Archive for September, 2012


[BBC NewsBirmingham Airport‘s runway has been shut after a plane skidded off it.

The aircraft skidded off the runway shortly after 13:10 BST

The aircraft skidded off the runway shortly after 13:10 BST. Photo: Wikipedia

Airport officials said the Monarch-chartered flight ZB467, from Nice in France, skidded off the runway shortly after 13:10 BST.

The airport said the Boeing 737 was operated by Lithuanian firm Air Aurela.

Monarch said the plane was being taxied to the terminal when “one set of wheels left the taxi way bringing the aircraft to a stop”. There were not thought to be any injuries.

The airport said all flights were suspended and “airfield services” were assisting the airline crew.

In a statement, Monarch said: “Passengers are being transferred to the airport terminal where they will be cared for by Monarch staff.”

The company said it was working with the airport to move the aircraft and help with the investigation into what happened.

It said that as a “standard precaution”, emergency services were dealing with the aircraft……

Read the full story at BBC News…..


BBC News
21st Sept, 2012


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[Daily Mail] Budget airline Ryanair has been ordered to ‘review’ the amount of fuel it carries after three of its planes – including one from the UK –  were forced to make ‘Mayday’ emergency landings in Spain when  they started to run out .

Ryanair was operating with a level of fuel that was 'close to the minimum' required in the case of a diversion

Ryanair was operating with a level of fuel that was ‘close to the minimum’ required in the case of a diversion. Photo: Wikipedia

The airline was operating with a level of fuel that was ‘close to the minimum’ required in the case of a diversion, they said.

Three Ryanair Boeing 737-800 aircraft heading to Madrid were forced to make emergency landings after being diverted to Valencia because of thunderstorms over the Spanish capital.

One of the three affected  planes was heading from Stansted Airport to Madrid when the diversions and emergency landings occurred at Valencia on July 26 this year.

The Irish Aviation Authority Report noted: ‘All three aircraft declared an Emergency (Mayday) when the calculated useable fuel on landing at Valencia was less than the final reserve.’

The watchdogs accept that  all three Ryanair planes left for Madrid ‘with fuel in excess of Flight plan requirements’  and also with fuel ‘in excess of the minimum diversion fuel’ required, so remained strictly  within the rules.

However, the IAA also noted: ‘Diverting with fuel  close to the minimum diversion fuel in the circumstances presented on the evening in question was likely to present challenges for the crew.’

It has also questioned whether the current fuel limit rules give passenger jets enough latitude  land safely in the event of a diversion from Madrid – and asked Spanish aviation chiefs to look at them again.

Spanish pilot union leaders have accused Ryanair of…..

Read the full story at Mail Online…..


Mail Online
21st Sept, 2012



[Global Airport Cities] The opening of Berlin‘s newest airport, Brandenburg, has now been delayed for a further 7 months in addition to previous opening delays announced earlier in the year.

A further 7 months delay to the opening of the airport will cost €1.2BN.  Photo: Wikipedia

A further 7 months delay to the opening of the airport will cost €1.2BN. Photo: Wikipedia

Horst Amann, the new chief operating officer (COO) of Berlin Airport, has announced that the ammended opening date for the long awaited Berlin Brandenburg Willy Brandt Airport (BER), has now been set for 27 October 2013.

The new date is seven months later than the previously revised opening date of 17 March 2013, and 16 months later than the originally intended grand opening in June 2012.

The airport authority said that the delays will cost the gateway an additional €1.2 billion by the time it does finally open.

The scheduled opening of Berlin-Brandenburg Airport – designed to replace Tegel Airport in western Berlin and Schoenefeld Airport in the east – on June 3 this year was scrapped just weeks before due to problems with fire safety systems.

The airport authorities said this was due to “safety concerns”, and in particular that the completion of the fire safety systems, and their subsequent structural approval, could no longer be accomplished in time.

At the time airport authorities then aimed for a date of 17 March, 2013, but this also became unrealistic given the need for fresh planning and testing.

According to Amann, the first priority was to “finalise all remaining actions plans”, with construction works due to resume in the autumn.

Construction should then be concluded by summer 2013, so that the official approval procedures can be finalised in time for a trial period of several months, he added.

Presenting his findings to the airport’s Supervisory Board, Amann said that……

Read the full story at Global Airport Cities…..


Global Airport Cities
19th Sept, 2012



[AOL] Two British teenagers were arrested after allegedly dropping their trousers and exposing themselves to passengers and crew on a Jet2 flight from Newcastle to Ibiza.

"They dropped their trousers and exposed their intimate parts to the crew and passengers",  A Civil Guard spokesman.  Photo: Wikipedia

“They dropped their trousers and exposed their intimate parts to the crew and passengers”, Civil Guard spokesman.                    Photo: Wikipedia

The Daily Star reports that the men, named as Jonathan JW and Nicolas S, were arrested by armed officers from the Civil Guard after the captain called ahead to the airport in Ibiza and asked police to board the plane.

The two men appeared before magistrates and could now face up to a year in prison if they are found guilty of indecent exposure.

A civil guard spokesman said: “They dropped their trousers and exposed their private parts to the crew and passengers.”

