On Friday, ATCSCC Advisory 20 of 26-Sep-2014 went out. When operators, controllers and airport managers saw the title, a gasp of disbelief was heard. The problem was simple enough to state in three words, and complex enough to cancel thousand of flights and cost hundred of millions of dollars: ZAU ATC ZERO
. [more inside]
The History Channel ranked the world's ten most extreme airports
in a program of that same name
. The airports on the list are included because of their extreme locations at high altitudes, difficult approaches, or short runways, all of which make landings challenging, and some would say even dangerous. Folks in the Pilots of America forum discussed the picks, and the most extreme airports they've flown
. [more inside]
Filling the East River. Filling the HUDSON River. Building a dome over Midtown.
Borderline crazy proposed infrastructure projects
for New York City.
A Philadelphia program is bringing families, airport employees and airlines together to help autistic kids fly more comfortably. [more inside]
Music For Real Airports
is a multimedia art project collaboration between interactive artists Human
and musicians The Black Dog
. With the project set to launch April 24, 2010 at the Sensoria festival of music and film
, the project recalls Brian Eno's 1978 work, Ambient 1: Music for Airports
. [more inside]
Stories that Fly
is a citizen media project that features a growing collection of digital stories about general aviation. The stories are contributed by student journalists, aviators, and interested community members
and cover regional airports, events, and people in the Ohio aviation community
A narrated slideshow tour
of Stockholm's Jumbo Hostel
, which is inside a remodelled Boeing 747
. The engine pods will be each become a room for two. Opens January 15th.
With the grounds it was built on having hosted the first demonstration of airplane flight in 1909, Tempelhof International Airport
, the world's second-oldest working commercial airport, was officially opened in 1923. Also known as City Airport, it takes its official name from the Tempelhof neighborhood of Berlin, itself named for the Knights Templar
who owned its land in the Middle Ages. [more inside]
Roads To Riches (or We've Got a Bridge in Brooklyn to Sell You--Seriously)
-- Why investors are clamoring to take over America's highways, bridges, and airports—and why the public should be nervous.--...a slew of Wall Street firms—Goldman, Morgan Stanley, the Carlyle Group, Citigroup, and many others—is piling into infrastructure ... Assets sold now could change hands many times over the next 50 years, with each new buyer feeling increasing pressure to make the deal work financially. It's hardly a stretch to imagine service suffering in such a scenario; already, the record in the U.S. has been spotty. ...
looks like its just getting off the ground, but if you travel much, you know the hassle of finding a power outlet in an airport. Hopefully it grows fast and furiously.
Tired of standing in line at the airport? Worried that you might share a name with a known terrorist or subversive on the TSA's mysterious no-fly lists? Relax. Get fingerprinted and/or iris scanned. And pay $79.95 a year to become a Registered Traveler
, and fly Clear
in the fast lane. (And note how quickly conceptual art projects
become indistinguishable from reality
.) Meanwhile, the Feds settle an ACLU lawsuit
over the no-fly lists... while revealing no information about them. [Lists recently discussed here
"It shows nipples. It shows the clear outline of genitals."
Fact: airport security is not effective against a determined terrorist. Response: "backscatter" imaging. Your trip through security will look like this
. The security personnel will see something like this
. It's safe
! It's effective! Except for fat terrorists ("a weapon or explosives pack could be tucked into flabby body folds that won't be penetrated by the scanner") and people with guns in their body cavities
French police on Sunday ended their practice of hiding plastic explosives in air passengers' luggage to train bomb-sniffing dogs after one such bag got lost, possibly ending up on a flight out of Paris' Charles de Gaulle airport.
WTF were they thinking? Isn't there a better way to train the dogs without making innocent people unwittingly carry plastique?
Buying biometrically into big brother?
Privium is an IBM-backed pay service at Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport
that allows passengers to identify themselves by iris recognition and thus speed their way through security checks. This being the privacy-respecting Netherlands, the biometric information is not stored in a central database, but only on a card you carry with you; other countries may not be so enlightened. This could well become a standard form of identification. In the meantime, could the failure to buy this service qualify someone as a security or insurance risk?
"If you don't do as I tell you, I'll personally take you out in the woods and shoot you."
A top federal security official at the Minneapolis-St.Paul International Airport angrily threatened to "shoot" baggage screeners and financially ruin their families if they did not do their jobs to his satisfaction, airport employees have told the Department of Homeland Security's inspector general.
All jokes about bombs, guns and killing will be taken seriously?
A woman gets a stun gun and a knife past security at LaGuardia
and actually alerts authorities after
she discovers them in her purse. Anybody feel safer yet? Anybody?
20-year old college student calls the TSA and tells them security is below-par. Then he proves it.
Taking the hacker's ethic of "exposing weakness for the greater good, law be damned" this guy did just that by planting knives and other objects with little notes admonishing the TSA. Feeling safe yet? The TSA thinks we should be.
The Budget Traveller's Guide To Sleeping In Airports.
Overnight flight delayed far from home? Can't afford a room at one of those boring, noisy airport hotels? Stuck in Japan on a cancelled layover and too chicken
to rent out a capsule
? Well, why not try sleeping in the airport
? The B.T.G.T.S.I.A.
has tips for "pro" airport sleepers
, best and worst airports to sleep in
, and as an added bonus, stories of strange non-airport sleeping places
Would you prefer this to being patted down?
A scanner the government is testing for airport screening reveals much more than meets the eye to be comfortable for most passengers.
The agency hopes to modify the machines with an electronic fig leaf - programming that fuzzes out sensitive body parts or distorts the body so it does not appear so, well, graphic.
