Articles by "Aviation"

A police officer walks by floral tributes with other bystanders in Parliament Square in front of the Houses of Parliament in central London on March 24, 2017 two days after the March 22 terror attack on the British parliament and Westminster Bridge. (Photo by AFP)
The Saudi embassy in the United Kingdom has confirmed that London attack suspect Khalid Masood visited the kingdom three times, including two stints teaching English there.
Britain’s The Sun newspaper reported on Friday that the man who carried out a deadly car ramming and stabbing attack near the UK Houses of Parliament was a former English teacher working at the institution controlling Saudi Arabia’s civil aviation.
In response, the Saudi embassy issued a statement late on Friday confirming the Sun report.
"The Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia wishes to clarify that Khalid Masood was in Saudi Arabia from November 2005 to November 2006 and April 2008 to April 2009, when he worked as an English teacher having first obtained a work visa," the embassy said in a statement.
"In 2015, he obtained an Umra visa through an approved travel agent and was in the Kingdom from the 3rd-8th March,” it added.
"During his time in Saudi Arabia, Khalid Masood did not appear on the security services' radar and does not have a criminal record in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia," the statement claimed.
Saudi King Salman (L) and British Prime Minister Theresa May attend a (Persian) Gulf Cooperation Council summit on December 7, 2016, in the Bahraini capital Manama. (Photo by AFP)
At least four people were killed and 50 others were injured in the attack on Wednesday after the assailant plowed a car into pedestrians and stabbed a police officer near the British Parliament in London, an incident that has been declared a terrorist incident. The attacker was also shot dead by the police.
The Saudi embassy expressed its condolences to the British people, saying the kingdom “continues to stand with the United Kingdom during this difficult time and reaffirms its commitment to continue its work with the United Kingdom in any way to assist in the ongoing investigation."
The embassy went on to say that the “attack in London this week has again demonstrated the importance of international efforts to confront and eradicate terrorism.”
“At such a time, our ongoing security cooperation is most crucial to the defeat of terrorism and the saving of innocent lives,” it stated.
Khalid Masood, the assailant of the deadly attack is treated by emergency services outside the Houses of Parliament in London on March 22, 2017. (Photo by Reuters)
This is while Saudi Arabia, where Wahhabism is widely preached and practiced, stands accused of sponsoring terrorist groups, such as Daesh, across the Middle East region.
Daesh and other Takfiri terror groups use the extremist ideology to declare people of other faiths as “infidels” and thus to kill them.
Fifteen of the 19 hijackers who allegedly carried out the September 11, 2001 attacks in the United States came from Saudi Arabia and available evidence suggests some of them were linked to high-ranking Saudi officials.
Furthermore, Saudi Arabia has been engaged in a military campaign against Yemen since March 2015 to reinstate the country's resigned president, Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, a staunch ally of Riyadh, and undermine the Houthi Ansarullah movement.
The Saudi war has killed more than 11,400 Yemenis, and taken a heavy toll on the country’s facilities and infrastructure, destroying many hospitals, schools, and factories.
In Syria, the Saudi regime has been sponsoring Takfiri terrorists fighting against the government of President Bashar al-Assad since 2011 in a conflict that has taken the lives of a half a million Syrians.

