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All flights from Swansea Airport grounded following safety audit

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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.

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Student halls in Swansea not ready for start of term

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A £22m FLAGSHIP student development will not be open in time for the start of the academic year as planned.

Contractors have been working on the Coppergate scheme on the corner of The Kingsway and Christina Street in Swansea for several months.

Developer Crosslane Student Developments said the 310-bed scheme has experienced unforeseen delays.

Swansea University has encouraged students needing accommodation to check its website.

Not all of the rooms have been booked, but students who have paid rent and a deposit – or applied for a room – have been contacted.

Many of them will move to the Oldway Centre, another purpose-built development on High Street, which is opening on 13 September, the Local Democracy Reporting Service said.

Crosslane Student Developments has apologised for the delay and said help would be given to students to move into alternative accommodation and again when they are able to move into Coppergate.

The company could not say when the development, including a 14-storey tower and two six-storey wings, would be ready.

Once complete it will be taken over by an operator called Prime Student Living.

The University of Wales Trinity Saint David, which has a campus in Swansea, has also been notified of the situation.

A Crosslane Student Developments spokesman said: “Prime Student Living has communicated with students to inform them of the situation, what is happening, the actions being taken, what it means to them and of course to unreservedly apologise for what is very disappointing and concerning news.”

A team of advisers is in place to deal with queries from the students, many of whom are from overseas, the company said.

“We will be offering help and advice to all the students affected by this issue and supporting them to find alternative accommodation,” a university spokesman said.

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Four fire engines used to battle Palace Theatre fire

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South Wales Fire and Rescue had a call at 6.58pm on Sunday, September 8, to the Palace Theatre, which is on High Street in Swansea.

They sent three fire engines, one water bowser and an aerial appliance to the scene.

It is thought that four small fires in the building were started deliberately.

The investigation is ongoing.

The building, constructed in 1888, was the subject of an emergency summit last year as the council wrestled with what to do with the former theatre.

The building was most recently used as a night club and closed in the early 2000’s.

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Water company fined £40,000 in NRW prosecution after 500 fish killed

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THE OPERATOR of a Swansea water treatment plant has been fined £40,000 at Swansea Magistrates Court after a chemical discharge killed more than 500 fish.

The incident took place at Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water’s (DCWW) Felindre water treatment works, just outside Swansea, in July 2018. Felindre is one of the largest water treatment works in Wales, producing water for up to 400,000 customers in Swansea, Bridgend and Cardiff.

The pollution happened when lime slurry that was being transferred spilled into a surface water drain which led to the River Lliw.

An inspection of the river by Natural Resources Wales (NRW) officers found dead fish including trout, lamprey and bullheads, and invertebrates including 200 freshwater shrimps, mayflies and caddis flies.

In total, three quarters of a mile (1.2 kilometres) of the river was affected. Fish populations in the river are expected to take three to four years to recover.

DCWW admitted causing the pollution at a previous hearing in Swansea Magistrates Court.

Chris Palmer, senior water framework directive officer for NRW, said: “Our rivers are important for our wildlife, our economy and our health and wellbeing and we are committed to preventing pollution incidents whatever their source.

“Despite efforts by DCWW to contain the spill, a significant amount of pollution entered the river and had a devastating impact on fish and other wildlife. It will take years to recover.

“We will continue to work with the company to reduce the risk of this happening again, and to improve its environmental performance to lower the number of pollution incidents in the future.”

The company was also ordered to pay costs of £8,980.99 and a victim surcharge of £170.

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