visitor to the Cardigan Aberteifi Consultation
It is with great dissapointment I have learned today that under sponsorship from the Welsh Government, the Civil Aviation Authority ( CAA) has, for the first time over Britain designated air space around Aberporth for Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) or 'drone' flights. This follows a short public 'consultation' in summer 2009, across the affected areas of Wales.
The permanent segregated airspace around Parc Aberporth will permit frequent testing of unmanned aircraft across Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, Powys and part of North Pembrokeshire with flights between Aberporth and militarytraining ranges on Mynydd Epynt. The only company now renting a business unit on the especially constucted Parc AberporthParc Aberporth is now Qinetig who are testing an Israeli designed 'Watchkeeper' (formerly ' Hermes' drone owned by the MOD for use with spying and targeting over Afghanistan and other war zones. The Parc itself had cost the taxpayer at least £21million. Another drone company Italian 'Selex' has recently pulled out of the site citing economic reasons.
Research into UAVs and UCAVs (Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle) is mainly funded by the military. Arms companies see drone technologyas an ideal way forward for them to increase their profits in the growing area of 'remote killing ' technology.
Protest, RED CHOIR/COR COCHION, CAAT, Green Party, C.N.D
Many individuals and groups in Wales (C.N.D Cymru, Cardigan Branch of Amnesty International, Bro Emlyn Peace and Justice Group, Cymdeithas y cymod) and Britain.
Protest y Cymdeithas yn Aberporth,
Talks on Aberporth and drones
are deeply concerned about the use of Aberporth for developing these killing and spying machines. They see this as another sign of the increasing militarisation of Wales.
Some are concerned that these drones which will mainly be invisible to those further away from the airfield will be testing their spying equipment on the people and communities, thus infringing our privacy.
The use of unmanned drones as weapons of war in conflicts around the world has been called into question by one of Britain's most senior judges Lord Bingham, a former senior Law Lord, said that some weapons were ' so cruel as to beyond the pale of human tolerance'.
Jill Gough. National Secretary of C.N.D Cymru said
'We are dissapointed but not surprised by our Welsh Government. They should be supporting local businesses, not giving money to multinational companies to produce killing machines, not in rural Wales or anywhere. The only surprise is that it has taken them so long to make the announcement.'
'Shame on our coutry. Life on the planet is already damaged by human activity; people are suffering from recourse depletion, pollution and disease and poverty - as a result of violence and greed. We hoped that Wales would be part of the solution, not, as such projects as these do make us part of the problem. 'There will be more of the sort of situations we are seeing in Israel and Palestine, in Libya, Afghanistan and the rest - more conflict and further suffering unless we stop fuelling the arms trade - which itself fuels wars.
We say 'No' to the militariation of Wales'
The fly zone can be seen here
reprinted mostly from C.N.D CYMRU
2 more useful links