Archive for April, 2012


[Mail Online] Baby on board!

Passengers at Newark Airport were delayed for hours on Friday when the Port Authority evacuated a terminal because of an unscreened infant.

Diaper Delay: Newark airport was evacuated after the TSA forgot to screen a baby

Diaper Delay: Newark airport was evacuated after the TSA forgot to screen a baby.

The Transportation Security Administration said that the parents of the infant passed the child back and forth through the metal detector, causing alarms go off. When TSA agents realized that the baby got away without an individual screening, they started a desperate search for the family to no avail.

‘At about 1:30 p.m. today at Newark Liberty International Airport’s C-1 Terminal Checkpoint, and incident occurred where an infant was not properly screened before passing through security,’ TSA spokeswoman Ann Davis told the Mail Online.

The C-1 terminal is a busy United Airlines checkpoint and Ms Davis described the incident as innocent enough.

First, the baby’s father went through the metal detector. Then, the mother went through the metal detector with the baby in tow and the alarm went off. The mother handed off the babe to the father, passed through the detector without incident, and the family went off to their gate without having the baby properly screened.

Shortly thereafter, the TSA realized their mistake and started searching for the family.

‘Since the baby was not properly screened, TSA officers began to look for the family in the secure area of the terminal,’ Ms Davis said.

‘Per protocol, TSA also notified Port Authority Police of the situation.‬’

TSA sources said that they classified the situation as low-risk, but Port Authority Police went against their recommendation and evacuated the entire terminal.

Read the full story at The Daily Mail…..


By Emily Anne Epstein
PUBLISHED: 28 April 2012


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[FT] Damian Green, the immigration minister, has been summoned to explain a crisis  at border control to MPs after a spate of lengthy queues and increased waiting  times spread to Heathrow’s flagship terminal.

BAA “Immigration waiting times during peak periods at Heathrow recently have been unacceptable and we have called on the Home Office to address the problem as a matter of urgency.”

BAA “Immigration waiting times during peak periods at Heathrow recently have been unacceptable and we have called on the Home Office to address the problem as a matter of urgency.”

Keith Vaz, chairman of the home affairs select committee, told the Financial  Times that he had asked Mr Green to appear before the panel of MPs as reports of “chaos” at British airports gathered pace.

The delays are thought to have been caused by staffing cuts at the UK Border  Agency – which kicked in at the beginning of the new financial year – combined  with a Home Office ban on lighter passenger checks after a furore last summer in  which some border  officials relaxed security controls without ministerial permission.

“This is a very, very difficult state of affairs and it needs to be sorted  out quickly,” Mr Vaz said. “Either the [UK Border Force] needs to bring back  risk-based checks or it needs to hire more staff.”

The force is due to lose just under 20 per cent of its personnel by 2015 as  part of the government’s austerity drive.

Mr Green is scheduled to join officials from British Airways, Virgin Atlantic  and the British Airports Authority at a committee hearing in mid-May, where he  will be quizzed on what measures are in place to cut the……

Read the full article at Investors Chronicle….


By Helen Warrell,
Andrew Parker and George Parker
FT.com – 27th April 2012



[MSP – Humphrey Terminal] Sources working in the airport terminal at MSP report that this morning’s bomb scare was ‘the real thing’.

There were three devices, one a smaller "trigger" device and two larger pipe bombs" with enough explosives to do some serious damage": Unamed TSA Agent

There were three devices, one a smaller "trigger" device and two larger pipe bombs" with enough explosives to do some serious damage": Unamed TSA Agent

TSA agents saw the device when a passenger’s bag was going through the CTX machine when it triggered an alarm.

Our source recently spoke with a contact at the TSA who told him there were three devices, one a smaller “trigger” device and two larger pipe bombs” with enough explosives to do some serious damage” as the TSA agent described it.

Authorities haven’t determined yet if the devices were actually rigged to explode or if it was just bomb making components being carried, our source stated “either way it’s some scary stuff”.

The man they arrested he described as “a nut job” – he didn’t fit a terrorist’s profile. The events are still the subject of intense security investigations at this time.

The terminal has been now been  re-opened and staff are working to get the morning flights out and clear the back-log of passengers.

The airport is under high security at this time, police with automatic weapons are patrolling the terminals, our source suggests that other airports may be affected because of the events at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport this morning.


Reporting by Chris Newman
For The Airport Informer
27th April 2012



[India Today] A Pakistan International Airlines flight on Friday made an emergency landing at the Karachi airport after a passenger allegedly threatened to hijack the aircraft.

PIA flight PK-586, which was flying from Karachi to Bahawalpur in Punjab province

PIA flight PK-586, which was flying from Karachi to Bahawalpur in Punjab province

PIA flight PK-586, which was flying from Karachi to Bahawalpur in Punjab province, turned back to the port city after an air hostess alerted the captain about the passenger’s threat, TV news channels reported.

The passenger who made the alleged threat was arrested by commandos of the Airport Security Force at the Jinnah International Airport.

The aircraft was searched by security forces after being evacuated.

