Spain changes rules for U.S. military flights


MADRID (BNO NEWS) — As of February 1st, the U.S. Air Force can no longer perform refueling operations on Spanish territory, Defence Minister Carme Chacón announced on Wednesday.

The minister added that U.S. aircraft may not perform visual flights, only instrumental, with the aim of strengthening the control and security of Spanish airspace.

Spain and the U.S. have agreed on a series of technical improvements that affect the information on scale and flyovers, the storage of ammunition and explosives and adaptation to Spanish environmental legislation, Chacón said.

In addition to the new prohibitions, Washington now needs to request flight permits earlier than before and provide details about the flight. Chacón, however, insisted that the changes were not related to the CIA’s flight scandal, which involved the illegal transfer of detainees to Guantánamo via European bases.

The Pentagon agreed not to store landmines in Spain and to submit an environmental impact study, with the measures to alleviate it, when performing an activity on Spanish soil.

In January 1966, such a maneuver caused the collision of a tanker with a US bomber loaded with nuclear bombs above the south-eastern Spanish village of Palomares.

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