Passengers traveling to the United States from 10 airports in eight Muslim-majority countries will be prohibited from bringing laptops, tablets and other portable electronic devices on board with them when they fly, March 21, 2017. (Photo by Reuters)
A US and UK ban that forbids electronic devices larger then a cell phone from being carried into cabin baggage on flights from certain states has come into effect.
The ban affects Turkey and some countries in the Middle East and North Africa such as Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, Tunisia and Lebanon.
Turkish airlines have already started to implement the ban after what American and British officials claimed that there is an increased risk that  larger electronic devices measuring 16x9.3x1.5 cementers could contain explosives.
The US Department for Homeland Security has cited attacks on planes and airports over the past two years as the reason for the ban. Bombs had been hidden in such items as a soft drink can and laptops, it said referring to the downing of a Russian airliner over Egypt in October 2015 with the loss of 224 lives and the unsuccessful Somali attack last year, respectively.
However, the Turkish transport minister has harshly criticized the new measures. And, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan urged the US and the UK to lift the ban as soon as possible.
The US ban affects airlines from Turkey, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Morocco, Jordan, Qatar, Egypt and Kuwait.
Britain has followed the US lead, imposing restrictions on carry-on electronic devices on planes coming from certain airports in 13 Muslim-majority countries including Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia and Saudi Arabia. The British restrictions however do not include the UAE or Qatar.
A man puts his laptop inside his suitcase at Kuwait International Airport in Kuwait City before boarding a flight to the United States on March 23, 2017. (Photo by AFP)
Canada is also considering taking similar measures. Ottawa said it will examine all the related information presented by the US and Britain.
Passengers can still take most smartphones, games consoles and DVD players onto the plane, a UK government spokeswoman said.
However, experts and technologists have been critical of the measure, saying it contradicts with the basic computer science.
European security experts are to meet next week to discuss the US and the UK bans, The Guardian newspaper reported.
Last week, the US transportation safety administration announced that passengers from thirteen countries, travelling to the US, would no longer be allowed to carry onboard gadgets larger than a cell phone.
The new regulation bans passengers from bringing laptops, tablets and cameras larger than cell phones into the cabin. Airlines had been given 96 hours to abide by the rule. Saudi Arabia’s Saudia Airlines and Royal Jordanian airlines are among the affected ones.
Royal Jordanian Airlines has tweeted suggestions of things to do during a long flight instead of using an electronic device.
Royal Jordanian Airlines has tweeted suggestions of things to do during a long flight instead of using an electronic device. (Twitter Photo)
Ironically none of the countries affected by this order were in the list including the controversial travel ban decree issued by President Donald Trump after taking office in January.
In the Initial executive order signed by Trump, people from Iran, Syria, Libya, Sudan, Somalia and Yemen faced a 90-day entry ban, indefinitely barring refugees from Syria. However, in the revised order Iraq was taken off the list. But the revised also faced court hurdle as a federal judge in Hawaii issued a sweeping freeze of ban citing discrimination against citizens of six Muslim-majority countries.

A spokeswoman for US Customs and Border Protection said "all travellers arriving to the US are subject to CBP inspection". Photo / AP
A retired police chief says he was detained at John F. Kennedy International Airport and held for 90 minutes earlier month because of his name.
Hassan Aden, 52, of Alexandria, Virginia, spent 26 years with the Alexandria Police Department before leaving in 2012 to become chief of police in Greenville, North Carolina. He retired from the 250-person force in 2015.
Aden says he was returning from Paris on March 13, where he had been celebrating his mother's 80th birthday.
When he arrived at customs at JFK, he expected to be handed back his passport and told "welcome home" like everyone else. Instead, a US Customs and Border Protection officer asked him: "Are you travelling alone?" Aden replied he was and the officer said, "Let's take a walk," in Aden's recollection.

