Washington seeks power to ban air travellers – even if they are only flying OVER the U.S.
The US government is demanding the right to ban British air passengers from flying over America en route to other countries even when the flights will not land in the United States. Under anti-terrorism measures due to come into force within two years, the US authorities insist they need to do background checks on all UK air passengers travelling to Canada, the Caribbean, Mexico and South America. Direct flights to popular holiday destinations such as the Bahamas, Barbados, Toronto and Mexico City would all be covered by stringent US security checks examining people’s passport details, travel plans and even how they paid for their ticket. US security officials insist the checks must be completed 72 hours before departure or the flight will be banned from US airspace. Anyone identified as having “suspicious indicators associated with travel behaviour” by US security would be prevented from boarding their flight.
Source: Daily Mail emailed by a member of the BU family
In this part of the world it is no secret that our standard of living is solely dependent on tourism with the exception of Trinidad & Tobago which is blessed with large oil deposits. According to the Central Bank numbers the UK tourist market has been increasing faster than other markets. Barbados and the other islands of the Caribbean who rely on the UK market as a staple source of tourist supply have had to adopt business strategies to compensate for higher air cost from Europe to the Caribbean. If the USA get their way with this latest initiative to ban British passengers flying over US air space this would have a significant impact on the economies of the Caribbean.
There is the saying that for every action there is a reaction. The United States of America often dubbed the World Police have declared war on terrorism. They have a right to protect their borders, we do not deny them that right. Of little concern to them is the fact that tiny islands in the Caribbean may have their economies develop a vicious spiral as a result. The gloating which Barbados and other islands in the Caribbean may have felt with the moral victory achieved in their encounter with OECD countries a few years ago maybe short-lived. Another case of Goliath having the last laugh.
Maybe the recent statements coming from Minister of Tourism Richard Sealy and others at the Foreign Affairs ministries that Barbados should seriously examine the Central & Latin America markets is prophetic. There is the quiet anticipation that Barbados will strike the black stuff soon, but a responsible government should not use a lottery approach to managing the affairs of a country. Prime Minister David Thompson will be mindful that under the last Democratic Labour Party they demitted office under a cloud of incompetence. The turmoil of the world financial markets will continue and the challenges for the small open economies of our region will no doubt escalate.
Prime Minister David Thompson and his team should not underestimate the challenge of managing a 2×3 country against the global landscape of today. It is the reason why the blogs and the commenters have been bellowing that the way how we govern must start to change because after all the global market has CHANGED and continues to CHANGE.
Cant say I blame them!
Well we better get ready to buckle our seat belts and prepare for a rough ride.
From the Belleville Intelligencer (Ontario, Canada):
My husband recently traveled to Canada from BB and I was surprised that the same “ziploc” bag/liquid limitation restrictions were not in place for, as the article says, flights that enter US airspace. So IMO the US is kidding itself and it’s own travelers into thinking that they are getting somewhere with a growing global reality. Next the government will be making ziploc bags.
If the US economy experiences a depression we are in big trouble.
You guys may remember the old saying -when America sneezes the whole world catches a cold.
Subject: SHAME SHAME SHAME!!!
Author: Ga all day (126.96.36.199)
Date: 03-09-2008 00:15
I can’t believe am reading this story… I happened to be in Ghana to watch the African Cup of Nation when i friend in Tema told me one of our classmate is leaving for Barbados. To make a long story short, the plan was when they get to Barbados, someone is suppose to arrange for them to go to America and if all else fails end up in Canada.
We discuss this in lengh and i told him it might be very difficult trying to get all the passenger to the U.S.
This people payed between 6000.00-8000.00 dollars for this trip.
He told me he was interested in going too. i told him to be careful becausem it might end up being a scam run by Ghanaians and Nigerian nationals.
my point is the organizers should all be jailed for stealing peoples HARD EARNED money and selling them false hope. Am just upset that someone that i know is a victim of the scam…. SHAME SHAME SHAAAAAAAME!!!!! SHAME ON YOU.
Add comment Sunday, 9 March 2008, 8:52 am
How to get to America??? On a Tourist Visa and then seek asylum??? Listen don’t kid yourself, BB has more to offer than the US IMO.
It makes sense to West Africans. Their worldview is different from that of most other people.
They honestly believe that the streets of America are paved with gold… and with the sort of useless idiots for leaders that they have, America IS heaven, or at least the only one they have heard about.
UK-Barbados flights do not pass through U.S. airspace.
neither do flights from anywhere in europe to canada. they all make landfall over labrador or nunavut. the only canadan flights that use us airspace are those from halifax to toronto and points west, that fly over northern maine. However, all US flights to europe fly over canadian airspace, and it’ll be interesting to see if a pissing contest develops between the two governments.For this reason, I suspect the daily mail report has not quite got this right
Thanks for all the feedback.
