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Showing posts from March, 2009

Cops Bust St. Louis Airport Theft Ring

A couple weeks ago a baggage theft ring was busted at St. Louis' Lambert Airport. Eight contract baggage handlers for Delta Airlines are suspected of going through people's luggage and stealing about 900 items ranging from laptops and iPods to cologne and cigarettes. The ring allegedly operated for more than a year.
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Thief Admits to Baggage Theft in Texas

A Texas man has admitted to stealing some 400 pieces of luggage during a 7-month period from Dallas/Fort Worth Airport. He is also suspected in more than 200 additional thefts at Houston's Bush Intercontinental Airport and Oklahoma's Tulsa International Airport. The majority of the bags were stolen from D/FW.
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FAA Wants to Keep Bird Collision Data Secret

The FAA has filed a "little-noticed" rule change that would bar the public from seeing its "extensive" data about aircraft and bird collisions dating back to 1990. According to a report, the FAA's rationale for this is it believes the information could "mislead the public" and prompt some airports and others not to report bird strikes on planes. 
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FAA CIO Talks About Cyber Security

This week in Dallas the Federal Aviation Administration held its Information Technology/Information Systems Security (IT/ISS) Partnership and Training Conference. The theme was A Window into the Future. The keynote speech was appropriately delivered by the FAA's CIO Dave Bowen, who did not sugarcoat the cyber security threats the FAA is facing. In addressing the conference Bowen said, "We’re here because deliberate and calculated attacks on America's cyber backbone are being carried out in methodic, chilling detail. The bad guys want in, and they're testing every door and window to do it. They're even willing to dig a tunnel or two — or 20. And, they're having some success." To read the full speech, visit the FAA's website here.
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Logan Airport TSA Screeners Have Scabies

Three TSA security checkpoint screeners at Boston's Logan Airport have been diagnosed with scabies, a contagious skin irritation caused by the human itch mite. All three screeners worked the same shift at the same American Airlines checkpoint. According to this report from the local NBC affiliate, air travelers were not alerted about the issue.
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Hong Kong and Singapore

The economic boom in China started off right here: in busy commercial Hong Kong and in the city-state of Singapore, devoted to business, technology and highly specialized electronics.
When Beijing was still undecided between a policy of gradual progress and the relentless development that is now occurring, Chinese, European, Filipino, Indian, Portuguese and American businessmen were meeting in Hong Kong; and in Singapore, the most important companies in world finance filled ultramodern skyscrapers.

There are 236 islands in the South China Sea united in this “Special Administrative Region of China”, which was the name given to Hong Kong after 99 years of lease to the United Kingdom, which began after the Second Opium War.
The year was 1997, and the city’s return to mainland China had caused dozens of companies, industry leaders and rich foreigners to leave, worried about being sucked into the slow pace of Chinese development. Instead, the government of Beijing stunned the world, and today…

Flights Cancelled After Alaska Volcano Eruption

Alaska's Mount Redoubt, located 106 miles southwest of Anchorage, erupted "explosively" and sent a cloud of volcanic ash to an estimated 50,000 feet above sea level Sunday (3/22), according to the U.S. Geological Survey. In response to this activity Alaska Airlines has cancelled 19 flights to Anchorage, and from Anchorage to Bethel, Deadhorse, Kodiak, Nome, Kotzebue and Barrow.
Read more
By Planet Data

14 Dead in Montana Plane Crash

A small airplane crashed Sunday in Holy Cross Cemetery as it approached Bert Mooney Airport in Butte, Montana. All 14 people on board perished in the accident. The NTSB has already dispatched a Go Team to investigate the crash.
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FedEx Plane Crash Kills 2 in Japan

A FedEx cargo plane en-route from China crashed while landing at Tokyo's Narita airport early Monday morning (local time). Both pilots were killed. Kyodo news reports that the crewmembers were Americans and the accident is "causing widespread flight disruption at Japan's largest international gateway."
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Air Routes To Close For N Korea Rocket Launch

North Korea says it will close two aviation routes within its air space from April 4-8 during their planned rocket launch of what they are calling a communication satellite. Other world powers such as the United States and Japan say the North Korean launch is for testing a long-range ballistic missile. The U.S. and South Korea warned that such an action would violate a United Nations resolution. 
Read moreBy Planet Data

Australia: Bikers Battle In Airport

A brawl broke out in Sydney, Australia's airport Sunday afternoon between rival biker gangs leaving one man dead. One group had just arrived on a flight from Melbourne when they were attacked by a group waiting for them in the terminal. Police have made arrests and the event was captured on surveillance cameras. There is some confusion about what gangs were involved with the Bandidos, Notorious, the Comancheros and the Hells Angels all being named as possible participants. 
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Greetings from Larnaka Airport

