The skies will be off limits, with Hawk and Sword missiles in strategic places around the capital and Pratica di Mare airport, with roads around the Vatican closed to traffic, at least six thousand law officers to prevent crime and to escort the authorities.
The security plan for Sunday’s mass which will be the official start for the Pontificate of Benedict XVI will replay the successful operation for John Paul II’s funeral.
The Interior Ministry does not want to change a winning team, but there will be slightly fewer foreign delegations (150-200), which will be less high powered, except of course for Chancellor Schroeder’s visit to see the German Pope).
As before, details of the escorts will be given out only in extremis; the VIP’s will be consigned to police and carabinieri on their arrival at Ciampino (closed temporarily to civilian traffic) and Pratica di Mare and escorted on the long journey to the Vatican, where the Holy See takes responsibility for their security.
Notam (the notice to travellers) will prohibit flights over the capital to all non-authorised aircraft, with two areas banned, centred on the Vatican.