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Showing posts from January, 2010

Venezuela Military Accused of Colombia Airspace Violation

Colombian officials have accused Venezuela of violating Colombia's airspace after a Venezuelan military helicopter on Wednesday allegedly spent 20 minutes over the Colombian border city of Arauca where there is a large military base.
Read more By Planet Data

Malaysia Arrests 10 Linked to Airline Bombing Attempt

The Malaysian government-linked New Straits Times reported Thursday that Malaysian authorities arrested 10 suspected terrorists last week who are allegedly linked to the man who tried to blow-up a U.S-bound airliner on Christmas Day.
Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said that his country worked with "international anti-terrorism agencies" to nab the suspects.
The UK's Telegraph reports the men are from Malaysia, Syria, Nigeria, Jordan and Yemen.
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By Planet Data

Doomed Ethiopian Jet's Data Recorders Located

Search teams say they believe they have located the flight data recorders from the Ethiopian Airlines jet that crashed in the Mediterranean Sea on Monday. The "black boxes" are said to be about 6 miles off the coast of Lebanon, at a depth of about 4,300 feet.
It is still not clear why the plane turned from the coarse the Lebanese air traffic controllers suggested just after take-off. But in doing so the aircraft entered a severe thunderstorm, quickly disappeared from radar and went down.
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By Planet Data

NASA Sets February 7 Launch Date for Shuttle Endeavour

NASA has given the green light for the February 7 launch of the space shuttle Endeavour, which is scheduled to make a 13-day flight to the International Space Station (ISS).
Endeavour's nighttime launch marks the beginning of the end for space shuttle operations. There are five missions planned for 2010 and the fleet goes into mothballs.
Read more By Planet Data

Russian Space Tech Company Plans Nuclear Projects

According to an article (link below) from the state-run Russian news service, RIA Novosti, Vitaly Lopota, the director of the Russian space company Energia, described on Wednesday some of the more "exotic" plans the company is considering for using nuclear power in space. Energia's possible nuclear projects include military satellites, "space tugs", and a moon-based power plant.
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By Planet Data

India to Launch Manned Space Mission in 2016

The chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) told reporters Wednesday that India plans to launch its first manned space mission in 2016, with two astronauts spending 7 days in orbit.
Read more By Planet Data

ETHIOPIAN AIRLINES 737 CRASHES AFTER TAKE-OFF

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An Ethiopian Airlines aircraft carrying 89 people from Beirut to Addis Ababa crashed on Monday, January 25, into the Mediterranean Sea shortly after take-off. Ethiopian Airlines Flight 409 was just minutes into its journey to Addis Ababa when the Boeing 737-800 plunged into the sea in what witnesses described as a "ball of fire".
A statement on the airline’s website said passengers were predominantly Lebanese or Ethiopian, but two Britons were also onboard along with citizens of Turkey, France, Russia, Canada, Syria and Iraq.

Saad Hariri, Lebanon's prime minister, declared Monday a national day of mourning. After arriving at the airport to offer comfort to the relatives of those on board the flight, he said: "We are working with all the power we have to try and find missing people from this tragedy.
"We are working to find the black box that will tell us what really happened on the plane."
Lebanese army patrol boats were seen scouring the waters around…

Suspected U.S. Drone Crash in Pakistan

A Pakistani intelligence official confirmed to CNN that what is believed to be a U.S. done has crashed in Pakistan. The aircraft is said to have gone done Sunday night near the village of Hamzoni in North Waziristan, about 3 miles from Miran Shah. It is not clear whether it was shot down or malfunctioned.
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By Planet Data

Ethiopian Airlines Jet Crashes in Mediterranean

An Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737-800 crashed into the Mediterranean off the coast of Lebanon early Monday (1/25) morning. The plane was carrying 90 passengers and crew when it went down shortly after taking off from Beirut. Read more By Planet Data

Plane Catches Fire Landing at Iranian Airport

"At least 42 passengers were injured Sunday when an Iranian plane caught fire while landing in the northeastern city of Mashhad, the semiofficial Fars news agency said." Read more By Planet Data

Passenger Tried to Open Door in Mid-Flight

Saturday afternoon a United Airlines flight from Washington DC to Las Vegas had to divert to Denver after an unruly passenger, who may have been drunk, tried to open a door in midair. The plane landed safely and the man was taken into custody. Read more By Planet Data

Who's Searching Your Laptop at the Airport?

