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Thursday, January 21, 2010

Transport Canada Designates Vancouver Olympics Airspace Security Measures

Source: LARRY PYNN, VANCOUVER SUN montrealgazette.com


Photograph by: Maggie Wong, Vancouver Sun

20 Jan 2010—VANCOUVER—The Canadian Forces are ready to exercise "lethal force" in a worst-case scenario to defend new air space security restrictions being imposed during the 2010 Olympic Games.

NORAD spokesman Lieut. David Lavallee told the Vancouver Sun on Tuesday that the response to a violation of flight restrictions could range from simple radio contact with the pilot to the use of Canadian military CF-18 fighter jets and Griffon helicopters.



"There are many facets to a situation like that," he said. "Suffice to say we will have aircraft and people ready to respond to violations of the restricted air space.

"NORAD has a graduated response that can, if necessary, culminate in the use of lethal force."

Transport Canada, in concert with federal security agencies, has approved a comprehensive net of new transportation restrictions governing the movement of aircraft, marine vessels, and dangerous goods during the Olympics.

The transport of dangerous goods will be heavily restricted.

Marine traffic will be subject to no go "exclusion zones" around several harbours, the athletes' village in False Creek, the Richmond oval by the Fraser River, and the Sea to Sky corridor. Around these areas will be "controlled access zones" where access may occur with approval of 2010's Integrated Security Unit led by the RCMP.

The security rules on transportation bring to mind the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attack on the Twin Towers of New York City's World Trade Center along with the Oct. 12, 2000, suicide bombing of the USS Cole destroyer in Yemen.

"Anything that is possible or plausible, we try to plan for," said ISU spokeswoman, RCMP Const. Mandy Edwards. "We try to take everything into consideration and make the most comprehensive security plan."

The 500-member ISU is charged with overall security planning for the Olympics, including for a security force of 15,500 RCMP, municipal police, Canadian Forces and other security personnel.

The new air space designations are effective Jan. 29 to March 24.

Aircrew flying into the restricted zones must be registered with ISU and all flights authorized on an individual basis, all persons and goods must be screened, and access will be limited to military, police, emergency life-saving, search and rescue, essential services, official state business, and approved media.

lpynn@vancouversun.com

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