The Spanish Government appear to have no intention of backing down in their latest row with low-cost operator, Ryanair and have formally petitioned the Irish Government and the European Commission (CE) for a "greater capacity" to carry out more wide ranging inspections on foreign airlines operating within Spain, according to the Secretary of State for Infrastructure, transport and housing, Rafael Catalá.
"We are asking for better co-ordination and to guarantee air security, asking to be able to control these issues with regard to those operating flights within our territory, regardless of whether their license be, as in this case, Irish, or from any other European country."
The Secretary of state is pushing for the Spanish AESA, the state security agency, to have more powers to carry out more checks and have the power to undertake sanctions when an infraction is considered to be grave, which also leads onto the whole question of a nation having the right to revoke the license of an airline if it believes that the airline is not complying with safety regulations. He also said that his department had been in written communication with both the Irish government and CE and hoped to meet with both parties this coming week.
The press have this weekend highlighted the latest incidents involving Ryanair planes: the priority landing granted to a flight from Dusseldorf to Palma de Mallorca due to injuries sustained by two flight attendants and one passenger during the "severe turbulence " in the approach to the airport, an emergency landing by a flight from Bristol, destination Tarragona, due to loss of fuel on Saturday, and a landing at Madrid-Barajas of a flight from Paris - Tenerife due to technical, issues on Sunday.
Ryanair have issued press communiqués following the incidents, regretting the inconvenience caused to its passengers.
This follows on from the furious letter sent to the Ministry of Development last week, accusing her department of leaking false information to the Spanish press and the Air safety Inspection Agency, Aesa.
The very interesting website www.avherald.com, the aviation herald, lists a good number of flight safety incidents worldwide last week including one on a Portugese flight which the Spanish press appear to have missed:
A TAP Air Portugal Airbus A320-200, registration CS-TNK performing flight TP-834 from Lisbon (Portugal) to Rome Fiumicino (Italy) with 109 passengers and 6 crew, was en route at FL380 about 90nm southeast of Madrid,SP (Spain) when the crew reported smoke in the cabin and diverted to Madrid for a safe landing on runway 33R about 30 minutes later.
Airport sources reported a burned wire was found.
The remainder of the flight was cancelled, the passengers were rebooked onto other flights
Recent incidents on Air Iberia:
The last safety incidents relating to Spanish aircraft were on the 30th August when Iberia flight A343 had an electrical problem near Montevideo when taking off with 280 passengers on board. The plane was held on a hold setting by the crew for 90 minutes, before the plane returned to Montevideo and relanded .On the 1st September Iberia express A320 experienced engine failure and the crew had to land back at Madrid.
Recent incidents on Vueling:
September 1st Knife found on Vueling A320 near Coruna.
Passengers reported that a father travelling with his little son was manipulating his backpack, when a knife wrapped in a newspaper fell out of the backpack. The flight attendant observed the knife falling and informed the flight deck, the commander decided to return to La Coruna to have the incident checked.
Aena, Spain's airport operator, reported that the man carrying the knife did not represent any danger, was neither aggressive nor violent, and was permitted to continue the flight. Aena is investigating the occurrence and how it was possible that the knife went past security control, the ultimate responsibility of Aena even though outsourced to an external security company. A first reconstruction of the event showed that the knife was difficult to detect due to the type of backpack despite all various filters available on the monitoring equipment
A Vueling Airbus A320-200, registration EC-KDG performing flight VY-1880 from Barcelona,SP (Spain) to Berlin Tegel (Germany) with 139 people on board, produced a hard landing on Tegel Airport's runway 26R at 13:52L (11:52Z) and bounced with the tail contacting the runway. The crew continued the landing and rolled out without further incident. The aircraft received structural damage.
The return flight VY-1881 was cancelled.
The French BEA reported the aircraft suffered a tail strike, Germany's BFU have opened an investigation into the serious incident.
EC-KDG has not flown since (standing Sep 4th 13:30Z).
A Vueling Airbus A320-200, registration EC-LML performing flight VY-8366 from Malaga,SP (Spain) to Amsterdam (Netherlands) with 183 people on board, was descending towards Amsterdam and was about to be handed off from Belgium to Dutch control when the radio contact with Dutch air traffic control frequencies was intermittently lost prompting two fighter aircraft to be dispatched with the alert the aircraft might have been hijacked. The fighter aircraft escorted the aircraft to Amsterdam, where the aircraft landed safely on Amsterdam's 18R and stopped on a taxiway near the runway, where security forces surrounded the aircraft. Following landing communication with the crew was fully restored, the crew reported no security problem on board.
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