In a TSA blog post Friday, Blogger Bob explains the different roles of the TSA, and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) when it comes to examining travelers' laptop computers.
Blogger Bob wants the public to understand that it is not TSA screeners who are searching the contents of a laptop, it is CBP agents. TSA will only examine the outside of a computer and perform an explosives trace detection test.
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By Planet Data

Bird Strike Forces Jet Back to Dulles

Friday afternoon a United Airlines flight en route from Washington to San Francisco was forced to return to Dulles International Airport after a large bird was sucked into one of the jet's engines. The plane landed without incident.

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By Planet Data

Top Worldwide Events February 2010

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Following the great chill throughout most parts of the Northern Hemisphere which has in many respects dominated the news and events or at least how easily people could get to them, we bring you a HOT list of exciting new worldwide events for February 2010.  

Groundhog Day - Gobbler's Knob, Punxsutawney, USA 2nd February
Groundhog Day is one of the United States' best-known and for outsiders, most bizarre traditions. This remakable Day is a weather predicting ceremony and guess who is making the predictions? The Groundhog of course! Punxsutawney Phil (the groundhog) has been making predictions for over 120 years! How is that possible? By drinking the "elixir of life", a secret recipe that gives Phil 7 more years of life everytime he drinks it! So each year on February the second, Phil comes out of his burrow on Gobbler's Knob in front of thousands of followers from all over the world to predict the weather for the rest of winter. After he emerges from his burrow, …

German Computer Group Finds Airport Security Threat

A German broadcasting company and a group called Chaos Computer Club say they have worked out a way to remotely access data stored on airport employees' key cards. The group says they used a device to covertly read the identification cards of Hamburg airport employees, save the data and then they used it to access secure areas of the airport without detection. It is theorized that the ability to access such data in this manner could make it possible for terrorists to gain access to restricted areas of the airport thus raising security concerns with the German government, the police and airport officials. A review of security procedures has been called for.

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By Planet Data 

AirTran Gets New Director of Corporate Security

AirTran Airways announced on January 14 that Alan Dreher has joined the company as director of corporate security, a newly created position. Dreher will oversee corporate security and compliance with all federal security regulations for AirTran Airways and will be based in Atlanta.

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By Planet Data 

Security Breach Shuts Down JFK

Dozens of inbound and outbound flights were halted and a terminal evacuated after a Brooklyn man walked through two secure doors at JFK Airport. After he walked through the second secure door, an alarm sounded alerting officials to the breach. The security violations were also captured on video and the man was identified as Jules Paul Bouloute.
He was later arrested at his home and charged with criminal trespass.

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By Planet Data

Passenger Making Bomb Threats Forces Emergency Landing

A flight from Amsterdam to Aruba was diverted to Shannon Airport in Ireland on Wednesday after an "unstable" passenger allegedly told the crew there was a bomb on board. The plane made an emergency landing without incident and a 44-year-old Dutch man was arrested.

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By Planet Data 

Report of "Credible" al-Qaeda Threat

CNN reports that it has spoken to a number of senior U.S. officials who have said they are monitoring a "credible threat" from al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) against the U.S. homeland. And the threat may have something to do with aviation.

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By Planet Data

TB-Infected Man on Don't Fly List Allowed on Philly to San Fran Flight

Anonymous officials have confirmed that a person infected with active Tuberculosis and on the CDC's "Do Not Board" list was allowed to fly from Philadelphia to San Francisco last Saturday (1/9). The male passenger has not been identified, but the flight was US Airways Flight 401. The man was stopped and quarantined in San Francisco when he tried to board another flight out of the country.

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By Planet Data

Mini Asteroid Makes Unannounced Visit Near Earth

What NASA scientists believe is a small asteroid, dubbed 2010 AL30, is to pass relatively close to earth on Wednesday.
Originally thought to be a piece of a derelict man-made object, 2010 AL30, is expected to be as near as one-third the distance between the Earth and Moon. The approximately 36-foot wide object was only discovered this past Sunday (1/10).

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By Planet Data

DHS Secretary Going to Europe to Discuss Aviation Security

DHS announced Tuesday (1/12) that Secretary Napolitano will travel to Europe next week to meet with her EU counterparts and members of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) in order to discuss ways of improving international aviation security measures and standards.

