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ORAC
6th Apr 2005, 14:07
ROME, Italy (Reuters) --

Gearing up for the arrival of more pilgrims and presidents than at any time in its history for Pope John Paul's funeral on Friday, Rome is erecting a defense shield that will include a no-fly zone and anti-aircraft missiles.......

World leaders planning to attend the funeral range from U.S. President George W. Bush to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad, making the service the most star-studded in Vatican history.....

To protect the dignitaries, Rome will close its airspace on Thursday and Friday for a 5-mile (8-km) radius. The nearby Ciampino airport will be closed and traffic at Fiumicino international airport will be reduced by nearly a third.

The air force said it will ready anti-aircraft missiles and deploy a NATO surveillance plane, drawing from past experience of high-profile state visits.....

The SSK
6th Apr 2005, 14:25
Rome Ciampino will be closed to all normal traffic from 0800-2200UTC with only Heads of State and emergency flights being allowed to operate. For Rome Fiumicino there will be flow regulations for the same period with the flow rate depending on the wind direction and therefore the runways in use. Delays must be expected especially if the runways in use are 34L/R.And under the new EU passenger rights rules all passengers delayed overnight must be provided with hotel accommodation - in Rome - on Friday - no problem.

brabazon
6th Apr 2005, 15:25
Think you'll find this is covered by the "exceptional circumstances" clause!

ou Trek dronkie
7th Apr 2005, 00:07
A word of advice : Don't.

It's chaos, even for Roma.

CIA closed tomorrow too, I believe.

oTd

Rollingthunder
7th Apr 2005, 00:13
Yup - 3 million romans and an estimated 4 million visitors.

Alpha Leader
7th Apr 2005, 10:28
This wouldn't be to prevent any assassination attempt on the pope? :ok:

Few Cloudy
7th Apr 2005, 10:46
They could stir up a political hornets' nest there. Is there a defined threat?

If not certain factions could well feel more than vague mistrust...

WHBM
7th Apr 2005, 11:54
It always used to be the presidents etc of banana republics who expected things to stop for them when they were around so they could feel important. Now it seems more and more that those in the major countries as well wish to inconvenience anyone near them for the sake of some press publicity.

If the world leaders are so scared, then don't come. Oh no, negative publicity might occur.

Of all the possible things that might happen an air attack surely has to be one of the least likely.

If there's any identified threat then arrest the identified people concerned.

The recent Oscars in Hollywood had all sorts of additional security closures, etc, around them, and of course there were huge press releases about what they were doing. Just for film actors ! It all seems to be lapped up by the press much more than regular PR about the stars so one has to wonder cynically if the media managers for stars and politicians have not found a new way to get their charges onto the front pages.

Likewise there seems to be a status-enhancing approach to it. "If he's worth a 2 hour airspace closure then my man must be worth a 4 hour one at least."

ORAC
7th Apr 2005, 15:05
BBC: Air travellers facing Rome delays

UK passengers due to fly to Rome are facing disruption as a 12 mile-wide section of airspace is closed to ensure security at the Pope's funeral.

The restrictions, centred around the Vatican, mean Ciampino airport, used by Easyjet and Ryanair, will be closed for the next two days. In total 113 of their flights will be disrupted.

Easyjet will fly to Bologna, a four-hour train journey from Rome.

Ryanair will fly to Pescara - 130 miles away - or Rome's Fiumicino airport.

The restriction will be imposed from 1000 BST on Thursday to 2400 BST on Friday.

Easyjet is cancelling 16 flights to and from Rome and putting on extra flights to and from Bologna instead. Passengers can have a refund or go to Rome another time.

Ryanair is cancelling 97 flights to and from Rome.

Rome's Fiumicino airport will be accepting 30% fewer inbound flights during the two days, but British Airways, which flies to Fiumicino, says none of its flights will be affected.....

Golf Charlie Charlie
7th Apr 2005, 15:35
<<<
...but British Airways, which flies to Fiumicino, says none of its flights will be affected.....
>>>

Quite a useful point to highlight. Again, I guess, it shows how the full service carriers do seem to be able to override these sort of disruptions, compared with the budget operators. Fair enough - you make your choice, knowing the risks of unforeseen events, and you get what you pay for.

The SSK
7th Apr 2005, 16:01
According to the departure/arrival boards on the website, FCO is operating perfectly normally today, with no cancellations and virtually no delays, maybe Someone Up There is smiling on them...

As far as scheduled services are concerned, CIA has very little traffic, maybe 8 flights a day, apart from the Ryanair/Easyjet operations.

Onan the Clumsy
7th Apr 2005, 16:09
I did notice this morning that our local TV and radio stations ae sending presenters specially to cover the (non) story that Rome is full and the police are asking people to stay away.



I guess they being in the media and all don't have to follow this suggestion :yuk:

airship
7th Apr 2005, 19:08
It is sad that the wide disruption to services is due to a small handful of dignitaries. Most of whom blatantly ignored the Pope's messages when alive anyway, whenever it was convenient. You will know of whom I'm speaking...

So many tens of thousands of the faithful will just have to make do, won't they?! Do be sure and save a little floor-space in the YMCA for visiting dignataries who didn't quite get the chance to make prior arrangements. :rolleyes:

Solid Rust Twotter
7th Apr 2005, 20:03
Mad Bob will be there as well, in violation of an EU imposed travel ban. Have to agree with TD on this one - The EU is a toothless waste of time and taxpayer's money if they won't even enforce their own rules.

However, like any infestation of politicians, they seem to be quite capable of benefiting from any freebie or junket that's going.... :mad: