BARCELONA & the Oregon Coast

BARCELONA & the Oregon Coast
BARCELONA & the Oregon Coast

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 the Oregon Coast
the Oregon Coast

If you are travelling from Manchester, Newcastle, Edinburgh or Glasgow we are offering FREE connecting flights to London Heathrow on many of our North America tours if you book from 17 February 2015. So if you want to soak up the sights in San Francisco, enjoy the thrills of the Big Apple, or laze in Florida’s glorious sunshine, now is the perfect time to book.

Free connecting flights are available on selected dates on the following tours:Card.
See San Francisco’s iconic Golden Gate Bridge, the tallest trees on earth in Redwood National Park and jaw-dropping Vancouver vistas. Taste crisp ales, full-bodied wines and world-class seafood. Let your senses run riot on this 14-day North American adventure.

We are offering free connecting flights to London Heathrow on the following 2015 departures:

Click ‘Book now’ and select London Heathrow as your departure point
Under ‘Options’ select ‘BA Free Connecting Flight Offer’ Once you’ve completed the booking, one of our friendly customer advisors will be in touch to confirm which airport you’d prefer to fly from for your FREE connecting flights to/from London Heathrow.

*Subject to availability. See essential information page for terms & conditions.

Santorini (Thera) needs not many explanations, no more hymnes, just look at the colours all around the island and feel its magic… The magic of love too. It is my favorite place in Greece and I’m sure that many more people in the world have the same selection… Send Picture as a PostCard. Click Picture to enlarge. Atlantis?

Santorini, Therasia, Nea Kameni (the volcano), Palea Kameni and Aspronisi consist the Santorini island complex. It belongs to the Cyclades (southeastern point of them), the group of islands in the heart of the Aegean Sea, north of Crete. The island owes its uniqueness to the volcano. Is Atlantis somewhere there? Send Picture as a PostCard. Click Picture to enlarge. Oia, my endless love

I’ve also built another page about Oia, the most lovely village in Santorini, which is located at the northern part of the island. It is not amazing only for its famous sunset.

Historical Background

Historical Background
Historical Background

The aeronautical sector in Barcelona and Catalonia

At the beginning of the century, Barcelona saw the first piloted flight in Spain. It happened in 1911 at the feet of Montjuïc mountain (Can Tunis airfield), and this flight was on a French model called Breguet. Barcelona City Council has always had a strong will to develop this sector in Barcelona. This is why in 1919 the Aviation City Comitee was cretaed and was transformed later on in the Airport Managing Comitee (headed by the Major) with the primary goal of creating a truly national airport in Barcelona.

Later on, in the ‘Poble Nou’ neighbourhood, the first facilities to produce engines and spares were established, as it was the case of the ‘Casa Elizalde’. It is also important to mention the craetion of the Sabadell airfield in 1934. However, after the Civil War (1939), the aeronautical activity in Catalonia was greatly reduced until almost disappearing, and airtransport activities were centralised in military airfileds close to Madrid.

Barcelona, with the on-going transformation of its airport, will soon have a very modern airfield which can become one major platform for the South-West of Europe with a forecast for 2015 of 40 milion passengers and close to 200.000 tons per year. This will certainly boost industrial activities tied to airtransportation.
Today, 90% of the current aeronautical industry in Spain is located in Madrid, Andalucia and the Basque Country. Catalonia aerospace industrial activity represents a 3% of the total Spanish one (being 2000 sales 2.700 milion euros) in very specific market nixes. It is important to mention activities tied to the comercial aircraft design and production as for example design & engineering and production of structural components (metal and composites), interiors, and special software, instrumentation and communication, equipment. Other activities that need to be mentioned for their qualitative and quantitative importance are related to the design and manufacturing of complete balloons, parachutes, ULMs and boarding bridges.

The space sector in Barcelona and Catalonia

A world general current trend of this sector is that Public sector funds basic research (astronomy, earth observation, space, etc.) and that the Private sector funds resarch for products that can have commercial applications, and therefore produce revenues, such as telecommunications, weather forecasting, navigation systems, etc. Yet, some participation and funding of Public sector in the latter is still necessary.

