Posts Tagged ‘BBC’

[] London Heathrow airport chief executive officer Colin Matthews is to stand down later this year.

Colin Matthews has been at the helm since March 2008. Image: BBC News 

Matthews joined the airport in March 2008 and under his leadership the proportion of passengers rating their journey through Heathrow as good or excellent increased from less than 50% to more than 75%.

Terminal 5 has been voted by passengers as the world’s best airport terminal for the past three years and the airport has constructed the new T2 which is set to open in June.

London Heathrow was also official gateway for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and the option for a third runway was shortlisted in December 2013 by the Sir Howard Davies’ Airports Commission.

Matthews said: “It has been a privilege to serve as CEO of Heathrow for the last six years. With a strong leadership team, the company continues to raise standards of passenger service, improve efficiency and reduce costs.

The opening of terminal two: The Queen’s Terminal in June this year is a further important step in the transformation of Heathrow and long-term prospects are bright following the decision of the airport’s Commission to shortlist our proposal for a new runway.

So once terminal two has opened later this year, I have decided the time is right to pass on the baton.”

Read the full story at…..
31st March, 2014

Andrew Pentol

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[BBC News] China has urged Malaysia to “step up its efforts” in the search for the missing Malaysia Airlines plane that disappeared on Saturday.

BBC Video

Malaysia’s acting transport minister, Hishamuddin Hussein: Search and rescue ‘the main focus’  Photo: BBC News

Nearly three days after the jet went missing, an international effort has still not found the plane’s wreckage.

None of the debris and oil slicks spotted in the water so far have proven to be linked to the disappearance.

Flight MH370 vanished from radar almost three days ago en route to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur, with 239 people on board.

Relatives of the missing passengers have been told to prepare for the worst.

Search Helicopter

The area being searched by air and sea covers hundreds of kilometres. Photo: BBC News

China said the Malaysian authorities needed to “step up their efforts” to find the missing airliner, which had more than 150 Chinese nationals on board.

“We… have a responsibility to demand and urge the Malaysian side to step up [its] search efforts, start an investigation as soon as possible and provide relevant information to China correctly and in a timely manner,” said Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Qin Gang.

Patience appears to be wearing thin in the search for the missing airplane, says the BBC’s Celia Hatton in Beijing.

Earlier, the Global Times…….

Read the full story at BBC News

BBC News

10th March, 2014

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[BBC News] RAF Typhoon jets have been launched to investigate an incident involving a civilian aircraft within UK airspace, the Ministry of Defence has said.

A reported on board incident created an alert: Picture Wikipedia

A reported on board incident created an alert and diverted the aircraft: Picture Wikipedia

A Pakistan International Airlines plane has been diverted from Manchester to Stansted Airport, a Manchester Airport spokesman said.

An Essex Police spokeswoman added: “An incident has occurred on an aircraft. Police and partners are responding.”

The BBC understands that the plane has now landed in Stansted.

The plane reportedly left Lahore at 09:35 local time. It was due in at Manchester at 1400 BST.


UPDATE at 14:55

The BBC understands that the plane has now landed in Stansted.

BBC defence correspondent Jonathan Beale said that police were expected to meet the plane at the airport. The plane, flight number PK709, reportedly left Lahore at 09:35 local time. It was due in at Manchester at 14:00 BST.

The MoD said responsibility for the incident had now passed to Essex Police and the Home Office. The MoD was not able to say how serious a threat there was on board.

An MoD spokesman said the incident was now a police matter and that “our involvement is over”.

He said Typhoon jets could be scrambled after the pilot or crew of a passenger aircraft sends out an emergency signal.

“The purpose of going up is to investigate what the situation is,” he said.

“Often when a Quick Reaction Alert aircraft is launched the details are not known, but it is known that a signal has been sent.

“Part of the purpose of sending a Typhoon up is to have a look and see what they can see.”

A Pakistan International Airlines spokesman Zufiqar Bijarani told CNN: “We have been told there may have been a bomb threat.” But he did not say if he had anything to confirm or deny this.

Stansted Airport said on Twitter that it was operating normally.

Pakistan International Airlines said there were 308 passengers on board, as well as 14 crew including pilots, with a mixture of Pakistani and British passport holders.

Read the original story at BBC News…..

24th May, 2013

[BBC] An airline security worker has been suspended after failing to spot a fake bomb as it passed through the X ray machine.

The Department for Transport spokesman said. "The safety of the travelling public is paramount,"

The Department for Transport spokesman said. “The safety of the travelling public is paramount,” Photo: Wikipedia

Manchester Airport said it had launched an investigation into the incident.

The Department for Transport carries out regular dummy runs at UK airports to ensure security is up to scratch. A spokesman for the airport said: “We can confirm a security officer has been suspended but we cannot comment further as there is an ongoing investigation.”

The Department for Transport spokesman said it conducted regular airport tests but could not comment further.

The spokesman said: “The safety of the travelling public is paramount, which is why the UK combines intelligence, technology and other measures to provide one of the strictest regimes for aviation security in the world.

“We have a regular programme of inspections to ensure compliance with this regime, but do not comment on the specifics or outcomes for obvious reasons.”

In July, Manchester Airport suspended a number of airline staff after an 11-year-old boy boarded a plane from Manchester to Rome on his own without a passport, tickets or boarding pass.

