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Showing posts from February, 2009

South Africa: Drug Smuggling Prompts Tighter Security for South African Airways

South African Airways (SAA) is tightening security on its airplanes after two flight crews (1, 2) were recently found to be smuggling drugs on flights to London. The new security measures include the physical searching of all crew baggage. Also, the Airports Company SA (ASCA) is considering adding additional sniffer dog patrols, and new scanners and detection technology to the airports it operates.
Read moreBy Planet Data

Greece: 2 Prisoners Escape in Helicopter for Second Time

A massive manhunt is underway in Greece after two men escaped from the high-security Korydallos Prison on Sunday in a helicopter. Greece's Kathimerini describes the escapees, Vassilis Palaiocostas and Alket Rizai, as "the country's most notorious criminal...and his Albanian accomplice". To make the story of this daring helicopter escape even more unbelievable is that the same two men escaped in 2006 from the same prison in nearly the exact same manner.
Read moreBy Planet Data

TSA Investigations, Confiscations and Closures

For the week of February 9-16 the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) reports 15 passengers were arrested after investigations of suspicious behavior or fraudulent travel documents; 21 firearms were found at checkpoints; 1 artfully concealed prohibited item was found and there were 14 incidents that involved a checkpoint closure, terminal evacuation or sterile area breach.
Read moreBy Planet Data

India: Threat Puts Airport on Alert

Kochi Airport in India is on high alert after an anonymous phone call to Saudi Airways alleged bombs had been placed at the airport and they could go off at anytime. Security has been beefed-up at passenger and vehicle checkpoints while an airport official said he believed the call was a hoax but they were not going to take any chances.
Read moreBy Planet Data

Japan: Dozens of Passengers Injured by Airplane Turbulence

Forty-three passengers on a Northwest Airlines flight from Manila to Tokyo were injured Friday (2/20) when about 30 minutes before landing the plane suffered what's been described as "severe turbulence" and a "sudden decent". The 747-400 was carrying 408 passengers and a flight crew of 14. A spokesperson for the airline has been quoted saying the "Fasten Seatbelt" sign was on at the time of the incident.Read more
By Planet Data

Unmanned Aircraft Patrols Begin on Northern Border

U.S. Customs and Border Protection's (CBP) Unmanned Aircraft Operations Center of North Dakota officially opened February 16. The center, which is housed at Grand Forks Air Force Base, is equipped with one General Atomics Aeronautical Systems' MQ-9 Predator B, and once fully staffed will employ close to 50 federal employees and contractors. According to CBP, the Predator B UAV is capable of flying at speeds of up to 260 MPH for more than 18 hours at altitudes up to 50,000 feet. The aircraft is equipped with the state-of-the-art Raytheon electro-optical sensors, and Synthetic Aperture Radar.Read more
By Planet Data

United Kingdom: South African Flight Crew Suspected of Narcotics Trafficking

For the second time in as many months a South African Airways flight crew has been arrested at London's Heathrow Airport on suspicion of narcotics smuggling. In the latest incident 15 crewmembers were detained Monday night (2/16) after about 5kg of cocaine was found in a piece of luggage on the flight from Johannesburg. The January smuggling attempt involved about 110 lbs. of marijuana and 8 lbs. of cocaine.Read moreBy planet Data

Pilot Aborts Takeoff After Bird Strike on Runway

A United Airlines jet getting ready for takeoff in San Jose had to return to the gate Monday morning after one of the engines ingested one or more seagulls. The plane is being inspected and no one was injured. The plane was traveling about 138 MPH when the bird strike happened.Read moreBy Planet Data

UK Pilots Oppose National Identity Card Program

The British government's plan to introduce national ID cards that contain electronically readable photos and fingerprints has hit another snag. In a statement, the British Airline Pilots' Association (BALPA) says that it has warned the Manchester airport and London City airport management that pilots would not cooperate with the introduction of the ID card. These are the first two locations selected by the government to introduce the ID card to airport workers and pilots.Read moreBy Planet Data

Fireball Over Texas Not Space Junk

A fireball streaking across the Texas sky was seen by thousands of people Sunday in broad daylight. There was speculation that it was debris from last Tuesday's collision of an Iridium satellite and a non-functioning Russian satellite over Siberia. However, the U.S. Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM) has come out and said this is not the case. It seems likely the fireball was a meteor.Read more
By Planet Data

Greeting from Larnaka Airport

Greetings from a vantage point overlooking the new Larnaka Airport site; where the pace of construction is gaining momentum. By all accounts it will surely be delivered on time later in November of this year to much fanfare. The construction Company responsible is the mighty Bouygues International (reported to be the biggest construction Company in the world) who have been successful in building a reputation for delivering on time in Cyprus. Recent evidence of which can be found in the new Paphos Charter Airport, that was successfully delivered in Autumn 2008. Larnaka is the central “Gateway of Cyprus” though and the new airport will be a state of the art facility catering for a capacity of 7.5 million passengers (not bad for a country of only 800,000 residents). This will launch the Island into the 21st century where airport terminals or entry points to Cyprus are concerned, and it’s a quantum leap from the current terminal shed looking building.