Within this global framework, in Spain, almost all space industry is working on European Space Agency (ESA) programs, which accounted in 2001 for almost 110 milion euros, and Catalan presence within this industry accounts for a figure close to the 10%. The previously mentioned trend and the increasing liberalisation, are diminishing the weight of the strategic and political criteria, in favor of the increasing importance of profitability and efficiency criteria. This gives plenty of room to work specially in the area of satellite applications. Catalonia is already present in the scientific areas of astronomy and also software for orbital missions control and guidance, missions software, communications, biotechnology, earth telescopes and radars and systems integration.

BAIE is a platform created in November 2000 that aims to promote the Metropolitan Region of Barcelona and Catalonia as a competitive setting for the activities related to the aeronautical and space industry.

Main goals of BAIE:

To develop a cluster to increase the activity of the aerospace (nautical & space) sector in the Metropolitan Region of Barcelona and Catalonia.
To attract investment and related aerospace industries to the Region.
To boost the education capabilities of the Metropolitan Region of Barcelona and Catalonia.
To establish strategic links, co-operation agreements and foster personnel and R&D co-operation within the aeronautical and space community, specially due to the proximity with the area of Toulouse.


The platform BAiE is created as an initiative from the Major of Barcelona (Mr. Joan Clos), who brought together public institutions, private companies and other key players of the aerospace sector in Catalonia in this joint effort to set up BAIE association to promote aerospace industry in the Region. It is worth mentioning the fact that from the origin of BAIE, the autonomous government Generalitat of Catalonia (through the Department of Industry and its company Cidem) and the Spanish government (through the Ministry of Science and Technology), joined the association as founder members.

Tratamientos Térmicos Carreras

Tratamientos Térmicos Carreras
Tratamientos Térmicos Carreras

Tratamientos Térmicos Carreras wins the Prize for Technological Innovation 2003 of the Catalan Autonomous Government”

Tratamientos Térmicos Carreras (TTC), a company member of BAIE specialising in thermal treatments and coatings of semi-processed parts, received on the 1st of October the Prize to Technological Innovation 2003. The prize is awarded by the Catalan Autonomous Government through the CIDEM and was handed in a ceremony in the Palau de Congressos de Catalunya, by the Catalan Minister of Employment, Industry, Trade and Tourism. The prize underlines the excellent job done by TTC in managing innovation.

The licenses obtained for advanced coating processes since the 80s, together with TTC’s continous collaboration with universities and technological centers, have been decisive factors in enabling a sustained growth of the company in a very mature and competitive sector through systematic technological innovation.

“GUTMAR wins the 2003 Quality Award from the Catalan Government”
03/07/2003 The aeronautic component manufacturer GUTMAR has been awarded with the 2003 Quality Award from the Catalan Government due to the excellent work done in the improvement of quality, key factor of industrial competitiveness.

The company, dedicated to high precision parts manufacturing and assembly of technological subsets, has been awarded because of his leadership, integrated quality, environment and occupational risk management system, his long term strategic plan efficient management of both process and product quality, and the educational system carried out with its personnel.

More information (in Catalan) “Serra Soldadura wins a contract for the Airbus A380”

The mechanical-systems and tooling Catalan manufacturer Serra Soldadura has won a contract to supply the production line for the horizontal stabiliser -a part of the tail of the aircraft- of the Airbus A380, the superjumbo promoted by the European consortium EADS and British Aerospace.

More info (in Spanish)

“Aeronautical industry outlines startegic plan to take-off”

The best opportunities for the aerospace Catalan industry are likely to be in the Interiors/ Comfort & Avionics/ Software segment for aircraft, according to Barcelona Aeronautics and Space Association (BAIE). Today, catalan aerospace companies have an annual turnover of 72 milion euros, close to a 4% of the total Spanish turnover.

