Fighters to shoot downsuspicious flights over wedding
13 May 2004, MADRID – Media organisations have been banned from flying above Madrid 24 hours before the Royal Wedding, the Minister of Security said Thursday, and military jets will be authorised to shoot down any flights that appear dangerous.
13 May 2004
MADRID – Media organisations have been banned from flying above Madrid 24 hours before the Royal Wedding, the Minister of Security said Thursday, and military jets will be authorised to shoot down any flights that appear dangerous.
Antonio Camacho has banned any flights within 50 miles of the capital between 21-22 May.
Crown Prince Felipe is to marry former television presenter Letizia Ortiz on 22 May, amid much pomp and a huge security operation.
At least 18,000 police will be used to prevent terrorists staging an attack on the day of the wedding.
The police have been working for five months to prepare the security operation for the much-awaited Royal Wedding.
On the day of the ceremony, Madrid will be turned into a "secure city" said Camacho.
Authorities will employ a similar security plan as that which came into action after the 11 March terrorist bombings.
Camacho appealed for the Spanish people to be patient as they will have to undergo some delays as a result of the huge security operation.
The police operation will centre on the historic landmarks which will be central to the wedding procession.
These are the Almudena Cathedral, where the ceremony will take place, the Royal Palace, where the banquet is to be held and La Basílica de Atocha, where Letizia Ortiz is to put the bride's bouquet.
Apart from the route, police are to maintain heavy security at airports, train stations and main roads.
Víctor García Hidalgo, chief of police, was meeting Thursday to finalise last-minute security plans with other senior police officers.
Police are to be helped at some points by members of the security forces.
The only media organisation to be allowed inside the aerial security cordon will be a helicopter from state-run TVE television.
The cordon will extend between 6pm on 21 May to 8pm the day following.
Otherwise, only police or air force planes or helicopters will be allowed inside the aerial cordon.
But commercial flights to Madrid's Barajas airport will not be affected.
F-18 fighters from the Spanish air force will be authorised to shoot down any flights which appear dangerous.
They will be backed up by the Nato AWACS spy plane which is being used for this event and the Olympics in Athens later in the year, and the European football championship in Lisbon.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news