He said he was escorted to a makeshift office, prohibited from using his cellphone and given little information about the reason for the holdup. At one point, Aden said he asked an officer how much time could pass for a detention to be considered reasonable. The officer replied that Aden wasn't being detained."I was like 'oh boy, here we go' " said Aden, an Italian-born naturalised American citizen who has lived in the United States for 42 years.
But inside the room, where there were three desks staffed by CBP employees and two dozen chairs, signs read "Remain seated at all times" and "Use of telephones strictly prohibited".
"Two signs that this was not voluntary; this was indeed a detention," Aden said.
Aden said he told an officer he was a retired police chief and a career law enforcement officer, but the man said he had "no control" over the situation and it "didn't matter" what his job was. Another officer explained that someone on a "watch list" had been using Aden's name as an alias, and his information was being cross-checked with another agency, Aden said.
A spokeswoman for US Customs and Border Protection said in an email that she could not comment on Aden's specific case due to the federal Privacy Act, "but all travellers arriving to the US are subject to CBP inspection."
"At times, travellers may be inconvenienced as we work through the arrival process to ensure those entering the country are doing so legitimately and lawfully," she said.
She pointed to the agency's nondiscrimination policy that bars race or ethnicity from being considered in screening "in all but the most exceptional circumstances".
Aden is the son of an Italian mother and Somali father. He lamented what he describes as the country's shift towards "cold, unwelcoming" policies such as President Donald Trump's travel ban.
"It just feels like ever since the talk of the travel ban it's like now there's actually - there's some tangible experience . . . of that talk," he said.
The travel ban, which seeks to block entry to the US by people from six Muslim-majority countries, is on hold after two judges issued rulings blocking it.
While he is not Muslim, Aden said such policies - and the attached rhetoric - could lead to attitudes that would make authorities suspicious of his name.
Aden, who heads a consulting firm specialising in police and criminal justice reform, said he understands Customs and Border Protection's duty, but said he was treated unfairly - especially because the detention stretched for more than an hour.
Chuck Wexler, executive director of the Police Executive Research Forum, a Washington, DC-based independent police think tank that focuses on public policy issues, said Aden - who is a member of the organisation - was treated unfairly.
"I know Hassan. When he was a police chief and also when he was deputy chief in Alexandria. ... What I read was, he wasn't questioning them stopping him and asking him questions. What he questioned was why it took an hour and a half to resolve the situation," Wexler said.

People wait outside Paris’ Orly airport after it was evacuated following the shooting of a man by French security forces, March 18, 2017. (Photo by AFP)
Flights have resumed at Paris’ Orly Airport one day after a man was shot and killed while attempting to stage a shooting attack.
Officials announced on Sunday that schedules at Orly, which is Paris’ second-biggest airport and serves domestic and international flights, were returning to “normal.”
On Saturday, a 39-year-old French national identified as Ziyed Ben Belgacem, carrying a petrol can in his backpack, grabbed a soldier’s gun and fired shots before he was gunned down by security forces.
One soldier was reportedly slightly wounded in the incident, but no one else was harmed.
Severe chaos was also caused in flight schedules for several hours following the shooting.
French anti-terror investigators, who took into custody Belgacem’s father, brother, and cousin following the incident, released the father but held the other two as they sought to build a profile of the assailant.
An autopsy is to be carried to determine if the attacker was under influence as a small amount of cocaine was found during a search of his apartment in a northern Paris suburb.
Police said Belgacem had had a record of criminal activities and had been known to authorities. Since September last year, he had been under judicial monitoring. He had also shown signs of radicalization, although there was no indication immediately that he had traveled abroad.
The Saturday shooting comes as France remains in a state of emergency over terrorist attacks. The emergency state was initially imposed in November 2015, when terrorist attacks in and around Paris killed 130 people and injured 350 others.
The emergency rule has been extended several times because the French government believes the risk of terror attacks remains high.

Deserted check-in desks are seen at the Schoenefeld airport during a strike by ground staff, in Schoenefeld, near Berlin, on March 13, 2017. (Photo by AFP)
Workers at two airports in Berlin on Monday said they would extend a walkout over pay that has grounded almost all flights out of the German capital.
Service workers’ union Verdi on Sunday said it would call ground personnel at Schoenefeld and Tegel airports out on strike just two days after their last walkout on Friday.
The stoppage was slated to begin at 4:00 am (0300 GMT) Monday and last until 5:00 am (0400 GMT) Tuesday, affecting some 660 flights. But the union said in a statement Monday that it now planned to extend the walkout until early Wednesday morning.
Some 195 flights were cancelled at Schoenefeld, while 465 were affected at Tegel, airport operator FBB told AFP Monday.
“We ask all passengers to contact their airline and find out the status of their flight before setting off,” said FBB spokesman Daniel Tolksdorf.
Verdi wants higher pay for around 2,000 ground staffers in Berlin, including those registering passengers and loading baggage.
As well as Lufthansa, carriers including Air Berlin, easyJet and Ryanair serve the two airports.
Tens of thousands of passengers were stranded in Berlin on Friday.
Employees walked out twice in February as the union ratcheted up pressure.

The Malaysian Airlines international passenger flight MH370 mysteriously disappeared in March 2014. Photo / 123rf
The Malaysia Airlines jet MH370 was carrying a mysterious extra passenger who probably took control of the cockpit before plunging it into the Indian Ocean, according to a new theory which has emerged on the same day a lawsuit was filed in the US on behalf of the families of 44 people on board the missing plane.
The Boeing 777, believed to be carrying 239 passengers and crew, vanished three years ago today.
It was flying from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. Malaysia, Australia and China finally suspended an enormous search in the southern Indian Ocean in January this year after failing to find any trace of the plane.
The plane's manifest had 228 passengers listed but a volunteer investigator, Andre Milne, claims to have uncovered signs of an extra passenger.

Milne told "So now we have an 'extra' person on board MH370."He said the official record says 239 people were missing but he said there were officially 226 passengers - four having failed to board - and 12 crew, which makes 238.
He added: "The extra passenger likely acted in conjunction with larger external operational support to take full command and control of the cockpit of MH370."
A spokesman for the MH370 safety investigation team said: "We are aware of this discrepancy. The actual number of passengers on-board was 227."
He said the manifest, which listed 228 passengers, was actually a computerised load sheet which was transmitted about two hours before the aircraft's departure.
"The actual figures can differ from that transmitted on the load sheet due to last minute changes," he said.
A lawsuit filed against Boeing in a US District Court in South Carolina, names seven malfunctions, from an electrical fire to depressurisation of the plane's cabin, that could have led to the crew losing consciousness, the plane's transponder stopping its transmission and the plane flying undetected until it crashed after running out of fuel.
The suit was filed by Gregory Keith, a special administrator for families who lost loved ones on the flight. It names 44 victims as plaintiffs.
The lawsuit was filed in South Carolina because Boeing has built a massive new plant in the state to build the 787 Dreamliner.
The lawsuit notes that search efforts for the plane have ended and says the lack of finality has led to unprecedented levels of "economic and non-economic losses, emotional and physical pain, distress and mental pain and suffering" for the people on the airliner and their families. It does not ask for a specific amount of damages.
The lawsuit also says Boeing did not use technology which is available that would have allowed it to be tracked at all times and made the flight and cockpit voice recorders easier to find.
Boeing knew of design flaws on the aircraft, including defective wiring near combustible sources like the emergency oxygen supply to the plane's crew, says the lawsuit.
The lawsuit goes on to say: "The defects caused and/or allowed a massive and cascading sequence of electrical failures onboard the lost plane which disabled vital systems ... making it impossible for the crew to navigate the plane or for the plane to communicate with the ground stations leaving the aircraft to fly without the ability to communicate or control the aircraft until the plane ran out of fuel."
In March last year 12 Chinese families whose relatives were aboard the flight filed a lawsuit in Beijing.
It also named Boeing and jet engine manufacturer Rolls-Roys among the defendants.
Another lawsuit on behalf of the families of 32 passengers was filed in Kuala Lumpur.
A Malaysian woman and her two young sons also sued the airline, seeking damages of $7.6million for the loss of her husband, S Puspanathan.
An Australian-based woman, Jennifer Chong, whose husband Chong Ling Tan was on the flight, filed similar claims in Australia, alleging the airline was negligent in failing to ensure passengers' safety.
The families of four more Australian passengers are seeking $200,000 (£165,000) compensation from Malaysia Airlines, according to documents filed in the Federal Court of Australia in April 2016.
In June 2016, two Malaysian boys whose father, Jee Jing Hang, was a passenger secured an out-of-court settlement in the first legal case against Malaysia Airlines and the government.
Boeing spokesman Tom Kim said it does not comment on pending lawsuits but the company said its thoughts remained with the people who died on Flight MH370.