Following his arrest, the passenger claimed he had made the alleged threat after a quarrel with the air hostess and that he had no intention of hijacking the aircraft.

The number of passengers on the flight could not immediately be ascertained.

Pakistan’s aviation industry has been hit by a string of problems in recent years.

A total of 127 people were killed when a Boeing 737 of the private Bhoja Air crashed near Islamabad on April 20.

This was the second major air disaster in the vicinity of the Pakistani capital since July 28, 2010, when an Air Blue airliner slammed into……

Read the full story at  INDIA TODAY…..


PTI Karachi,
April 27, 2012



[KARE 11] MINNEAPOLIS – Witnesses say the Hubert H. Humphrey terminal at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport has been evacuated and the Bloomington Bomb Squad is on the scene Friday morning.

Photo submitted by Kyle Lambert

Photo submitted by Kyle Lambert

Witness Bev Aho of Eden Prairie was at the Humphrey terminal when she and other travelers were evacuated by authorities around 5:15 a.m. as she was entering the airport for a flight.

Around 5:30 a.m. Aho and others were asked to go across the street from the terminal because a suspicious package had been found.

Just after 6 a.m. the group was asked to move even further away, to the parking ramp at the Humphrey terminal.

Aho describes the scene is calm and controlled, and says…..

Read the full story at KARE 11 News…..


KARE 11 News
27th April, 2012



[Telegraph Travel] Passengers returning to Heathrow faced delays of more than two hours last   night as the Border Force struggled once again to struggled to cope.

Image taken by passenger Christian Parkinson last night as passengers queued for passport control at Heathrow Terminal 5

Image taken by passenger Christian Parkinson last night as passengers queued for passport control at Heathrow Terminal 5

This was the second night in succession that the airport descended into chaos because of a shortage of immigration staff.

Worst hit was Terminal 5, the £4.3 billion showcase and base for British Airways, but severe delays were also reported elsewhere at Heathrow.

Airport and airlines were forced to order taxis to help travellers get home because many were unable to clear immigration before public transport shut  down for night.

The difficulties faced by passengers, some of whom described the chaos as “omni-megashambles”,   were compounded by the failure of some of the automatic gates.

Passengers from the UK and the European Economic Area had to spend at least an hour queuing, nearly three times the target set by the UK Border Agency.

Those from other countries, including the United States, were forced to wait more than two hours.

Among the thousands of arriving travellers were Jamie Murray, the tennis star and brother of British No 1 Andy, and Alastair Campbell, the former Downing Street communications director.

One passenger, who declined to be named, waited more than an hour to get through passport control at Heathrow T5 after returning from Paris on business.

He said the line for “non EU citizens” was even longer as hundreds of frustrated passengers waited to enter the country just after 11pm.

“I was so angry,” he told The Daily Telegraph.

“It is terrifying, when you think about the Olympics and the crowds, this was just a regular Thursday night with a bit of rain.

“They were clearly expecting this as they had set up all these extra barriers up and down the corridor. They knew this was……

Read the full story at The Telegrapgh…..

 


By David Millward and Andrew Hough
27 Apr 2012



[Video by BBC News] High winds tested the skills of pilots trying to land at Bilbao’s Loiu airport.

Landing in a strong crosswind can be a very scary prospect for passengers

Landing in a strong crosswind can be a very scary prospect for passengers

Winds of up to 65 Kilometres an hour inflicted difficult landing conditions at Bilbao’s Loiu Airport yesterday. Pilot’s braved the tough crosswind conditions to bring their aircraft and passengers on board safely down.

Learning to cope flying in crosswind conditions is part of every pilot’s basic training, but yesterday’s weather conditions seemed a little extreme by any reasonable standards and put all of that training to the test again and again as each plane approached the airport.

Landing in a strong crosswind can be a very scary prospect for passengers, who can feel the plane turning sharply in to the wind direction upon the approach, to maintain direction on the descent on to the airports runway. The stronger the wind, the greater the turn. Known as crabbing, a plane performing this manoeuvre can look as if it actually flying sideways (like a crab walking).

At the very last moment just feet above the tarmac, the pilot will suddenly straighten out the aircraft to line up with the direction of the runway; this can cause the plane to lurch left and right as the wheels make contact.

As the video shows, unless you’re a thrill seeker, try to fly on a calmer day.


Reporting by Chris Newman
For The Airport Informer
27th April 2012



[Brussels 27th April: Tax-News] Policies are needed that re-invest aviation tax receipts back into the industry  and to ensure that aviation is treated as an economic catalyst not a ‘cash cow’,  says the International Air Transport Association.

Last November, the heads of Easyjet, IAG, Ryanair and Virgin Atlantic wrote to the UK government calling for APD to be scrapped entirely

Last November, the heads of Easyjet, IAG, Ryanair and Virgin Atlantic wrote to the UK government calling for APD to be scrapped entirely

Pointing to the European Union’s (EU) decision to include aviation in its emissions trading scheme (ETS), IATA Director General and CEO Tony Tyler told the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Air Transport Symposium in Montreal that a globally-coordinated approach is needed to manage the aviation industry’s contribution to man-made CO2 emissions rather than a regional approach which “distorts markets”.

