MEGAPTERA
Posts: 115
Joined: Sun Apr 15, 2001 4:48 pm

Flights To Gibraltar

Mon Apr 19, 2004 12:57 am

Is it true that UK commercial and/or military flights to Gib are not (or were not) allowed to overfly Spanish airspace? If so, what routing do/did they use to get round this. I'm sure someone once told me this was true but back then I was a bit gullible. Any info much appreciated.
 
skytrain
Posts: 288
Joined: Fri Jan 09, 2004 6:45 am

RE: Flights To Gibraltar

Mon Apr 19, 2004 1:24 am

Well I've flown to Gibraltar quite a few times and have flown over Spanish airspace before. These flights were on BA (GB Airways). I'm not sure about the military aircraft though.

Cheers - Skytrain.
 
capricorn1
Posts: 16
Joined: Tue Mar 02, 2004 3:43 am

RE: Flights To Gibraltar

Mon Apr 19, 2004 1:38 am

When I was in the ATC (Air Cadets) I stayed at RAF Gibraltar for a week in 1992.

I remember the RAF telling us that in the event of an emergency they (as well as civil aircraft) would not be able to divert to Spain (although they did say they were sure they would be able to in a dire emergency). It's all part of the Spanish claim on the 'Rock'. The customs check point between Gib and Spain is a complete nightmare (Spanish end!).

Africa is very close, in fact you can see the coastline from the top of the Rock, so that is always an option for diversion.

I have very fond memories of that week, on the return flight I got my one and only jump seat flight, in a Dan Air 737!

Just my two pennies

capricorn1
 
skytrain
Posts: 288
Joined: Fri Jan 09, 2004 6:45 am

RE: Flights To Gibraltar

Mon Apr 19, 2004 2:20 am

It's odd - I must have been through that Customs point 100 times and sometimes it can be a 3 hour nightmare and other times it only takes 15 or 20 minutes. Usually the only really hold up is for cars. If you stay on the Spanish side of the border - I say, walk!  Big grin Big grin

Cheers - Skytrain.
 
steve6666
Posts: 447
Joined: Thu Sep 04, 2003 1:58 am

RE: Flights To Gibraltar

Mon Apr 19, 2004 8:34 am

No it's utter rubbish - you fly almost directly over Madrid. May well have been different when the border was closed but it opened almost 20 years ago. When GIB is closed (normally due to bad weather, which is quite frequent) they divert to Malaga and have to bus everyone in from Gib.
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MEGAPTERA
Posts: 115
Joined: Sun Apr 15, 2001 4:48 pm

RE: Flights To Gibraltar

Tue Apr 20, 2004 2:23 am

Thanks guys. I did fly there once with GB Airways (I think it was in 1995) but I was more interested in the free G+Ts then than what was happening outside the window. Not much has changed.
 
gilesdavies
Posts: 2272
Joined: Tue Dec 02, 2003 7:51 pm

RE: Flights To Gibraltar

Tue Apr 20, 2004 3:43 am

I took the route from LTN to Gibraltar back in 2002 and the flight on a Monarch A321 only took 2hrs 25mins. There is no way this flight could have taken another route in the time it took.

The landing into Gibraltar is spectacular, would highly recommend it!
 
skytrain
Posts: 288
Joined: Fri Jan 09, 2004 6:45 am

RE: Flights To Gibraltar

Tue Apr 20, 2004 4:59 am

Agreed Gilesdavies ! Awesome landing/takeoffs!  Big thumbs up

Cheers - Skytrain.
 
ACEregular
Posts: 577
Joined: Mon Aug 11, 2003 8:00 am

RE: Flights To Gibraltar

Tue Apr 20, 2004 5:54 am

I flew to Gibraltar in Februaryl 1996 from Newcastle on Airtours' B757 G-JALC. We definately flew over Spanish territory. I remember on the approach flying alongside a rainbow, with the Spanish coastline visable too. As a sidenote the final approach and landing at GIB are amazing. I am sure it was a full flaps affair for out heavy B757. then to see the cars waiting at the level crossing as you reverse thrust past is spectacular. A quick spin and you go back down the active again to pose for the cars waiting on the other side of the runway. Gibraltar is fascinating.
 
steve6666
Posts: 447
Joined: Thu Sep 04, 2003 1:58 am

RE: Flights To Gibraltar

Tue Apr 20, 2004 9:33 am

What you may be referring to is that there are no flights from GIB to other airports in Spain, which apparently IS something to do with the ongoing situation regarding British/Spanish sovereignty over Gibraltar. Well, that's what the old man says, and he lives in GIB so.....must be true....

Maybe I'm just spoilt but aside from the runway=road thing in Gibraltar, I would argue Madeira (Funchal) and GCM (on a BA763) are more exciting landings for the extreme reverse thrust, and Rio de Janeiro (SDU) for the view on final.
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rutankrd
Posts: 2607
Joined: Mon Sep 08, 2003 6:08 am

RE: Flights To Gibraltar

Tue Apr 20, 2004 8:55 pm

Commercial flights from the UK certainly do over fly Spanish airspace en-route AND Spanish carriers ARE allowed in Gibraltar (Air Europe) have visited. The diversion point of choice IS Malaga.
The issue i think you may be interested in is how flights enter the Gibraltar TMA.
This is where the political debacle is played out.
Flights over Spain continue under the Malaga control and are routed out into the Med as if going to Morocco !
Then then descend whilst out of controlled airspace and contact Gibraltar for approach clearance into the TMA.
This way they are Not passed directly from Spanish control to the UK military occupied forces on the ROCK.
Military flights are known to take many convoluted routes to the ROCK over the Atlantic and south of Cadiz.
 
keno
Posts: 1809
Joined: Thu Feb 19, 2004 5:46 pm

RE: Flights To Gibraltar

Tue Apr 20, 2004 11:27 pm

I've flown to GIB twice - once on BA (LGW-GIB) and another time with Monarch (LTN-STN). Yes the plane did fly over Spain - I even took few photos of Madrid and Bilbao which were clearly visible onboard.

I heard that mails sent from Gibraltar are first sent to the UK before being distributed to the receipients worldwide. That include sending a mail from Gibraltar to La Linea, which is the border town in Spain. I don't know if this is still the case today.

The land border control was very easy. All I have to do is to flash my Malaysian passport cover in passing to the officer, as if I'm an EU national.