The main concern however is not how w…

PT Airport Review

As the days of the second month of 2009 unfold and we reflect on the progress of Tourism from a global perspective, 2008 will be seen as a remarkable year for airport development and dramatic events. All this in the face of the onset of one of the worst global credit crunches and astonishing downturns our planet has ever seen.

This review focuses on the quintessential positives of 4 airports across the globe that are making the life of travellers in transit and more uplifting experience. Perpetual Traveller is however objective by nature, so we have indicated some of the downfalls of each airport for balance.

HONG KONG HKIA
Once again Hong Kong HKLIA Airport was officially awarded by Industry experts as the best airport all things considered on our planet. HKIA has consistently won this award with only a few gap years since its construction. 

Certainly its a feat of engineering, with an epic glass cathedral type entrance, a slick modern design, extremely clean cut feel, passenger friendly…

Profile on Tunis

Tunis, the capital city of Tunisia is definitely interesting from an artistic and architectural point of view in that it brings together in a masterly manner the east and the west. Its old city is most definitely eastern with its medieval art treasures of the Islam world, but all around it there spreads a European city in which nothing is left wanting in the sense of classical features or freedom. The Medina is the historical and cultural heart of Tunis and houses the principal features of the city. The Moschea dell’Ulivo is the most important cultural place in the city which was built for the first time in 732 AD. It was then rebuilt into its present form by the Hafsifi between the 13th and 15th centuries. The mosque is made up of a library, an inside courtyard and a prayer room. The courtyard can be visited by non –Muslim tourists, and is surrounded by columns with geometrical ornaments. The minaret is 44 metres high and was built in 1894, a landmark for the whole city. The mosq…

Minister Threatens to Fire Guyana Air Traffic Controllers

In Guyana, an air traffic controllers strike has forced daytime-only flight operations at Georgetown Airport. In response, Transport Minister Robeson Benn has threatened to fire the workers.Read more
by Planet Data

Corporate Plane Makes Ocean Landing Off Australia

The pilot of a corporate airplane had to make an emergency landing in the ocean off the coast of Australia today (2/6). He put the plane down about 200 meters off the beach in shallow waters near Darwin, and then he and his five passengers walked to shore. There were no injuries. The plane is a Piper Chieftain owned by Connected Solutions Group (CSG).Read moreby Planet Data

Advance Passenger Information Alerts Customs to Potential Smuggler

This week U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at JFK International Airport arrested a 24-year-old German citizen, and seized more than 8 pounds of cocaine concealed in his personal effects. According to CBP, the alleged smuggler, Sebastian Fritsch, was identified through advance passenger information (API) as being a potential smuggler prior to his arrival in New York. API for every airplane passenger must be electronically transmitted by airlines to CBP before the departure of all inbound international flightsRead moreby Planet Data

24 People Die in Brazil Plane Crash

Saturday (2/7) an Embraer Bandeirante turboprop airplane carrying 28 crew members and passengers crashed into Brazil's Manacapuru River. Four people survived the accident. The bodies of the other 24 people onboard have been recovered.Read Moreby Planet Data

India: Presidential Helicopter in Near Miss in Mumbai

An Air India Airbus A-321 aborted takeoff today at Mumbai International Airport as three VIP helicopters landed on the runway. One of the helicopters was carrying Indian President Pratibha Patil. It is being reported that the quick reactions of the pilot of the Air India flight averted a near disaster. As of now airport officials are blaming Mumbai air traffic controllers for the near miss.Read Moreby Planet Data

Top 10 Events February 2009

That Samba feeling is in the air, the need to express oneself and overcome the rain of depression that surrounds most of our lives around the globe in January. Yes its Carnival time for a host of countries around the Planet and of course Rio De Janeiro still wears the crown.

The origins of Carnival festivities in Rio de Janeiro date a long way back to 1723. It was immigrants from the Portuguese islands of A├žores, Madeira and Cabo Verde that introduced the Entrudo to Rio.

The concept was fundamentally to get everybody soaking wet! People of all walks of life (even Emperors) would literally go out in the streets armed with buckets of water and limes. Nobody could escape a potential water shower, as everybody or anybody was a potential victim. Then it was curiously reported that a woman was arrested in 1855 for throwing a lime at Dom Pedro I's escorts. Soon authorities frowned upon the lack of restraints concerning the Entrudo fun and eventually it was sadly outlawed.

Grandes Sociedades…

Funchal

The island of Madeira belongs to Portugal, but thanks to the special statute it was given, since 1976 it has been autonomous from an administrative point of view. 
It is a beautiful island, with a constant spring climate that attracts tourists all year round. It has wild and harmonious vegetation, jagged coastlines and enthralling, breathtaking panoramas. 

Funchal is the capital of Madeira and houses, with 125.000 inhabitants, almost half of the total population of the island. 

The port of Funchal was in the past an important disembarkation place for all the ships that were sailing for India and Brazil. A little farther you will see the Marina, a tourist port always crowded with tourists and islanders. Here, in several little restaurants you will be able to try delicious fish specialities. A curiosity: the yacht that is landlocked on the beach belonged to the Beatles. 
Behind the tourist port you can admire the most ancient fortress in Funchal: the Fortaleza de Sao Lourenco. In 1540 they…