The Official History of net.art, Volume I: History of Art for Airports
appropriates the style of universal informational graphics to represent subjects ranging from St. Sebastien
and the Pieta
, to the Star Trek transporter effect and the international sign for cannibalism you might have seen on a t-shirt.
the myth of plastic knives and boxcutters
. "This fictoid serves to divert public attentions from the responsibility, and legal liability, of the government and airlines to prevent major weapons — such as guns, bombs, chemical sprays and hunting knives
[all of which were mentioned in flight attendant and passenger cell phone calls] from being carried aboard airplanes. If such illegal devices had been smuggled aboard the planes, the liability could amount to billions of dollars. If, on the other hand, it could be disseminated that the hijackers had only used plastic knives, such as those provided by the airlines for meals, or box cutters, which were allowed on planes, neither the airlines, the screeners at the airport, or the FAA, which regulates the safety of airports, could be held legally responsible."
No Profiling, No Saftey? ...to placate special interest groups that fear profiling will result in widespread racial or religious discrimination, authorities are imposing screening quotas that are unlikely to thwart a future terrorist attack. They should be doing the very opposite by creating more sophisticated profiling systems that catch real criminals.
Is it really "damned if they do, damned if they don't" or is there a better way?
The town of Gander
in Newfoundland, Canada is a town of 10,000 where 6600 airline passengers were diverted after the attacks of September. While hearing a radio story about it on NPR, I was moved to flubbery tears by the outpouring of camaraderie and cooperation by the townspeople and passengers. Happy New Year, Canadians, and everyone else too, after quite a tumultuous year.
No high school diploma or GED required for new aiport security screeners.
The author of the bill, Senator Kay Bailey-Hutchison of Texas, "said Sunday she would prefer airport security screeners have at least a high school education, but it is a "judgment call." The DOT requirements page
requires a h.s. diploma, ged, or "one year of any type of work experience that demonstrates the applicant's ability to perform the work of the position." In a rush to overhaul the system, are we setting our standards too low?
New travel package
minimizes the amount of time it takes for you to get from the airport to the beach. Now you can get off the plane, and start swimming and sunbathing in no time! Isn't this amazing?
How, exactly, did this happen?
I'll tell you how. I happened to be at O' Hare yesterday, and the security drones there were about as dumb as a bag of wet mice (more in comments).
Surprise! National Review thinks the market
can provide for better airport security. Talk about ignoring evidence...
Debate over brain scans
Over at the Register, one of their writers has gotten into a fantastic pissing contest with InfoSeek's founder over the issue of brain scans and airport security. What are your thoughts?
Washington National shuts out Air Canada
- and there am I thinking didn't George Bush recently call us "family"?
Next attack by containership?
The head of security at Logan Airport, responsible not only for security lapses that led to 2 of the 9/11 hijackings but hundreds of other lapses as well, has been removed from his post--and reassigned as the head of security at the Port of Boston. Mass. politics at its finest.
Airport Detainees Cleared
At least 10 travelers of Middle Eastern descent who were detained at two New York airports have been cleared of any connection with Tuesday's terrorist attacks, Sen. Joseph Biden said Friday.
"Anyone with dark skin or who spoke with an accent was taken aside and searched," passenger Mike Glass of Seattle told the Times. "And then they went to any male with too much facial hair."
Isn't this going too far? >more<
Senator Biden says
that yesterday's arrests at NY airports were NOT connected to Tuesday's attacks, and those arrested were not carrying knives.
Investigators Detain 10 at NY Airports; Bin Laden Focus Grows
Authorities took 10 people into custody from New York City's two major airports after finding they had false identifications and knives, law enforcement officials told ABCNEWS.com.
Knives with blades shorter than five centimetres would normally be allowed onto an aircraft
, according to Mal Dunn "who headed the aviation security division of the [Australian] Civil Aviation Safety Authority. 'I'm not convinced that this was necessarily caused by lax security. My experience is that US airports are usually very diligent,' he said. 'The principle of people carrying knives is pretty clear and internationally recognised. The criteria are associated with the length of the knife; anything over two inches [five centimetres] long is considered dangerous and is usually taken off the individual." I was dumbfounded to hear these planes had been hijacked with knives, but reading the preceding still chills me. Perhaps, the time has arrived to rethink these measures as they appear to be so ignorant in hindsight.
Canada: Spillover Nation
Essentially every airport in Canada able to land a jumbo jet has done so. Halifax is packed to the walls with 44 planes; 24 at Pearson; 14 at Mirabel; two in Whitehorse, one of them, a KAL cargo plane, undergoing an escorted quasi-emergency landing
because the pilot could not communicate in English with the control tower (!) to explain that the plane was low on fuel. Serious echoes of Swissair 111, where suddenly the small Atlantic airports showed themselves as invaluable and irreplaceable.
Gas prices did in fact spike to $5.00 a gallon
in some areas of St. Louis, Kansas City and Oklahoma. All Conoco stations that have spiked their prices will have their licenses immediately revoked. Avis still hasn't responded to their price gouging around midwest airports.
"I think the potential of the small-plane technology revolution
is to make small planes seem more reasonable to people below the millionaire class," says James Fallows
, author of Free Flight
, a book in which Fallows advocates the use of safe
next-generation compact airplanes
to act as air-taxis, thus offering the masses an alternative to the hub-and-spoke system of air travel.
FAA=The Keystone Cops?
What kind of legal fallout can we expect from this? Considering the kind of wealth onboard the doomed flight, how much of us little'uns safety is considered on a general basis? I went to the airport the other day to pick up my dad, and unlike the other times where I'm asked to "change the display" on my phone and my cigarette pack is opened, they now lazily let me pass. Is there really any FAA supervison? We all have stories. Anyone care to share? Links, theories, conspiracy theories, stories. Please tell.
Airport BodySearch may reveal more than passengers know
Does anyone really care if the lonely airport security guards have a look under your clothes?