Greetings from Larnaka Airport, where construction of the new state of the art facility is bang on schedule for a November 2009 delivery. The current Terminal is like an old aircraft shed in comparison and it most pleasing to see that Larnaka and Cyprus as a whole will be propelled into the 21st Century with a grand new Terminal Building that features a shining glass front and is capable for handling 7.5 million air passengers per year. On a related topic, more good news came from the Cyprus Tourism Organization with their recent proactive decision to lower Government commission interests, which in turn will cause a decrease in the airport fees. This decision was actually long overdue, but welcome all the same, let’s hope that there is still time to gain new air traffic business. We urge the Airport Operator Hermes to make a similar gesture, in order to lower Airport fees further and allow Cyprus to compete on a level playing field with the nearby airports.

Meanwhile not so far away i…

Desperate Times for Desperate Measures in the Airline Industry

Desperate times call for desperate measures; that’s the phrase in the air within the Airline Industry today, especially so in Europe and North America. It seems that an enjoyable in flight experience has practically all but left our skies and what fragments remain of a quality service are slowly being eradicated by the global recession. We have reached an incredible situation whereby many of the flying consumers actually prefer to fly with a Budget airline whereby expectations and prices are perceived to lower; rather than rough it with some of the rude and service cutting national carrier giants out there. The real story is a little more complicated however and this article was designed to give you the traveller a little clarity and more direction.

Let’s start by asking “where are we?” Well the current status of the looming recession is starting to bite and Airlines are now busy analyzing or literally weighing up all the options to balance a loss of air traffic and a lower share price…

Air Routes To Close For N Korea Rocket Launch

North Korea — North Korea says it will close two aviation routes within its air space from April 4-8 during their planned rocket launch of what they are calling a communication satellite. Other world powers such as the United States and Japan say the North Korean launch is for testing a long-range ballistic missile. The U.S. and South Korea warned that such an action would violate a United Nations resolution.Read moreBy Planet Data

Bikers Battle In Airport

Australia — A brawl broke out in Sydney, Australia's airport Sunday afternoon between rival biker gangs leaving one man dead. One group had just arrived on a flight from Melbourne when they were attacked by a group waiting for them in the terminal. Police have made arrests and the event was captured on surveillance cameras. There is some confusion about what gangs were involved with the Bandidos, Notorious, the Comancheros and the Hells Angels all being named as possible participants. Read moreBy Planet Data

Authorities Uncover Narcotics Smuggling at Peru Airport

Peru — According to an Associated Press report (link below), Peruvian authorities are investigating a drug trafficking ring that allegedly involves police, customs agents and workers at the Lima airport.Read moreBy Planet Data

Argentina Nationalizing Lockheed Martin Plant

Argentina — This Tuesday (3/17), Argentina's President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner announced that she is re-nationalizing a military-aircraft factory that was acquired by Lockheed Martin in the 1990s.Read moreBy Planet Data

Military Airplane Crashes in Ecuador Capital

Ecuador — At least 7 people are dead after an Ecuadorean military aircraft crashed into a residential neighborhood of the capital, Quito, today (3/20). Among the dead are the five people on board the plane and 2 civilians on the ground.Read moreBy Planet Data

Air Travel Affected By French Strike

France — Public and private sector workers launched a massive 24-hour strike Thursday in France to protest the government's handling of the nation's economic crisis. As a result of the labor action and the participation of air traffic controllers, a third of Air France flights out of Orly airport in Paris have been cancelled.Read moreBy Planet Data

SMYRNA

An important seaport on the Aegean Sea, Smyrna is the 3rd biggest city in Turkey. It was founded in 3000 B.C. and in 1500 B.C. it was conquered by the Hittites. Following this it became one of the most important cities in the Ionic league. Thereafter it underwent domination by Alexander the Great, the Romans, the Byzantines, and finally it became part of the Ottoman Empire in 1415. However, the Ottoman Smyrna was almost completely devastated in 1922 by an invasion of the Greeks and then by a terrible fire. 


The centre of the city is Konak square and here we find the famous clock tower. This tower was built in 1901 by the sultan Abdul Hamit II and is richly decorated in the Ottoman fashion. A short distance away there’s the bazaar, a labyrinth of all sorts of market stalls. The covered market of Kizlaragasi Hani is something special, full of eye-catching shops and was built in 1744 and then restored in 1995. 


