Tuesday, November 27, 2012
Celtic League : West Wales Drone Site Cause for Concern
News from Celtic league
Unmanned military drone aircraft are best known for lethal attacks in
Afghanistan and Pakistan, where they are used to target Taliban suspects,
but in Wales the aircraft is best known for the nuisance that it causes
among residents while it is being tested over the UK’s first segregated
airspace specifically for testing drones.
Unlike in Afghanistan and Pakistan, where it has been claimed that the
unmanned aerial systems (UAS) or drones have been responsible for killing
high levels of civilians, the drone testing area in Wales, has yet to claim
its first innocent victim, but residents are increasingly angry at the high
pitched noise that the flying drones make. The designated airspace extends
inland 40 miles to the east of the Welsh coast and covers an area of 499
square miles and has been operational since 28thJuly 2011, since the Welsh
government secured permission from the United Kingdom’s Civilian Aviation
Authority (CAA) for the space to be used. General aviation pilots can still
fly through the region, as well as Royal Air Force pilots who conduct
training missions nearby. It has been reported that the airfield has been
used to test the SELEX Galileo‘Falco’ , an Italian-made unmanned airplane
that is being used by the Pakistan military to patrol border areas with
Afghanistan. Tests of other drones have also been undertaken, including the
British army’s Watchkeeper WK450, which is being built by an Israeli firm
to conduct reconnaissance, surveillance, weather and other targeting
missions and until this year has only been tested over the Irish Sea.
The UAS’s operate from an old WW2 airfield next to the Aberporth military
range on Cardigan Bay, which is currently the only centre for the testing
and evaluation of both military and civilian UAVs in the UK.
In the USA permission for the flying of drones in commercial airspace less than 400 feet is extremely difficult and is only ever given permission if the drone is operated in ‘line of sight’, but in Wales even the line of sight restriction has now been lifted.
In Australia the government has designated certain areas as ‘smart skies’, where the testing of drones is permitted under a three year programme, which is based in an airfield outside Brisbane. However Wales is significantly smaller than Australia and the risk of fatal crashes into populated areas is higher.
Residents in the Aberporth area and beyond have complained bitterly about
the noise, crash landings and mysterious lights in the sky, but the current
Welsh Government however are fully supportive of the development and
promotion of the drone airspace. The Government say that it would like to
attract commercial and military testing of their UAS’s and have argued that
this is a growth area that that will bring employment to the country.
However it was initially argued that the development of the Aberporth
airfield site would create hundreds of jobs, which locals say has not
occurred. Nevertheless the Welsh Government insists that the drone airport
and airspace will draw commercial firms from the USA and elsewhere that are
not permitted to test their drones in the same way in their own airspace.
At the Celtic League 2012 AGM in Breizh, a resolution was passed expressing
concern of the use of drones off the Welsh coast and Irish Sea, in view of
the high volume of domestic air traffic between Britain, Ireland and the
Isle of Man. It may only be a matter of time before civilian casualties are
being counted in Wales, in much the same way as they are in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
For comment or clarification on this news item in the first instance
Tel: 0044 (0)1209 319912
M: 0044 (0)7787318666
The General Secretary will determine the appropriate branch or General
Council Officer to respond to your query.
ISSUED BY THE CELTIC LEAGUE INFORMATION SERVICE
Democracy and Class Struggle salutes the Celtic League for raising the concerns and supporting the people of West Wales in their oppostion to testing of these remote killing devices in Wales.
The so called "Welsh" Assembly Government in Cardiff are nothing but quislimgs of the British State machine both civil and military and the Aberporth drone testing site in West Wales which employs 30 people is their quisling contribution to "scientific development" in Wales.
See Also: http://democracyandclasstruggle.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/buzz-box-drones-tested-over-west-wales.html
"We at the Great Unrest Group 2012 for a Welsh Socialist Republican Party thank the Celtic League for raising this important question for he people of Wales at their AGM in October.
"‘Pilotless military drones are a major and highly dangerous development in weapons of warfare. These drones are being deployed with ease and impunity, often resulting in innocent civilian deaths.
We urge the Welsh Government to withdraw its support for the UK’s drones to be tested at Aberporth and flown over a large area of Wales.’
Support the Anti drone petition launched by Cymdeithas y Cymod
Great Unrest Group 2012 for a Welsh Socialist Republican Party
Posted by nickglais on 11/27/2012 02:59:00 AM