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News about Airports

Munich now Europe’s 6th busiest airport

18 March 2012

Last year, passenger numbers at Munich Airport grew by an impressive 8.8% to 37.8 million (despite the introduction at the beginning of the year of the government’s so-called ‘eco-tax’), enabling it to overtake Rome Fiumicino as Europe’s 6th busiest airport. However, it seems likely that the Bavarian airport will slip back to seventh in 2012 as Istanbul’s Atatürk airport was busier than Munich in the second half of 2011.

A third runway has been proposed for the airport and last week, a variety of supporters from across the political and business spectrum got together to promote the benefits of an additional runway. A decision is due in June as to whether the airport can proceed with its plans.


UK: Airport liquid scanner ‘could end flight restrictions’

23 January 2012

A company claims it has developed a scanning machine that could mean an end to liquid restrictions on planes.

Oxfordshire-based Cobalt Light Systems said its INSIGHT100 device could analyse bottles up to three litres for explosives in less than five seconds.

A ban on liquids over 100ml in hand luggage was introduced after a foiled 2006 plot to blow up planes using explosives hidden in drink bottles.

The UK government said it was working towards plans to ease the ban in 2013.


Thames Estuary airport plans to be examined

22 January 2012

The government is to hold a formal consultation on UK aviation – including controversial plans for a new airport in the Thames Estuary.

The study, to begin in March, will look at options for “‘maintaining the UK’s aviation hub status'”.

David Cameron has ruled out expanding Heathrow but his deputy Nick Clegg is said to be opposed to the estuary idea.

The airport would be built partly on reclaimed land and could be on either an island or a peninsula. But concerns have been raised about damage to the environment.


Spain’s ghost airports multiply, burn cash

15 January 2012

Built during a boom and now deserted, Spain’s growing ranks of “‘ghost airports’” may not be the international air hubs their creators dreamed of ” but they are still burning up cash.

The ghost sites appear a paradox in a country whose public airports overall received 204 million passengers in 2011 ” described by AENA as the second best results in their history. The first of the two private airports, in Ciudad Real, south of Madrid, opened in 2008 and may close now following its last flight by budget airline Vueling in October.

Apart from these, “‘airports that have less than 100,000 passengers a year that is less that one flight a day, are really ghost airports too,’” says Germa Bel, an economist at Barcelona University.

“‘In Spain, there are some 15 airports like this,’” adds Bel. “‘There is certainly going to be a lot of debate about what to do with them. It is quite annoying to close an operating theatre in a hospital and keep open an airport with 30 or 40 people working there and no planes landing.’”


Amazon denies airport security ruins Kindle screens

29 November 2011

Kindle users are complaining that airport x-ray machines zap their electronic ink displays.

Some users of Amazon’s Kindle eBook reader have complained that their device has been ruined by baggage checking equipment at airports.

Users suspect that the radiation emitted from airport scanners has permanently affected the Kindle’s electronic ink display, although other culprits might include a static electricity charge.


Baggage staff get 50p bonus for each piece of Ryanair hand luggage that won’t fit

15 November 2011

Airport workers are being paid bonuses to crack down on travellers with bulky hand luggage.

Ryanair passengers are among those who could face particularly eagle-eyed attention as a result, but other budget airlines are thought to use similar tactics.

Airlines often have contracts giving companies that provide check-in staff a financial incentive to detect passengers with excess baggage.

But yesterday it emerged that the firm providing baggage services for Ryanair at Liverpool John Lennon Airport is passing a cut directly to workers.


Transport options for new Berlin airport unveiled

13 September 2011

Willy Brandt International airport authority revealed this week that a new airport express service will run every 15 minutes between the airport and Berlin’s gleaming Hauptbahnhof rail station, completing the journey in 30 minutes.

Travelers will also be able to use regular S-Bahn metro services as part of the transport infrastructure, with clear posters displayed at major stations to tell passengers how long the journey will take, along with several bus routes into the city.

Berlin Airports also confirmed that the airport will be connected to the Deutsche Bahn intercity network, allowing passengers to travel to major cities such as Hamburg, Münster and Hanover using high-speed connections without transiting central Berlin.

For those traveling further afield, international train services will connect the airport to Amsterdam in the Netherlands and Krakow in Poland.


China to build world’s biggest airport

12 September 2011

Beijing has started construction on a new mega-airport that will be roughly the size of Bermuda and have nine runways.

When Beijing Daxing International airport opens in 2015, the Chinese capital will become the world’s busiest aviation hub, handling around 370,000 passengers a day.

It is only three years since the opening of Terminal 3 at Beijing Capital Airport, a sweeping structure designed by Sir Norman Foster that is far bigger than all of Heathrow’s five terminals combined.

But an enormous boom in China’s aviation industry has already left the capital’s existing facilities stretched to breaking point.


Dubai airport will be world’s number two this year

30 August 2011

Forthcoming winter airline schedules will catapult Dubai International Airport into the place of the world’s second busiest international airport, new analysis has shown.

The airport, which is the hub of Dubai-based Emirates, is currently the world’s fourth busiest, but the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA) predicted this week that it will be second only to London Heathrow in terms of passenger traffic by November 2011.

That jump means overtaking Frankfurt, Hong Kong and Paris Charles de Gaulle.


Heathrow named London 2012 airport

18 August 2011

Heathrow Airport became the 42nd domestic sponsor of the London 2012 Games today.

It is expected that about 80% of all the people who will travel to the Games will go through the airport. This includes athletes, officials, sponsors, media and spectators.

The “‘first impression will reflect London 2012 in terms of branding but crucially by providing the warmest of welcomes to the city'”, London 2012’s commercial director Chris Townsend said.

The day after the Olympic closing ceremony – August 13 2012 – is set to be Heathrow’s busiest day ever.