Drones spread their deadly wings

IssueNovember 2013
News by Jill Gough

Military technology company QinetiQ has signed a contract to use Llanbedr, near Harlech, Gwynedd, for testing unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) or ‘drones’. Llanbedr airfield estates claimed its 2,300m runway can handle larger drones than are tested at Aberporth in Ceredigion.

Welsh government economic minister Edwina Hart said that she sees it as an important step forward as ‘Llanbedr Airfield has the capacity to significantly increase Wales’ capability in the [unmanned aerial systems] arena and its strategic importance was acknowledged by the Welsh government when it was included within the boundaries of Snowdonia Enterprise Zone.’

Cymdeithas y Cymod (the Fellowship of Reconciliation in Wales) launched a strong protest and are planning to raise local awareness of the implications of this development on tourist and marine jobs in the area. If the extension of the testing goes ahead, more drones will be flying across Cardigan Bay disrupting maritime pleasure and fishing activities and deterring walkers on the newly opened Wales coastal path.

A public meeting is being arranged with speakers from Aberporth who will share the experience of living near the drones airfield. Cymdeithas y Cymod is also calling for an international treaty to ban the use of robots in warfare.

Despoiling the beautiful Cambrian coast with drone testing makes Wales part of a system of slaughter which extends to Afghanistan and beyond.

Topics: Drones
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