Skies Above Britain explores the complex, hidden world of the skies above us and discovers the human stories of the people who spend their life in flight.
Status: To Be Determined
Runtime: 60 minutes
Skies Above Britain - Treaty on Open Skies - Netflix
The Treaty on Open Skies entered into force on January 1, 2002, and currently has 34 party states. It establishes a program of unarmed aerial surveillance flights over the entire territory of its participants. The treaty is designed to enhance mutual understanding and confidence by giving all participants, regardless of size, a direct role in gathering information about military forces and activities of concern to them. Open Skies is one of the most wide-ranging international efforts to date promoting openness and transparency of military forces and activities. The concept of “mutual aerial observation” was initially proposed to Soviet Premier Nikolai Bulganin at the Geneva Conference of 1955 by President Dwight D. Eisenhower; however, the Soviets promptly rejected the concept and it lay dormant for several years. The treaty was eventually signed as an initiative of US president (and former Director of Central Intelligence) George H. W. Bush in 1989. Negotiated by the then-members of NATO and the Warsaw Pact, the agreement was signed in Helsinki, Finland, on March 24, 1992. This treaty is not related to civil-aviation open skies agreements.
Skies Above Britain - History - Netflix
At a Geneva Conference meeting with Soviet Premier Nikolai Bulganin in 1955, President Eisenhower proposed that the United States and Soviet Union conduct surveillance overflights of each other's territory to reassure each country that the other was not preparing to attack. The fears and suspicions of the Cold War led Soviet General Secretary Nikita Khrushchev to reject Eisenhower's proposal. During a five-day summit conference held in Geneva, Switzerland at the end of July 1955, the Soviet Union and United States held serious talks about disarmament and the United States put forward proposals for mutual reconnaissance flights over each other's air space, known as the Open Skies proposal. The United States had a large number of RB-47 and RB-36 reconnaissance aircraft at its disposal for such activities, however the Soviets turned down this proposal. However, this Geneva Conference was universally accepted as a turning point in the Cold War. The tensions in Europe were felt to be a stalemate. However, both the Soviet Union and United States were willing to talk about their differences, rather than increase them into a state of war. Thirty-four years later, the Open Skies concept was reintroduced by President George H. W. Bush as a means to build confidence and security between all North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) and Warsaw Pact countries. In February 1990, an international Open Skies conference involving all NATO and Warsaw Pact countries opened in Ottawa, Canada. Subsequent rounds of negotiations were held in Budapest, Hungary; Vienna, Austria; and Helsinki, Finland. On March 24, 1992, the Open Skies Treaty was signed in Helsinki by Secretary of State James Baker and foreign ministers from 23 other countries. The treaty entered into force on January 2, 2002, after Russia and Belarus completed ratification procedures. In November 1992, President Bush assigned responsibility for overall training, management, leadership, coordination and support for U.S. Open Skies observation missions to the On-Site Inspection Agency (OSIA), now a part of the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA). Until entry into force in January 2002, DTRA support for the treaty involved participating in training and joint trial flights (JTFs). The U.S. has conducted over 70 JTFs since 1993. By March 2003, DTRA had successfully certified 16 camera configurations on the OC-135B aircraft. They also had contributed to the certification of the Bulgarian An-30, Hungarian An-26, POD Group (consisting of Belgium, Canada, France, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal and Spain) C-130H, Romanian An-30, Russian An-30, and Ukrainian An-30. The United States successfully flew its first Open Skies mission over Russia in December 2002. With entry into force of the treaty, formal observation flights began in August 2002. During the first treaty year, state parties conducted 67 observation flights. In 2004, state parties conducted 74 missions, and planned 110 missions for 2005. On March 8 and 9, 2007, Russia conducted overflights of Canada under the Treaty. The OSCC continues to address modalities for conducting observation missions and other implementation issues. Since 2002 a total of 40 missions have taken place over the UK. There were 24 quota missions conducted by: Russia—20; Ukraine—three; and Sweden—one. There were 16 training flights conducted by: Benelux (joint with Estonia); Estonia (joint with Benelux); Georgia—three (one joint with Sweden); Sweden—three (one joint with Georgia); USA - three; Latvia; Lithuania; Romania; Slovenia; and Yugoslavia. Also since 2002 the UK has undertaken a total of 51 open skies missions. 38 were quota missions to the following countries: Ukraine (five); Georgia (seven) and Russia (26). 13 missions were training missions to the following nations: Bulgaria; Yugoslavia; Estonia; Slovenia (three); Sweden (three); USA; Latvia, Lithuania and the Benelux. The flights cost approximately £50,000 per operational mission, and approximately £25,000 for training missions with an approximate annual cost of £175,000. Russian Defence Ministry spokesman stated on 4 February 2016 that Turkey had refused a Russian Open Skies mission, planned to take place in 1–5 February 2016, to fly over areas adjacent to Syria, as well as over NATO airbases. According to Russia, Turkey gave no explanation regarding the limitations, and claimed them to indicate illegal military activity in Syrian territory. The OSCC hasn't commented on the alleged violation of the Treaty by Turkey. By 2016, Russian aircraft had been using equipment upgraded over initial equipment.
Skies Above Britain - References - Netflix