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By Planet Data

Transport Canada Raises Aviation Sector Alert

Transport Canada confirmed to Canwest News Service on Tuesday that it has sent a memo to the country's airports and airlines urging them to "exercise increased vigilance" due to an undisclosed threat.

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By Planet Data

China Tests Missile Intercept System

China announced Tuesday (1/12) the successful test of a ground-based system designed to shoot down incoming missiles.
Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu is quoted by Xinhua news agency as saying, "The test is defensive in nature and is not targeted at any country."
China's announcement follows the U.S. decision to sell new weaponry, including Patriot PAC-3 missiles, to Taiwan.
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By Planet Data

Singapore Airlines on top of the world!

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If you are travelling to the east anytime soon and wish to do so in maximum comfort, luxury and style, Singapore Airlines has to be the best option all things considered. Despite the fact that Etihad Airways won the Travel Awards for 2009 reported previously in Perpetual Traveller, it was Singapore Airlines that received a host of other industry awards in the same year as they have been performing consistently well for decades. Singapore Airlines was founded in 1947 and has progressively developed into a world-renowned carrier with a reputation for excellent service on all its flights.

In a worldwide survey conducted by the OAG (Official Airline Guide), the international carrier that performed best amongst the frequent business travellers was Singapore Airlines. Moreover, the airline also received the accolade of OAG airline of the year for the 7th time at the organisation's industry awards in 2009.

Other honors include being named the best global airline for the 21st consecutive…

NORAD Fighters Escort Commercial Jet to Colorado Springs

On Friday NORAD scrambled F-16 fighter jets to intercept Air Tran Flight 39 from Atlanta bound for San Francisco after it received reports of an unruly passengers on board. The flight was diverted to Colorado Springs where a male passenger was arrested.

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By Planet Data

Power Out at Cleveland Airport

Cleveland Hopkins International Airport lost power early this morning due to a local transformer catching on fire. According to numerous reports the airport is effectively shutdown until power can be restored, and officials hope this will happen by this afternoon.
It is safe to say if you're flying into or out of Hopkins you should call your airline to check your flight status.

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By Planet Data

Boston Airport Briefly Closed for Aborted Takeoff

All air traffic at Boston's Logan International Airport was halted for about 25 minutes this morning while a Delta Connection flight aborted its takeoff and evacuated its passengers due to the smell of smoke in the cockpit. The source of the smell is under investigation.

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By Planet Data

Georgian Airways Renews Direct Flights to Russia

At the end of December we had a post about Russia granting Georgia permission to renew chartered air service from T'bilisi to Moscow and Saint Petersburg. There were some delays at the time that prevented the flights from resuming, but now they have. On Friday, Georgian Airways made the first direct flight between the two countries since the August 2008 war over South Ossetia.

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By Planet Data

European Travel Disrupted by Frigid Weather

"Eurostar cancelled 50 percent of London to Paris trains Friday as a cold snap continued to disrupt transport across Europe. Conditions caused long delays at airports and are raising concerns among fuel suppliers in the UK."

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By Planet Data

White House Report on Failed Airline Bomb Plot

Late Thursday afternoon, the White House released its "Summary Regarding 12/25/2009 Attempted Terrorist Attack". The full text is available here on the White House website.
The following is what the Obama administration says are the "most significant" findings of the preliminary review:
The U.S. Government had sufficient information prior to the attempted December 25 attack to have potentially disrupted the AQAP plot-i.e., by identifying Mr. Abdulmutallab as a likely operative of AQAP and potentially preventing him from boarding flight 253.
The Intelligence Community leadership did not increase analytic resources working on the full AQAP threat.
The watchlisting system is not broken but needs to be strengthened and improved, as evidenced by the failure to add Mr. Abdulmutallab to the No Fly watchlist.
A reorganization of the intelligence or broader counterterrorism community is not required to address problems that surfaced in the review, a fact made clear by count…

Securty-Test Explosives Make it on Flight

A Slovakian police officer testing luggage-screening tactics at Poprad International Airport in Bratislava failed to remove the test explosives from a travelers bag last Saturday. The piece of luggage made it onto a flight to Dublin and into the apartment of the bag's owner. The revelation only came to light on Tuesday when the Slovakian police notified their Irish counterparts. Law enforcement in both nations has launched investigations.

