US Military Are a Threat to Public Health at Shannon Airport
At least 23 OMNI Air aircraft carrying US soldiers have passed through Shannon airport since 1st March 2020, and this is ongoing on a daily basis. All these soldiers spend at least two hours within Shannon airport terminal building availing of duty free, restaurant and other facilities and frequently mingle with airport workers and other passengers using the terminal building.
For example, today 19 March 2020, OMNI Air N378AX arrived at Shannon airport from Pristina in Kosovo which is the location of US base Camp Bondsteel. Kosovo is now experiencing a medical and political crisis over coronavirus. This aircraft landed at 05.56 am refueled and took off again towards the USA at about 07.56 am.
These soldiers are being transported to and from the United States and various Middle East and European countries where the coronavirus is a very serious problem.
These soldiers will typically be travelling on crowded aircraft, will be coming from crowded air bases and other military installations, and many will have had close contacts with local populations in countries that are experiencing growing problems with the spread of coronavirus including in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Kuwait, Bahrain, UAE, Qatar, Bulgaria, Kosovo and elsewhere.
The presence of these US soldiers within the terminal building of Shannon airport poses a serious threat that they will spread the coronavirus to other users of Shannon airport including workers and other airport customers.
Given the necessary travel restrictions now being imposed by many countries in Europe and elsewhere, including by the USA, for the purpose of preventing the spread of the coronavirus, it is essential that immediate travel restrictions be imposed on all US military flights through Shannon. This should involve the cancelling of all such US military related flights landing at Shannon airport.
The United States has multiple air bases and access to alternative facilities for landing and refueling of aircraft in all NATO countries including in the UK, France, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany etc., so there is no need for these US troop transporting aircraft to land at Shannon airport.
Shannonwatch calls on the Irish Government to prohibit US military use of Shannon airport for public health reasons as well as for genuine humanitarian reasons towards ending Irish complicity in the unjustified killing of millions of innocent people across the Middle East