The Agorà is located in the Namazgah quarter , built according to the desires …

Venezuela Military Seizes Sea and Air Ports

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez ordered his military on Sunday (3/15) to seize control of some seaports and airports in states governed by opposition party governors. Some of the seaports have major petroleum-exporting installations.
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Canada: Bodies Recovered from Helicopter Wreckage

Recovery workers say that over the weekend they located "10 to 13" bodies in the wreckage of the helicopter that crashed off the southeast coast of Newfoundland last week. Of these, 9 were recovered, and efforts are continuing to retrieve the remaining ones before the aircraft is lifted from a depth of about 400 feet. So far, in total, 10 bodies have been recovered and the sole survivor remains in critical condition.
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North Carolina Sheriffs Get New Aerial Crime Fighting Tool

Last week Sheriffs from four North Carolina counties showed the local press a new aircraft they have at their disposal. It's a 2006 Sky Arrow 600 Sport airplane. It was donated to the communities by the Department of Justice as part of a program that pays for crime fighting expenses with assets seized during drug operations.
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CDC Alerting Travelers on Northwest Flight About TB Exposure

A non-U.S. citizen who flew from Frankfurt, Germany to Detroit last Tuesday (3/10) aboard Northwest Airlines Flight 51 was found to be infected with tuberculosis upon his arrival in Detroit. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is alerting 17 passengers that they may have been exposed to the disease. CDC policy dictates that everyone sitting within 2 rows of the infected man be notified of the risk.
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Canada: Olympic Security May Hurt Regional Airport Travel

Stringent aviation security policies put in place for the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics may force many small regional airports to cancel flights to the host city during the Games. CBC News reports this is because these smaller airports do not have the equipment necessary to machine screen all passengers and luggage aboard smaller aircraft, and this will be a prerequisite for all aircraft flying into Vancouver.
Apparently one proposal on the table is for a hub screening facility to be established in Port Hardy. Then flights from northern British Columbia would stop over here so that passengers and baggage could be screened. The flights would then resume onto Vancouver. This sounds like a logistically problematic and costly solution.Read moreBy Planet Data

Uganda: Transport Plane Crashes in Lake Victoria

An Aerolift Ilyushin IL-76 transport plane crashed and sank in Lake Victoria shortly after take off from Entebbe, Uganda Monday (3/9). The plane was en route to Somalia. A source told RIA Novosti that all 11 people on board, including three high-ranking officers from Burundi, died. Also among the dead are 2 Russians and 2 Ukrainians.
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Pakistan: Taliban Claims U.S. Drone Shot Down

A U.S. drone may have crashed in the northwestern tribal area of Pakistan on Saturday (3/7). The Pakistani military has responded to reports of the incident and is searching for it, but they have not found any wreckage yet. The U.S. has not confirmed the crash, but Taliban militants in the Angoor Adda area of South Waziristan claim they shot one down.
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$1 Billion for Airport Security Projects

Aviation security projects around the U.S. will see an influx of $1 billion from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. According to the Department of Homeland Security, the plan calls for the allocation of $700 million for checked baggage explosive detection systems and $300 million for checkpoint explosive detection technology including X-ray units, whole body imaging technology and bottled liquid scanners. The projects are also expected to create more than 3,000 jobs.
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Shuttle Discovery Set for Wednesday Launch

NASA has finally set a date for the shuttle Discovery's liftoff. It is now scheduled for Wednesday March 11 at 9:20 PM EDT. The countdown clock begins at the T-43 hour mark at 7 PM on Sunday, according to NASA. Shuttle mission STS-119 will be headed for the International Space Station. The launch was originally scheduled for February 12, but a problem with a flow control value had to be fixed. The issue was detected when the shuttle Endeavour returned from its November 2008 mission.
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U.S. Navy Plans New Missile Defense Command

The U.S. Navy plans to stand up a new command in April geared towards missile defense. Navy Times reports that Admiral Gary Roughead, chief of naval operations, announced the formation of the Navy Air and Missile Defense Command Wednesday (3/4). The command will be based in Dahlgren, Virginia.
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Greetings from Cyprus Airways flight to Milan

Perpetual Traveller Greetings from the air on board a Cyprus Airways flight from Larnaka - Rome (FCO) - Milan (MXP), which is a new double drop service. Who said that Business class is all but dead in Europe? Despite the fact the plane is a little tired, the food and service is really quite reasonable. Well done to state-owned Cyprus Airways who also bucked the Aviation trend in Europe by making a 2008 post tax profit of 1.7 million euro.

The Republic of Cyprus receives around 2.4 million tourists annually of which Cyprus Airways carries around 1 million making their aviation contribution critical to the country. Cyprus like all other Tourist destinations is apprehensive about the coming summer, as no one knows for sure how many in the western world will take a vacation in this widely reported year of gloom.

