the Air Navigation (Carriage of Munitions of War, Weapons and Dangerous Goods) Order, 1973 - in fact it is section 69 that deals with munitions of war and it makes no reference to NEQ.
If it is indeed true that NEQ excludes military explosives then calculating the NEQ for an airport is an exercise in futility, or in deliberate public deception. Who in Prestwick cares if only 11 tons of civilian explosives can be onsite if an unlimited tonnage of military explosives are permitted ?
The BBC are now reporting these flights will be routed through military airports only for political reasons - all credit to the Prestwick protestors for that small victory. However, this does not disguise or mitigate the failure of the CAA regulatory body to have allowed this breach in safety guidelines, to have admitted to not checking flights that they are obliged to check and for refusing so far to accept or even note my report of this breach.