The boy mingled with families to get through checks and was found mid-air on the Jet2 plane after passengers became suspicious.

Read the original story at the BBC…..

BBC News
6th Oct, 2012

[BBC News] A consultation on expanding airports in south-east England has been delayed again amid reports of tensions within the coalition over the issue.

Waiting: Planes queue for take off at London City Airport - congestion could eventually send air fares skywards

Waiting: Planes queue for take off at London City Airport – congestion could increase air fares.

The consultation had been due to be announced later but is now unlikely to go ahead until the autumn.

The Lib Dems are opposed to expansion, and the coalition agreement rules out new airports in the region. But there is speculation that Chancellor George Osborne is warming to the idea of a third Heathrow runway.

Several Tory MPs are also openly supporting the plan, says BBC transport correspondent Richard Westcott. They have been accused of trying to delay everything until after the next election, when they believe they could be in power as a single party.

It is another delay for a consultation that was meant to start in March, then delayed until the summer, and is now likely to wait until the autumn. It was dealing with some of the thorniest issues in aviation, including whether to build a third runway at Heathrow airport in west London, or perhaps build extra runways at Stansted or Gatwick. Some concerns have been expressed about the environmental impact of a third runway at Heathrow and the potential for it to damage people’s quality of life.

Conservative MP Zac Goldsmith, a well known environmentalist, said he would not stand as a candidate for the party at the next election if it supported a third runway.

London Mayor Boris Johnson also opposes…..

Read the full story at BBC News…..

BBC News
12 July 2012

[From a BBC News Feature] Olympic torch: Top pilot’s ‘most precious cargo’.

When pilot Captain David Thomas takes off from Athens El. Venizelos airport later today, on board his gold-painted plane will be a highly precious cargo.

Classed as dangerous goods, there is a specific regulation for the carriage of the Olympic flame.
Photo: RRconway (Photobucket)

Strapped into seats 1A and 1B, in what would normally be business class, will be the Olympic flame as it makes its journey from Greece to the UK.

Its arrival heralds the start of a 70-day relay around the UK ahead of the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

On board the British Airways plane, named The Firefly, will also be a party of dignitaries including footballer David Beckham, Princess Anne and London 2012 chairman Seb Coe.

At the controls of flight 2012 from Athens International Airport to the Royal Navy airbase at Culdrose in Cornwall, Mr Thomas knows the eyes of the world will be on him and his team.

“You try to forget about a lot of the external pressure as it’s not helpful, when you’re flying passengers you are thinking about safety,” he told the BBC.

“I’ve been in that position before, you don’t want to get it wrong but I have got a couple of great guys with me.

“The worst thing for me is I know how good the [TV] cameras are so I’ll have to watch what I’m doing at all times.”

Nothing has been left to chance in planning for the flight as Mr Thomas, 45, said: “It’s slightly unusual to be playing with fire on an aeroplane.”

Classed as dangerous goods, there is a specific regulation for the carriage of the Olympic flame.

The UK Civil Aviation Authority has approved a detailed safety case drawn up by Mr Thomas and BA’s Dangerous Goods team.

The flame is in four lanterns which sit in two specially-made metal cradles secured to the chair by a seatbelt and a Velcro strap.

In seat 1C will be the fire warden – a Metropolitan Police officer trained in firefighting – who will monitor the flame for the duration of the 1,500-mile flight.

Unusually, and reflecting the significance of the flight, Mr Thomas will be joined by two pilots – a captain and a first officer – whom he selected.

“We’re taking an extra pilot which helps with the distractions and if one of you goes sick. It also allows you to delegate responsibilities which is helpful in…..

Read the full story at BBC News…..

By Jane Mower
BBC 18th May, 2012

[Original Sources: Crawley Observer / BBC News] Gatwick’s only runway had to close yet again this morning following another emergency situation.

A passenger to the BBC that after making a "nice smooth landing, there was an almighty bang and the plane suddenly lurched to the right

A passenger told BBC News that after making a “nice smooth landing, there was an almighty bang and the plane suddenly lurched to the right. Photo: Wikipedia

This incident again highlights how Gatwick Airport operations can possibly be severely affected by airstrip based emergencies, due to only having one runway available.

A tyre burst on a landing Boeing 737-300 this morning just before 11:30. The Ukraine International Airlines flight PS501 landed on schedule from Kiev Boryspil International Airport.

Gatwick Airport operational staff had to close the runway so that passengers could be safely taken to the airport’s South Terminal by coach.

One passenger told the BBC that after making a “nice smooth landing… there was an almighty bang and the plane suddenly lurched to the right”. The pilot managed to keep control of the aircraft, there were no injuries.

A spokeswoman for Gatwick Airport said to the Crawley Observer: “A Ukrainian aircraft landed earlier on today, as it did so a tyre burst.

“The passengers were safe, the plane was safe and there were no injuries on board.

“It was dealt with very quickly. The runway was closed for 10 minutes and it did not cause any cancellations or affect out bound flights. The passengers were coached to the airport.”

Ukraine International Airlines runs a daily return service into Gatwick from Kiev’s Boryspil International Airport.

Chris Newman for the Airport Informer
Original sources BBC News/Crawley Observer
15th May, 2014