I’m bound for my Hotel room the security of which is the theme for Perpetual Traveller this week. Hotel Security is becoming an increasingly important consideration, especially in…

Barcelona

Barcelona is the capital of Catalonia, the north-eastern region of Spain, surrounded by the Pyrenees and the Mediterranean Sea. The city is not only one of the busiest ports of this sea, but it is as important as Madrid and the other European capitals, also from a cultural, commercial and sporting point of view. Its main characteristic, also due to its geographic position is its passion for innovation and modernity.   The most famous thoroughfare of Barcelona, Las Ramblas, goes through the old city, one of the most important and interesting medieval centres in Europe. Well known all over the world as the Gothic district, it still preserves the original splendour of the cathedral, the ancient royal palace and several buildings are of great value and interest.  The Museum Frederic Marès is part of the complex that includes the Royal Palace. The building that houses it was occupied in the XIII century by the bishops and in the XIV century by the counts of Barcelona, in the XV century by…

Green Greetings from the Troodos Mountains

Green Greetings from the Troodos Mountains of Cyprus, which was the centre of activity this past Bank Holiday weekend on the Island. Monday was a National Holiday in Cyprus called "Green Day" whereby traditionally families and loved ones go for a picnic in the parks and rural areas of the country with special emphasis on the Troodos Mountains region. Sadly Monday was a grey day, which has been the norm in this winter of unusually (at least in recent times) frequent rainfall, which is in stark contrasts to the two previous years of virtual drought and water shortages. On the bright side, this means that at least the mountains were Green on "Green Monday", even if the sun did not appear too often, so you can’t have it all! What truly fascinates me is all the Cypriot families rushing to see the snow in the mini ski resort at the peak of the Troodos Mountains. They travel from all parts of the Island just to catch a glimpse of the crisp snow and the children seem to vi…

Worldwide Top 10 Events in March, by Perpetual Traveller

For much of the world the early signs of spring are in the air and soon Northern Europe and North America will slowly start to thaw. We can even forgive ourselves for starting to think about the summer. The only trouble being is that the people on planet earth are somewhat gloomy at present and the Stock Markets reflect pessimism as they free fall into new historic lows. 

Scientists say that optimists live 7 years longer than their pessimistic counterparts. Subsequently we felt a duty to cheer you up and remind one and all that despite the economic woes across the globe, there are some fun and exciting things happening our there.

Here is out top ten lists of the world’s best events in March 2009…

St Patrick’s Day – Ireland & Worldwide 17th March 
The message is clear, “you don’t have to be Irish to join in”! All over the world in the Spirit of all things green including Guinness fueled celebrations will be taking place from Dublin and New York to Sidney. Being quintessentially Irish …

Mexico City Ramps Up Airport Security to Fight Crime

In the last several months armed robbers have attacked more than a dozen people exchanging money around Mexico City's international airport. To combat this escalating probem, the federal and local authorities have deployed nearly 800 additional police at the airport and in the surrounding vicinity.
Read moreBy Planet Data

Canada / Russia Exchange Rhetoric Over Bomber Incident

The media and Canada's defense minister seem to be making a big deal about the Canadian air force "intercepting" a Russian long-range strategic bomber near Canadian airspace. The primary point everyone is making is that the incident happened less than 24-hours before U.S. President Obama visited Ottawa on February 19. Russian authorities, of course, claim this was a scheduled exercise and all countries along the plane's flight-path were appropriately notified. While Defense Minister Peter Mackay labeled the incident a "strong coincidence", a Russian Defense Ministry spokesperson called the flight "routine" and Mackay's statement a "farce." Since Russia took its strategic bombers out of mothballs in September 2007, these run-ins have become increasingly more common.
Read moreBy Planet Data

Big Decrease in Air Transport Traffic in January

According to data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA), both passenger and cargo air transport around the world decreased drastically in January. The Director General of IATA says, "Alarm bells are ringing everywhere. Every region's carriers are reporting big drops in cargo. And, aside from the Middle East carriers, passenger demand is falling in all regions. The industry is in a global crisis and we have not yet seen the bottom."
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Proceedings from FAA Aviation Fatigue Management Symposium

The Federal Aviation Administration held the Aviation Fatigue Management Symposium last June. This was the first event sponsored by the FAA that focused specifically on managing fatigue in aviation. Today (2/26), the FAA has released the proceedings of this symposium that was not open to the public or media.
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Illegal Workers Found at Florida Airport

In Florida Tuesday (2/24), a Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) Supervisor noticed 21 people performing work on the grounds of West Palm Beach International Airport. These individuals were not displaying the required airport identification badges. When the Supervisor stopped to investigate, he discovered that 14 of these workers were in America illegally. CBP is processing them for removal from the country.
Read moreBy Planet Data