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By Planet Data

Bakersfield Airport Security Incident Caused by Honey

Yesterday a security scare caused authorities to shutdown and evacuate Meadows Field Airport in Bakersfield, California. There was a lot of confusion and conflicting reports about the incident during the day, but here's what really happened.
A checked piece of luggage set off an alarm while going through an explosives detection machine. Two TSA workers opened the bag and discovered five Gatorade bottles containing what appeared to be something other than the sports drink. When two screeners tested the substance in one of the bottles their test chemicals reacted with the substance and caused fumes that made them nauseas. Turns out the goo in the bottles was honey.
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By Planet Data

Hawaii-Bound Jet Turns Around Due to Disruptive Passenger

On Wednesday Hawaiian Airlines Flight 39 bound for Honolulu, turned around and returned to Portland about 90-minutes into the flight because the pilot and crew were concerned about a disruptive passenger who made threatening remarks and refused to stow his carry-on luggage. It is not clear what the threats were, but after the plane landed, the suspect was questioned by the FBI and then released. No charges have been filed.

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By Planet Data

Newark Airport Security Cameras Not Recording During Breach

CNN reports that TSA-funded and NY/NJ Port Authority-installed and -operated security cameras inside Newark Liberty International Airport were not recording when a man breached a security checkpoint at Terminal 3 last Sunday.
The incident in which a man was seen walking through a security checkpoint exit and into a secured area led officials to have to rescreen thousands of travelers.

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By Planet Data

Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority sets water and waste savings targets to action by end of 2010

Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA) is spearheading a major campaign to deliver substantial, sector-wide energy, water and waste reduction by the end of 2010.

Under its industry-leading Environmental, Health and Safety Management System (EHSMS) for the emirate?s entire tourism sector, ADTA is targeting 10% energy, 20% water and 20% waste-to-landfill savings over the coming year.

?These ambitious targets are aimed at improving the environmental performance of hotels so that they are in line, if not better than, the world?s greenest hotels,? explained Nasser Al Reyami, ADTA?s Director Tourism Standards.

The initiatives have been rolled out in a series of EHSMS seminars and workshops to help stakeholders, hotels in particularly, kick-start programmes aimed at meeting the 12 month deliverables. The seminars have given delegates an introduction to Abu Dhabi?s tourism sector EHSMS, outlined how organisations can develop an individual entity EHSMS and how to audit it.

?We have received a trem…

Russia Plans to Save Earth from Asteroid

Russia's federal space agency Roscosmos is considering a special project to prevent a large asteroid called Apophis from colliding with the earth in 2036. Anatoly Perminov the head of the Russian agency said a scientist told him "the asteroid will surely collide with the earth," but other sources like NASA put the odds of a collision at "four-in-a-million". If they go ahead with the project, Russia says it could invite experts from Europe, the U.S. and China to participate.

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By Planet Data

Smoky Smells Cause Two Flight to Return to Logan

Not one, but two Delta flights had to return to Boston's Logan Airport on Saturday after the pilots reported smoky smells in their cockpits. Delta's Flight 1379 headed to New York and Delta's Flight 6001 headed to Columbus, Ohio were those involved and both landed safely back in Boston. The causes of the incidents are under investigation.

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By Planet Data

President Ties Christmas Terror Suspect to al-Qaeda

During his weekly radio and Internet address today (1/2), President Obama publicly linked the suspect who tried to blow-up a U.S. passenger plane on Christmas Day with a Yemeni affiliate of al-Qaeda. Mr. Obama also said this group has been responsible for other attacks on American targets such as the U.S Embassy in Yemen in 2008. The U.S is working to strengthen ties with Yemen to fight al-Qaeda according to Mr. Obama.

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By Planet Data

DHS Officials Going Overseas to Review Airport Security Measures

"Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano [has] announced that she is dispatching Deputy Secretary Jane Holl Lute, Assistant Secretary for Policy David Heyman and other senior Department officials on a broad international outreach effort to meet with leaders from major international airports in Africa, Asia, Europe, the Middle East and South America to review security procedures and technology being used to screen passengers on flights bound for the United States.

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By Planet Data