“Aviation has committed to three targets, the most ambitious of which is to cut net emissions in half by 2050 compared to 2005. We cannot do that without government cooperation. As aviation is a global industry, that cooperation   must be coordinated through ICAO,” Tyler said. “That is why Europe’s inclusion of international aviation in its emissions trading scheme is counter-productive. it will not have the positive impact on sustainability of globally coordinated measures through ICAO. On top of that, the unilateral and extra-territorial   approach is seen by non-European states as an attack on their sovereignty.”

The EU Emissions Trading Scheme was extended to aviation activities from or to European soil on January 1, 2012, to provide a solution to taxing aviation emissions, which were excluded from the Kyoto Protocol. Under the ETS, airlines   operating into and out of the EU, regardless of how long that flight is in EU airspace, will be required to surrender varying emission allowances, and will be required to purchase any additional permits outside of their free allowance.

Airlines are required to immediately begin purchasing emissions allowances, but are only expected to remit the sums in 2013 meaning that Europe will have until April 30, 2013 – when airlines will be required to buy polluting rights   for 2012 – to decide whether to follow through with the penalties for non-compliance provided for in the EU Directive. In the event that airlines fail to comply, the European Union has said it will impose fines of up to EUR100 for each tonne   of carbon dioxide emitted without the payment of a permit, and eventually enforce an EU-wide ban on the offending airline.

Last month, the heads of some of Europe’s major airlines and aviation engine   manufacturers called upon EU leaders to take action and stop an escalating trade conflict with China and other countries opposing the ETS. The nine CEOs warned   that countries opposed to the ETS are preparing countermeasures and restrictions on European airlines, such as special taxes and traffic rights limitations. The letters were signed by the bosses of Airbus, Air Berlin, Air France, British Airways, Iberia, Lufthansa, MTU Aero Engines, Safran and Virgin Atlantic and   addressed to Prime Ministers David Cameron of the UK, Francois Fillon of France, and Mariano Rajoy of Spain, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

“Nobody wants a trade war,” said…..

Read the rest of this story at Tax-News…..


by Ulrika Lomas, Tax-News.com, Brussels
27 April 2012



[Bild / The Local – Germany Edition] Germany’s biggest airline Lufthansa may be setting up a new budget airline “Direct 4 You” to take over the company’s European flights for as little as €49 one way, national newspapers reported on Friday.

The new airline would, according to Bild daily newspaper, be up and running by the beginning of 2013.

The new airline would, according to Bild daily newspaper, be up and running by the beginning of 2013.

Its current sister airline – Germanwings – would be scrapped and some of the planes rebranded Direct 4 You. Staff would be given the option to move to the new company.
By 2015, another of Lufthansa’s subsidiaries, Eurowings, could be merged into the new fleet.
Many intra-European flights that Lufthansa currently operates could be adopted by Direct 4 You, which, according to Bild, should be offering flights from €49 on its fleet of 90 airbuses.
Lufthansa’s financial woes have been in the media recently, with reports suggesting that it plans on making cuts of up to €1.5 billion as it faces increasing competition.
As a result of the cuts, its fleet of planes would, according to Die Welt daily, mostly fly out of Frankfurt and Munich, two of Germany’s biggest….

Read the rest of this story at The Local….


Published: 27 Apr 12 08:02 CET
The Local/jcw



[Bloomberg Business Week] Sorry for the inconvenience. United Airlines is experiencing technical difficulties.

That was the story in the first quarter for the world’s biggest airline. It lost $448 million as computer difficulties delayed flights, hurt bookings and frustrated passengers. A growing fuel bill didn’t help. And travel is usually weak in the first three months of the year.

United Airlines lost $448 million as computer difficulties delayed flights, hurt bookings and frustrated passengers

United Airlines lost $448 million as computer difficulties delayed flights, hurt bookings and frustrated passengers

To passengers, CEO Jeff Smisek apologized for poor customer service. To investors, he said the hiccups are mostly over and the computer integration that caused them should lead to more profits in the future.

“We weren’t able to deliver the level of customer service that we wanted and that our customers have come to expect,” he said on Thursday.

There was a bit of good news. On an adjusted basis, United’s loss of 87 cents per share was actually less than analysts had feared.

United and Continental merged in 2010, but only in the last few months did they combine frequent-flier accounts and retire Continental’s name from tickets and airport signs.

Behind the scenes, United combined two important, massive computer systems — one that helps it predict how many tickets it should sell, and another that tracks passenger information. The airline had practiced extensively for the switch, which Smisek called a “monumental task.”

Some parts went well. But others didn’t. One switchover on March 3 caused flight delays for several days. Customer frustration with upgrades and long waits to speak to United agents on the phone persisted for weeks.

To get ready for the switch, United overbooked fewer seats than…..

Read the full story at Bloomberg Business Post….


JOSHUA FREED
The Associated PressApril 26, 2012