To boost this figure BAIE has designed a Strategic Plan around 4 axis which are looking and exploring market nixes where catalan industries can play a role, facilitating to the associated BAIE companies all necessary tools to achieve contracts, conducting workshops to promote the selected segments of activity, and elaborating a calendar of commercial missions. Coming programmes A380 and A400M need to be used to consolidate the aerospace activity. The creation of an Industrial Technological Park is a long term goal.

“GTD renwes a contract with the European Space Agency (ESA)”

The industrial consortium formed by GTD (Barcelona – Spain), Alcatel Space (France) and Vitriociset (Italy), signed with the Centre Nationale d’Études Spatiales (CNES) a contract valued at 150 million euros for services to be provided during the following 5 years. This contract gives GTD a direct responsibility on the reliability of the Arianne launcher.

“Space technology adds a sparkle: space technology aids wine production on Earth”

Freixenet is using a sensor to improve control over the production of the catalan sparkling wine named Cava.. The sensor measures electrical properties rather than optical ones, and was developed as part of ESA’s MELISSA project . This same sensor will play a crucial in the control of the process to recycle food, oxigen and water in Space trips.

The sensor has been developed by NTE, a company in Barcelona specialising in new technology for space. “When we work for ESA, we always end up developing some new technology because the requirements for space are very strict. We then go looking for terrestrial applications, and often find several” says Jordi Elvira, project manager from NTE.

“Barcelona and Toulouse will create a cooperation axis in aeronautics”

Last week, a French delegation visited Barcelona to have an interview with Mr. Joan Clos, Mayor of Barcelona. From this meeting a compromise stemmed to consolidate an axis Barcelona-Toulouse to cooperate in different fields of the industry, among them aeronautics. Toulouse is the European capital of aeronautics, and Barcelona has a lot to learn and to win from it (or rather recover, since Barcelona had an important aeronautics industry that it lost after the Spanish civil war).

Barcelona, and some already-existing highly-specialized Catalan industrial enterprises, will benefit from subcontracting opportunities in the aerospace programmmes. Toulouse will benefit from a wide logistics base in Barcelona that is consolidating as one of the most important ones in the south of Europe and the Mediterranean arch.

Although the aeronautics sector is at this moment going through a crisis, as a consequence of the terrorist acts against the World Trade Center of New York on the 11th of September, an important growth is nonetheless foreseen in the next years. Among other things, because aircraft are the means of transportation best adapted to the globalization phenomenon.

“GTD awarded a contract to develop the launcher computerised operations in ESA’s launch site of Kourou (French Guyana)”

The Barcelona-based company GTD won an ESA (European Space Agency) contract in August to conduct the computerised operations of preparation, launching and flight control of the Ariane rockets.

The work, that will involve approximately 35 engineers, will take place both in French Guyana and in Barcelona, were the flight programs and the Control Center configurations will be prepared. The contract has a duration of 5 years (2002-2006), and is valued at over 32 million Euros (some 5400 million pesetas).

“BCT signs an agreement with EADS CASA”

The design and engineering firm bct (Barcelona Centre de Tecnologies) will design, develop and calculate aeronautical estructures and tooling for the new A380 and A400M programs for EADS CASA. The agreement will enable BCT to enter the aeronautical industry and also contribute to broaden the supplier base of EADS CASA, in the view of the increase in the share of the european projects.

“GTD awarded the ESA project of advanced control in space missions”

The systems engineering and industrial software company GTD, located in Barcelona, in collaboration with the Portugal-based UNINOVA, has recently been awarded the European Space Agency project for the development and application of advanced methodologies and techniques in Mission Control processes. Some of the innovative techniques that GDT will be developing are fuzzy logics, neuronal networks and genetic algorithms.

“UAB is developing a pilot plant for the ESA project MELISSA”

A laboratory in the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB), in Bellaterra (near Barcelona), was recently chosen by ESA (European Space Agency) to build and conduct research on a project MELISSA pilot plant that will turn waste produced by humans in a spacecraft into food, oxygen and water. The laboratoty undertaking the research is under the supervision of doctor Francesc Gòdia.