Universal Weather and Aviation
Universal Weather and Aviation (“Universal”) describes itself as “the global leader in flight support services, with more than 1,500 employees in more than 20 nations. Their prominent corporate responsibility page announces their commitment to “giving back to the community” and states: “Our community is the entire world”.
Documents on file with Reprieve show that Universal played a significant logistical role in the torture, rendition and secret detention programme as early as 5 December 2002, when it assisted in organizing the transportation of Abu Zubaydah and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri from Thailand to Poland on Gulfstream jet N63MU, operated by First Flight Management. It is on record that Universal organized almost every element of the transfer to torture of these individuals. Universal organized the necessary overflight permissions which enabled the plane to make its trip. Universal contracted Andaman Aviation Services to organize N63MU’s landing in Bangkok, where Mr Zubaydah and Mr al-Nashiri were loaded on to the plane. Universal took care of the navigation and communications fees, and filed the flight plans which the plane needed to complete its mission. Analysis of these plans shows that Universal filed multiple plans to and from different airports, with the apparent intention of disguising the true purpose of N63MU’s mission, which was to deposit Mr Zubaydah and Mr al-Nashiri in a secret and illegal prison near Szymany airport in Poland.
Reprieve wrote to Universal in March 2012, asking them to sign the Zero Tolerance for Torture pledge. We have as yet received no reply.
Universal Weather and Aviation, Inc., 8787 Tallyho Rd, Houston, TX 77061, USA