FLIGHTS from Swansea Airport have been grounded after its operating licence was suspended due to a “series of safety concerns.”
Training flights had been using the facility as no commercial aircraft had taken off from the facility on the Gower Peninsula since October 2004.
The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has closed all licensed flights following a “recent unannounced safety audit”.
The airport was originally opened as an airbase in 1941 during World War Two.
The airport has been shut for licensed flights after the CAA “discovered a series of safety concerns…following a recent unannounced safety audit at Swansea Aerodrome”.
CAA director Richard Stephenson said: “The suspensions will remain in place until our safety concerns are addressed.”
The flying schools and skydiving centre that operate from Swansea Airport are not affected as the ban is on flights that require a “licensed aerodrome”.
Swansea Airport has has not yet responded to a request for comment from the BBC.
The first commercial flights from Swansea Airport on Fairwood Common were in 1949 after the RAF decommissioned the base, six miles (10km) west of the city centre.
Numerous short-haul commercial operators had run flights since Cambrian Airways’ inaugural flight from Jersey in June 1957.
But Air Wales, who flew to and from Dublin, Cork, Amsterdam, Jersey and London, stopped passenger flights from Swansea in 2004.
Seven injured as bus hits bridge
A BUS heading to Swansea University has struck a bridge and, as a result, seven people are being treated for injuries one of which is in a serious condition.
Emergency Services arrived at the scene on Neath Road shortly after 9:40am this morning (December 12).
A 63 year old man has been arrested and a full investigation has been launched by the bus company First Cymru.
Four of the injured were taken to Swansea’s Morriston Hospital, two were taken to Neath Port Talbot minor injuries unit and another was taken to University Hospital of Wales in a serious condition.
The bus was travelling between Swansea’s Singleton campus and the Swansea Bay campus when, according to reports, a fallen tree caused the bus driver to seek an alternative route to its destination.
The road remains closed and railway lines to Swansea are also blocked while authorities attempt to assess the damage done to the bridge with members of the public being asked to avoid the area.
Welsh Rugby star Ryan Jones backs NSPCC Cymru
A NEW NSPCC Cymru/Wales service that aims to help children and young people keep safe in their digital worlds and prevent online sexual abuse, has been praised by former Welsh Rugby captain, Ryan Jones, during a visit to the children’s charity’s base in Swansea.
During a tour of the service centre on Friday 29 November, the Wales Rugby legend met with NSPCC Cymru/Wales service practitioners who deliver direct work with local children and their families.
They shared with him their work, through their Protect and Respect service, to support children and young people who may be experiencing exploitation, as well as how they are helping parents who are at risk of mild to moderate anxiety and depression during pregnancy with their preventative mental-health service, Pregnancy in Mind.
A more recent service to be offered to children and young people in South Wales is In Ctrl, a group work programme for children and young people that aims to help them stay safe online.
Ryan said: “It’s been really interesting to find out more about the direct services the NSPCC delivers in South Wales, and how their prevention work with local schools through the In Ctrl service is helping to keep children and young people safe both on and offline.
“It’s reassuring to know that children are being empowered to ask themselves those really important questions when they go online, and increase their confidence in knowing what to do or who to speak to if they come across something that makes them feel uncomfortable.”
NSPCC Cymru/Wales Service Centre Manager in Swansea, Tracey Holdsworth added: “We were thrilled to be able to welcome Ryan to our service centre, thank him for all of his support, and share the work we are doing to help local children and their families.
“Ryan took a particular interest in our InCtrl programme that helps to prevent abuse online. In taking a trauma informed approach, it is designed to offer a safe space to children, young people and their parents to promote learning, build understanding of risk and increase resilience, in their online and offline worlds.
“Our practitioners visit local primary and secondary schools working with pupils who are aged between 9 and 13, exploring issues such as healthy relationships and friendships online, and enabling them to develop skills that will help protect them from grooming and exploitation.”
The work compliments the work of the charity’s Schools Service team in Wales, that visits local primary schools delivering free Speak out Stay safe assemblies and workshops that help children know about the different types of abuse, how to recognise the signs, and explore trusted adults they can speak to if they ever have a worry or concern.
In the 2018/19 academic year trained staff and volunteers delivered the free safeguarding sessions at 12 primary schools in Swansea reaching more than 3,000 children.
Ryan added: “I have attended a Speak out Stay safe assembly, and they are a great way to ensure children with a worry understand they can speak to Childline or a trusted adult about it and know they will be listened to.
“The InCtrl service offered by the NSPCC gives children the confidence to speak out if they come across something that concerns them online – and that’s so important.
“It’s great that parents are getting involved too. Giving them a safe space to talk, and helping them understand the issues facing their children online can help them feel assured talking to their child about their online use and how to keep them safe online.”
Online sexual abuse can happen anywhere that allows digital communication, such as social networks, text messages and messaging apps, email, online chats, voice chat in games and comments on live streaming apps.
Tracey added: “Too many children contact Childline not knowing where to turn having been exploited online. We want children and young people to have a happier and safer life, knowing that whenever they talk to a trusted adult, in school or at home, their concerns will be addressed.
“InCtrl is for children who might be going through lots of exciting changes – moving up to secondary school, getting a first mobile device, and using social media profiles for the first time.
“As exciting as all this can be, it can also be hard to know what to do sometimes and for some children, things can easily feel quickly out of their control, especially if they have had a worrying online experience.”
In Ctrl is carried out mainly in groups and covers themes such as healthy relationships, boundaries, pressure and expectation online, self-care, body image, pornography, and sexting. There is also an option for one-to-one work too, if needed, and anyone wanting to find out more about the service can contact the NSPCC in Swansea on 01792 456545 or SwanseaServiceCentre@nspcc.org.uk. The service is also offered out of the charity’s Cardiff base – CardiffServiceCentre@nspcc.org.uk or 02920 108080.
Children can contact Childline for free 24/7, 365 days a year on 0800 1111 or childline.org.uk.
Teaching assistant dies after being ‘hit with chair’
A Teaching Assistant from Ysgol Bryn Castell in Bryncethin, Bridgend has died just days after being hit by a chair thrown by a pupil.
Ysgol Bryn Castell is a special school for 147 pupils aged seven to 19 is closed whilst police investigate.
South Wales Police said: “Police in Bridgend are investigating the unexplained death of a 31-year-old man who was found dead at a property in the Brackla area on Sunday morning.
“A post-mortem examination is due to take place later today to try and establish the cause of death.”