A man attends the Day of Remembrance for MH370 event in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Photos / AP
As families prepare to mark the third anniversary of the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 today, the final resting place of the aircraft's main body remains a mystery.
So far, only minor wreckage has been found, meaning relatives of the victims are still uncertain of where their loved ones died.
"We do not want it to be the case that MH370 vanishes without a trace," said Grace Subathirai Nathan, a Malaysian lawyer whose mother was aboard the Boeing-777.
"Planes can be replaced, but 239 lives can't," she said.
The plane, which went missing on March 8, 2014 during a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 people on board, is believed to have crashed into the Indian Ocean.
"As the days roll into weeks and weeks into months, it becomes less about finding closure and more about being something to learn from.

Noting that a new Boeing-777 costs around US$300 million, Nathan said the official search effort has so far cost only half of that - around US$150 million.We should not let something like this happen again," Nathan said.
It was halted in January after an underwater sweep of some 120,000 sq km turned up no signs of the plane's main body. Malaysia, Australia and China were jointly involved in carrying out the underwater search efforts.
Families say they are not ready to concede that the missing plane is hopelessly lost, even as they insist that governments should continue to finance search operations.
"We are going to continue the search if the governments don't resume it, and that will only be confirmed when the current findings and data have been analysed," Nathan said.
The Australian Transport Safety Bureau and the Joint Action Coordination Centre have been regularly updating families on their latest findings and data, the families say.
Malaysia's Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai said last week at an MH370 remembrance event that funding was not an obstacle. He said financial support would be provided as long as there was credible new evidence regarding search areas.
A man writes a condolence message during the Day of Remembrance for MH370 event in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Until now, 27 pieces of debris - including two pieces found in South Africa two weeks ago - have been found with links to MH370.
Blaine Alan Gibson, a US private investigator, has privately led search efforts and has been involved in some debris findings.
"I just did it because it needed to be done and nobody else was doing it at that point," he told DPA.
"We need to know that when we get on a plane we are just not going to disappear," he said.
"If we are not looking underwater - right now that's not happening - we are not going to find the black boxes. We need to know the crash site and [we need to find] heavy underwater debris to solve this."
Families have been supportive of his efforts, Gibson said.
"They want the truth whatever it is, and I care about them. I care about their loved ones. They have become sort of my family and have been a great inspiration to me to solve this mystery," he said.

A huge explosion caused a fire to break out in a tunnel running underneath Manchester Airport. Photo / Natalie Brandon Twitter
A huge explosion caused a fire to break out in a tunnel running underneath Manchester Airport.
Firefighters are currently on the scene of the blaze, which has forced the closure of both the tunnel and a nearby runway.
Pictures show heavy smoke in the tunnel, on the A538, as firefighters battle the blaze. Eyewitnesses reported hearing a loud bang.
It is unclear at this point how the fire started. Closure was put in place after a van caught fire in the tunnel. The fire has now been extinguished.

Dale Beardsall was in the tunnel at the time of the fire and had to reverse out when he heard a loud bang and saw thick smoke coming out of the tunnel.
The van is now being recovered and firefighters are checking over the tunnel. They are aiming to reopen it soon.
The engineer said: "I was just in the tunnel, a few cars in. There was a lot of smoke and all the traffic had stopped.
"A couple of guys ran through the tunnel, they said "get everybody to back out".
"The cars behind us made way for a middle lane so cars could get through and get out of the tunnel.
"I managed to back out of the tunnel in my car, but some people in cars in front had to get out of their cars and run out on foot."

The man is expected to appear in the Melbourne Magistrates' Court on Friday on charges of importing and possessing a commercial quantity of a border-controlled drug.
An Australian man who allegedly brought more than $1.7 million of cocaine hidden in a suitcase through Melbourne Airport could face life in jail.
The 34-year-old arrived on a flight from Italy on Thursday night when Border Force officials allegedly uncovered 5kg of cocaine hidden under a false bottom of a case.
Border Force alleges officers found a piece of plywood "inconsistent with the construction" of the man's suitcase, before the bag was X-rayed.
A white substance, believed to be cocaine, was found behind the plywood partition.
The cocaine is thought to have a street value of about NZ$1.7 million.
The man is expected to appear in the Melbourne Magistrates' Court on Friday on charges of importing and possessing a commercial quantity of a border-controlled drug.
The charges carry a maximum penalty of life in prison.

