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Third Strike for Prestwick as Weapons Inspectors Again Gain Access

Trident Ploughshares | 08.08.2006 00:26 | Anti-militarism | World

Hot on the heels of three Trident Ploughshares Weapons Detectives getting into a US Air Force plane on Monday, another team, also searching for evidence of War Crimes, got into another US military plane at Prestwick in the early hours of this morning.

International Weapons Inspectors
International Weapons Inspectors

Both groups aimed to gain further evidence to support that reported by a group of Citizens Weapons Inspectors who went into Prestwick Airport on Saturday night - making it the third time in four days that Prestwick has been inspected by concerned citizens. A total of 17 people will now be in police custody as a result of these actions.

Tonight’s inspectors searched a USAF Air National Guard plane and examined documentation and manuals before moving on to attempt to examine a Polar Air aircraft that was also present. Polar Air are a known military contractor.

The five inspectors were Ludwig Appeltans from Belgium, Richard McKean, Joe McLoughlin and Pippa Robertson, all from Scotland and Anna-Linnéa Rundberg from the Aland Islands in Finland.

More information available from 0845 45 88 361

A photo of the team prior to setting off is available from

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Prestwick Airport Open Day extended indefinitely due to popular demand

08.08.2006 09:32

spot the bomb-flights
spot the bomb-flights

"We have been working closely with the operator of Prestwick airport for some time on the issue of security at the site. These alleged breaches are of concern and further talks were held today between myself and representatives of the airport. We have asked that they undertake a full security review and we will support them by providing expert help." - assistant chief constable Ian Learmonth of Strathclyde Police

However, an airport spokesman said: "We are satisfied our security measures are working effectively as these people were apprehended very quickly. Aviation security is tighter than that of most other industries and security at Prestwick airport is consistent with the measures in place at other major airports in the UK."

That airport spokesperson should be arrested, along with whoever in the CAA /government that allowed these dangerous and immoral flights.
Weapons inspectors allegedly sat under a wing on the apron observing flights. Later the same day the airport fuel tanks are graffitied with peace slogans. Then a peace camp was setup inside the airport complete with tents and banner-drops. Then TP Inspectors saftisfy their curiousity by boarding a military plane. Now TP Inspectors have checked another two military flights. If anyone here wants to get into Prestwick then they could do so tommorow - there are lots of flights to check. If enough people came along to Prestwick and took similar actions on their own initiative then the local courts would be blocked by the cases and they would probably all be dismissed - notice the police use the term 'alleged breaches'. The seventeen voluntary inspectors should be released at once and the police should start inspecting these flights themselves and start investigating who permitted so many bombs to pass through such an insecure location. Prestwick should not be considered a secure airport - it is a partly military airport and always has been but it's security seems much lower than even smaller civilian airports.

It is a breach of airport legislation and explosives regulations to store military munitions insecurely. Military bomb flights are only allowed at 'secure' airports although what constitutes 'secure' isn't legally defined. Prestwick had already claimed to have massively increased security once they 'were aware of a security threat last Saturday' (28th July) but the smallest of the bomb flights had 7 tons of explosives were on one flight alone. I guess noone has to point out if these 17 people had been terrorists rather than peace campaigners then we could be reading about deaths of the scale of 911. All military flights should be banned from Prestwick immediately at least until the security review is complete and it's conclusions implemeted. US bomb transfers to Israel shouldn't be allowed to use UK airspace.

In between the first two Weapons Inspectors actions, five folk setup 'Prestwick Peace Camp', a couple of tents and banners inside Prestwick airport. We naturally got talking to the head of security, Ian Cochraine as well as a police inspector. Ian claims the airport hadn't been informed of any such call-out of fire-engines to the military flight and should have been, so asked for eyewitness reports. The eyewitnesses were already in custody for an accountable action as well he knew. He also claimed CAA had investigated Prestwicks Net Explosive Quantity documentation over the past two weeks and had decided no breach of explosives limits had occured. I doubt both claims but he did admit they never inspected transit flights and took the documention at face value. Since the airport doesn't inspect cargo then someone has to - it is a legal duty following the Nuremberg principles. Ian had two criticisms of Prestwick Peace Camp - firstly that one of the banners stated' Pure Dead Terrorism', parodying the unfortunate airport slogan 'Pure dead brilliant'. He thought this was unnecessarily implicating Prestwick Airports operating company in flights that they 'were legally unable to refuse'. This ignores the fact that Prestwick solicit military flights and even boast on their website of being allowed to carry more explosives than any other 'civilian' airport. Prestwick is the main base for at least one of the US Civil Air Reserve and probably at least a main hub for others. Prestwick is now associated throughout the world with supplying bombs dropped on Lebanese civilians as well CIA 'extraordinary-rendition' flights.

I've never seen a more positive public reaction to any small peace demo - even airport staff were beeping and expressing their support. Travellers and locals came up to us to donate lots of sweets and money donated, we ate the sweets and passed the money to TP. I was spotted climbing all over the place by members of the public and obviously none of them reported me to the cops. At one point - with bloody and black hands carrying a spraycan and stencils at the public terminal entrance six cops on foot started to approach me so I got a taxi ride away - personally I'm not TP so don't need to hang around to get arrested - all their actions are accountable and the 17 people in custody chose to be arrested, they could have done their work and left if they had wanted.

The airport is still wide-open. If anyone here wants to go in to and inspect flights then a higher resolution satellite photo than this is available from google-earth. It's a 8 to 10 foot chain link fence topped with barbed wire, takes about 20 seconds to climb it - wear gloves ! Some more sensitive parts of the airport also have two rolls of razor wire and there you would be safer bolt-cutting the fence and razorwire, although that'll get you an extra 'criminal damage' charge.



Display the following 3 comments

  1. Actually... — Happy Camper
  2. Freedom of Information — Danny
  3. Pure dead terror alert — Danny