We have asked the Daily Mail to clarify.
The US’ richest man, Warren Buffett, last week stated that the US is already in recession. He recommends buying railways and oil stocks. He says to k eep away from the Banks as there is still more fall out to come from the sub-prime loans.
Efforts Being Made To Bring Home Stranded Ghanaians
By Daily Graphic
Mon, 10 Mar 2008
Text Only | |
Seasons Travel and Tours (STT), the tour operator responsible for the 153 stranded passengers in Barbados, is liaising with Ghana’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs to get them transit visas to return home via Europe.
The Manager of the company, Mr Eric Bannerman, said last Friday that the passengers included Nigerians, Jamaicans, Ghanaians and Canadians who were returning to their destinations and that the actual passengers who would return to Ghana were about 30.
He said the company was paying for their accommodation, in decent guest houses, while it awaited the arrangements with the Foreign Ministry.
Mr Bannerman was responding to questions on arrangements to bring back the passengers, especially when Ghana International Airlines Limited (GIA) had denied that the passengers were its passengers.
According to the airline, it did not have any contractual relationship with the passengers because the passengers bought their tickets from STT.
“GIA did not either directly or indirectly sell tickets to the passengers,” it said in reaction by its acting CEO, Ms Gifty Annan-Myers, to protest about the headline of the story which portrayed the GIA as being responsible for the passengers.
The GIA said STT contracted the airline to transport its passengers to and from Barbados upon the payment of an agreed consideration fare (charter price) at seven days before each flight. The GIA under the agreement was to undertake two return flights to Barbados.
The first flight, according to GIA, left Accra on January 31, 2008 with 151 passengers and returned with no passengers to Accra on February 1, 2008 and STT paid the fixed portion of the charter price for that while the reimbursable expenses were yet to be paid by STT.
It said the second flight from Accra to Bridgetown was scheduled for February 15, 2008. However, STT had so far not been able to pay GIA the charter price.
The GIA said the problem had arisen because the Barbados Ministry of Transport, Works and International Transport was demanding that STT repatriate the passengers who landed on February 1, 2008 before it would be allowed to bring in any more passengers.
It said STT insisted that it would run into huge financial loss if it did not put passengers on the aircraft that would fly from Accra to that country to bring the first group to Accra.
In view of the development, GIA said it offered to carry the passengers at an agreed fare on its schedule flight from London Gatwick to Accra if STT transported them from Bridgetown to London.
The GIA said that it was informed by STT that 19 of the 151 passengers were willing and ready to return to Accra and in pursuance of that GIA, upon a request from STT, wrote to the British High Commission in Bridgetown on February 22, 2008 confirming that seats had been reserved for all the 19 passengers on GIA flight from London to Accra on February 23, 2008.
But the visas were not issued because the British consulate needed additional documentation.
After two postponements of the return flight on February 15 and February 29, 2008, the passengers were reported to have run out of money and many of them have resorted to working illegally as labourers.
Barbados government officials said some of the passengers had officially requested for work permits to allow them to support themselves while in that country.
The Barbados Ministry of Transport, Works and International Transport has stated that it is doing everything to ensure that the stranded passengers return home successfully.
“The first indication received by the Ministry of Transport, Works and International Transport of any intention to operate a direct charter service from Ghana to Barbados was an e-mail application dated January 17, 2008 from the GIA, in association with Seasons Travel and Tours, to permit a charter tour operation into Barbados on January 20, 2008 and depart the next day,” a government statement said.
Having received the application, the ministry said it queried the actual period of the tour, since no return date had been given, but on January 28, 2008, a revised application was received from the GIA, stating in part that the revised dates were now January 31, 2008, with a subsequent service on February 15 to return passengers.
It said on January 29, 2008, the GIA advised the ministry that it should expect 160 passengers in Barbados on January 31, 2008, out of which 40 would be proceeding to other Caribbean countries via alternative arrangements.
The remaining 120 were to return to Ghana on the flight on February 15, 2008.
Based on the arrangement and exchanges, a permit for the charter was issued to the GIA and, according to immigration documents, 153 passengers were landed in Barbados from the GIA flight, including those going to other Caribbean countries.
The Barbados government said the local ground handling agency for Seasons Travel and Tours had been very proactive in efforts to repatriate the passengers, while it was taking urgent steps, through Ghana’s High Commission, towards the speedy repatriation of the stranded passengers.
Story by Stephen Sah