Read the original story at AOL Travel……

 


AOL
16th Sept, 2012



[Flightglobal] Virgin Atlantic Airways has fleshed out further details of its upcoming entry into the UK domestic market, confirming plans to operate “multiple daily flights” from London Heathrow airport to two Scottish cities.

Virgin will add new Heathrow services to Edinburgh and Aberdeen.

Virgin will add new Heathrow services to Edinburgh and Aberdeen. Photo: Wikipedia

The airline had previously announced that flights from Manchester to Heathrow will begin on 31 March 2013, becoming its first domestic feeder service.

In the “second stage” of its domestic expansion, Virgin will add new Heathrow services to Edinburgh and Aberdeen. International Airlines Group (IAG), the parent company of rival British Airways, currently has a monopoly on both routes following its acquisition of BMI.

“At least 1.8 million Scottish passengers, equivalent to a third of the population, have been left without a choice on these routes since IAG’s takeover of BMI,” says outgoing Virgin chief executive Steve Ridgway, who will leave the company next spring.

“As a monopoly operator, BA has the opportunity, the incentive and the means to increase fares and reduce the number of flights available.”

BA is reducing Heathrow-Aberdeen flights by almost one-third and Heathrow-Edinburgh flights by one-quarter when compared with the number of combined services previously operated by the flag carrier and its one-time rival BMI, Virgin claims.

Ridgway had earlier acknowledged that Scottish routes will likely form the backbone of its upcoming domestic operations – to be served by leased Airbus A319s.

IAG has been forced to relinquish 14 slot pairs at Heathrow in order to trim its market share at the hub following the BMI acquisition. Competition RX, the company monitoring the slot auction, says at least seven of those slots must be used for Edinburgh or Aberdeen flights.

Virgin is bidding for 12 of the slots, with the remaining two earmarked for Transaero’s Moscow route. Tickets for Manchester went on sale last month and Virgin says the route will be operated irrespective of how many slots it ultimately secures.

However, no such assurance has been given for flights to Edinburgh, Aberdeen or Moscow – also tentatively announced by Virgin – and with tickets yet to go on sale it appears that all three routes are predicated on its success in the slot auction.

Read the original story at Flightglobal……

 


Story by Martin Rivers
14th Sept, 2012



[Guardian] Proposals for night flights at Heathrow could be back on the agenda after the government said it had told the independent commission into aviation capacity to produce an interim report next year recommending “immediate actions”.

Government call for interim recommendations on airport capacity revives speculation over possible actions

Government call for interim recommendations on airport capacity revives speculation over possible actions. Photo: Wikipedia

The announcement will help David Cameron deflect claims he is continuing to dither over airport capacity. But the new timetable will reignite controversy over Heathrow well before the 2015 election and has fuelled speculation that night flights, or even dual use of Heathrow runways for both landing and takeoff – known as “mixed mode” –  may be put back on the agenda.

Sir Howard Davies, who is leading the inquiry, insisted he was “genuinely undecided” and “logically could not deny” speculation over any option, but said no one had asked him to examine specific questions about mixed mode, which would bring huge increases in air traffic and noise. He said he would be scrutinising even the government’s own forecasts for growing airport demand.

The former boss of the Financial Services Authority and the CBI industry group , who resigned as head of the London School of Economics last year, said he believed the key to a successful inquiry was formulating the right questions. He said he would start holding hearings in the spring. According to the announcement from the new transport secretary, Patrick McLoughlin, his task is “identifying and recommending to government options for maintaining this country’s status as an international hub for aviation”.

Davies said he would be recruiting no more than three or four members for the commission, including a “transport economist, but otherwise you’ll probably want people of judgment from a decent balance of backgrounds”. Names would be confirmed within seven to 10 days, he said.

The coalition agreement rules out a third runway at Heathrow. But Cameron’s removal of Justine Greening from the transport portfolio in this week’s cabinet reshuffle, and the apparent shelving of her own planned “call for evidence”, has been taken by many as a signal that a Conservative U-turn over the building of a third Heathrow runway is in motion – albeit slowly enough and sufficiently at arm’s length to avoid the electoral fallout. Davies’s ultimate conclusions will not be delivered until 2015, after the next election.

Labour supported expansion at the last election, but proposed the commission to the government a year ago, in part to overcome its own internal difficulties on the issue. Shadow transport secretary Maria Eagle said Labour would “engage constructively”.

Davies said: “The issue is the extent to which they are committed to receiving its findings.”

He said he was under no illusions that his findings would……

Read the full story at The Guardian…..


&  – Guardian.co.uk,
September 2012



On this day, the 11th anniversary of 9/11 , it is a time for quiet reflection on the events of that fateful day all those years ago.

For those of us in the aviation business today also holds a special meaning for us, for it changed all our lives.

Image courtesy of Wikipedia

9/11 Memorial

The 9/11 Memorial site will provide a live webcast of the New York City ceremony marking the 11th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. Join them in remembering and paying tribute at 911memorial.org.

The live webcast will begin at 8:30 a.m (EDT)., Tuesday, September 11, 2012.


