Just a quick note to let you know that my dad is here with me in London. He was able to board the last of the three planes the British sent in to evacuate their peeps from Tripoli. The last one was an Airbus and so had enough seats for the British and a hundred or so of the remaining Canadians (the remainder were split out into various evac flights arranged by other Spain & the US into Spain & Malta) and took off just before midnight, landing at Gatwick about 4am. The ground team at Gatwick even lent my dad their cell phone so he could call me, and helped him make his way to the Gatwick Express. If I could I would kiss and hug every one of them for being such lovely kind people.
I’m rather embarrassed by the Canadian governments efforts at evacuation… turns out my gut was right. It was not that Skylink’s insurers backed out, but that Canada had not secured the necessary landing permits and so Skylink could not land at Tripoli airport – hence why it was a ‘security risk’. The C-17 Canada is sending and any ships or further charter flights will also need landing permits, which Canada has not yet secured. Thankfully, according to my dad, the Canadians at the airport who were due to fly out on Thursday were all scooped up by the US, Spanish and British evac planes.
The media may criticize the British authorities for what they call their ‘shambolic’ response to the crisis, but the fact is they got their people out. They may have been slower to react, but once they did they were effective, efficient and swift. I am sure if this is how they’ve risen to the occasion they will be able to reach those still stuck in the desert and more remote regions. If I could I would hug and kiss David Cameron. Though, on second thought it’s probably best not to since I still have stinky breath.