The four men killed in a Melbourne plane crash were on a golfing ''trip of a lifetime'' playing top courses in New Zealand before moving onto Australia. Here they are at Cape Kidnappers.
Less than a fortnight before he died in a fiery plane crash in Melbourne a US tourist wrote an eerie Facebook post while in New Zealand about how he was scared of flying in the Milford Sounds.
Texan entrepreneur Glenn Garland had been on a tour of New Zealand and Australia with his partner and friends visiting luxury sites and playing golf.
The 67-year-old and four others were killed in the crash near Essendon Airport about 9am yesterday.
On February 8 Garland wrote: "Laurie [his partner] about to board. How can she be so calm when I'm worried about needing an extra pair of underwear."
Later that day he added another post which read: "only burned 5,000 calories of anxiety on the flight over. Beats a 5-hour one way bus ride".

He also said Melbourne was a "magnificent and amazing city".Then the day before the fatal flight Garland wrote another eerie post about the "really tough and windy conditions" at Royal Melbourne Golf Club.
"We had rain squalls, and wind that was almost biblical in the fierceness. The only thing we missed was a plague of locusts. My hat is off to the Aussies that play in this everyday," he said.
Friends and family of the American victims - Greg De Haven, Russell Munsch, John Washburn and Garland - have identified the men's bodies.
Their wives had accompanied them to Australia, but were not onboard when tragedy struck. The women had reportedly organised to go on a day trip to Australian Heritage site Great Ocean Rd on the day of the crash.
Pictures show the group at various sites around New Zealand and Australia where he spoke of playing golf with Munsch, a well-known law firm partner also from Austin, Texas.
Garland was also pictured with DeHaven, a 70-year-old retired FBI agent, from Spicewood, Texas, and Washburn, who was a 67-year-old retiree also from Spicewood - in an album posted on Facebook to share their adventures.
The four men with Glenn Garland's wife, Laura, at Tara Iti Golf Club.

They had planned to continue their tour in Tasmania's King Island, which boasts two of Australia's best public golf courses. They were due to arrive on the island on Tuesday morning.
Instead, the four perished in the plane crash that Victorian Premier Dan Andrews described as the worst aviation disaster the state had seen in 30 years.
Texas-based energy company CLEAResult, for which Garland was a former chief executive, released a statement saying the company was "heartbroken to hear of [his] passing".
"Glenn was an inspirational leader who co-founded our company with a unique vision for the vast potential of the energy efficient industry," the statement read.
The company's co-founder Jim Stimmel, a close friend of Garland, said he was devastated to hear of his passing.
"Glenn Garland was more than a colleague to me, he was a visionary and a close friend. I am devastated to hear of his passing and my heart and thoughts are with his family," he said.
"We have lost an incredible man. I am blessed to have known and worked closely with Glenn for many years."
Family members have posted tributes to Munsch and DeHaven on Facebook.
Russell Munsch and Greg DeHaven were named as the first two victims of the Melbourne plane crash.
De Haven's younger sister, Danielle Wicht, broke the news to many on Facebook, telling loved ones her big brother had been killed.
"Dear friends and family, my handsome, athletic big brother was killed today in a plane accident while on his 'once in a lifetime' trip to Australia," she wrote.
The US bankruptcy law firm Munsch co-founded released a statement about the partner saying he had retired but was "one of the best of all time".
Glenn Garland and Russell Munsch took a trip to Milford Sound while in the South Island.

The firm said Munsch was involved in some of the most prominent bankruptcy cases in the US.
Munsch was next-door neighbour to Washburn, the last victim to be identified, according to pair's local newspaper the Austin Statesman.
Washburn was an executive at Sammons Enterprises, one of the largest privately held companies in the US, before retiring several years ago.
The son of a Methodist minister, he had recently been on the board of a US aged care home where his father had worked.


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