The Airport Informer
11th Sept, 2012



[Sky News] Police who discovered the body of a man in residential street in west London are investigating the possibility he may have been a stowaway.

The body was discovered in Portman Avenue, Mortlake, The street lies directly under the flight path for Heathrow.  Photo: Wikipedia

The body was discovered in Portman Avenue, Mortlake, which lies directly under the Heathrow‘s flight path. Photo: Wikipedia

The man, who appeared to have suffered multiple injuries, was discovered by a member of the public in Portman Avenue, Mortlake, on Sunday morning.

A spokesperson for the Metropolitan Police told Sky News they could not confirm the extent of the man’s injuries and whether this was the reason they believed he may have been a stowaway.

Portman Avenue resident Joe Dodd told London’s Evening Standard: “When I got up at eight, the body was still on the pavement. They had not moved it.

“We were not allowed out of our house for ages. There were police and ambulances everywhere. From where I was, it looked like he had a head injury of some kind.

“There was loads of blood everywhere, all over the street and on a car.”

Tony Dixon, editor of Airliner World magazine, told Sky News that the location of the man’s body could be one reason police were pursuing the possibility he may have fallen from a plane.

“Aircraft lower their under-carriage when they’re around six miles from landing so the possibility this man may have been a stowaway is a fair assessment and it has happened before,” he said.

“Many people assume there is lots of space around the undercarriage when they see it retracted, but it’s not a pressurised or heated environment.

“An aircraft’s wheels are warm for about an hour or so after take-off so anyone trying to hide there would freeze to death eventually – if they hadn’t already died from hypoxia.”

A spokeswoman for British Airports Authority confirmed that Heathrow’s south runway was being used by flights that were arriving, rather than taking off, from 6am on Sunday morning.

A Metropolitan Police spokeswoman said officers were called to Portman Avenue at 7.55am on Sunday “following reports of……

 

Read the full story at Sky News…..


Sky News
10th Sept, 2012



[Daily Mail] British Airways passengers were left stuck without their luggage after a pipe burst in Heathrow Terminal 5 – drenching their bags in sewage.

Many passengers are still waiting to be reunited with luggage after the airport sent it off to be cleaned.

Many passengers are still waiting to be reunited with luggage after the airport sent it off to be cleaned. Photo: Wikipedia

British Airways passengers were left stuck without their luggage after a pipe burst in Heathrow Terminal 5 – drenching  their bags in sewage.

About 100 suitcases were covered in the raw filth when a pipe in the sewage system burst in Terminal 5’s baggage hold on  Monday.

Many passengers were still waiting to be reunited with their suitcases today after the airport sent them off to be  cleaned

A source told The  Sun:  ‘The smell was absolutely foul, as was the mood of the passengers who had to  leave without their bags.’

It has been suggested the leak could be linked to the Terminal being built on a former sludge works

A spokesman for the airport operator, BAA Heathrow, said: ‘There was a leak from the sewage system in the baggage area of  Terminal 5 on Monday which affected around a hundred bags.

‘We appreciate this will be upsetting for passengers. The bags have now been cleaned and are being reunited with……

Read the full story at the Dail Mail…..


Daily Mail
5th Sept, 2012



[BBC News] The government is to look at ways to expand the UK’s airport capacity, amid suggestions the prime minister will perform a U-turn on his pledge not to build a third runway at Heathrow.

Deputy Prime Minister and Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg said: "My party's manifesto is against a third runway and the coalition agreement could not have been clearer. Photo: Wikipedia

Deputy Prime Minister and Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg said: “My party’s manifesto is against a third runway and the coalition agreement could not have been clearer. Photo: Wikipedia

A commission chaired by ex-Financial Services Authority boss Sir Howard Davies will also consider a new airport to the east of London.

London Mayor Boris Johnson, who opposes expanding Heathrow, called the government’s move a “fudge”.

The commission will report after 2015.

Both the Conservatives and Lib Dems ruled out a third runway at Heathrow in their 2010 general election manifestos and the coalition agreement continued this commitment. However, business leaders and some Tory MPs have argued that increased airport capacity is vital to dragging the UK out of recession

Several leading Conservatives, including Chancellor George Osborne, have hinted at a rethink over a third runway at Heathrow.

The controversy has intensified in recent days after Justine Greening, a fierce opponent of a new runway, was replaced as transport secretary by Patrick McLoughlin on Tuesday.

Critics, including Mr Johnson, have suggested this will prepare the ground for a change of Conservative Party policy.

Sir Howard, a former deputy governor of the Bank of England and director of the London School of Economics, will chair a body which will consider evidence from all sides and make recommendations to the government.

His commission will publish an interim report next year but no decision is expected until after the next election, due in 2015.

‘Hub status’

David Cameron faced a number of queries on aviation policy during Prime Minister’s Questions – the first since the end of the summer recess.

He told MPs that large infrastructure projects were “extremely difficult for individual governments to take and to deliver”.

Mr Cameron added: “What we need to do is build a process that hopefully has cross-party support so we can look carefully at this issue and deliver changes that will address the problems of capacity we will have in future years and address the issue of the hub status in the UK.”…….

Read the full article at BBC News…..


BBC News
5th Sept, 2012