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News about Airports

Heathrow passenger numbers keep beating records

15 July 2011

Airport operator BAA said 6.1 million passengers travelled through Heathrow in June, 6.3% more than the same month a year earlier.

That made June the London airport’s busiest on record, although its comparative figure was partly due to British Airways strikes hitting traffic last year. Without that impact, Heathrow’s growth was up 3.8% on the year.

However, BAA added: “In contrast to the rise in passenger numbers, growth in the global air freight market continued to slow as the strong post-recession recovery phase comes to an end.


Flights back on schedule after eruption dies down

26 May 2011

Airline passengers breathed a collective sigh of relief yesterday as a gap in the ash cloud from Iceland’s latest volcanic eruption allowed almost disruption-free travel.

Seismologists reported that Grimsvotn’s eruption had died down, with no ash plume seen since 3am GMT yesterday.

But there were warnings that clouds of ash already in the sky could return to Britain tomorrow in time for the start of any bank-holiday getaways.

Across Europe, just under 1,000 flights have been disrupted by the Grimsvotn eruption – a fraction of the chaos caused last year when Eyjafjallajokull erupted.


UK refuses to relax airline liquid ban

15 April 2011

The government has blocked relaxation of a ban on carrying liquids in airline hand luggage amid warnings from carriers that the move would trigger chaos at airports.

The Airline Operators Association has lobbied for a hiatus in the partial lifting of the liquids ban after warning that the x-ray technology to detect suspect liquids is not ready. Darren Caplan, chief executive of the association, said. “Airports have always supported a lifting of the ban for the benefit of our passengers, to ensure they have a positive experience when they are travelling – but only when appropriate technology has been developed and properly tested.

The EU now faces calls to issue a new timetable for lifting the ban, given the UK’s important role in the transfer passenger market – Heathrow carries around 6 million connecting customers from outside the EU every year.


China plans 45 new airports as travel booms

28 February 2011

China plans to build at least 45 new airports in the next five years to serve booming travel, the top industry regulator said Thursday.

The plans call for spending 1.5 trillion yuan ($230 billion) to expand air travel, said Li Jiaxiang, administrator of the Civil Aviation Administration of China.

Some 130 of China’s 175 existing airports lost money last year but Beijing will support them to boost local economic growth, Li said at a news conference.

source: Bloomberg

Lufthansa joins Virgin Atlantic in BAA complaint

17 January 2011

German flag-carrier Lufthansa has joined Virgin Atlantic in pressing BAA to compensate airlines hit by disruption at London Heathrow Airport over the festive season.

Planes were grounded for up to four days before Christmas, as facilities at Europe’s busiest airport ground to a halt.

Last week Virgin Atlantic confirmed it would withhold payments due to BAA – believed to total approximately £10 million – until the airport operator completes an internal review into the incident.


Porn shown on Bangladesh airport screen

20 December 2010

Bangladeshi authorities have launched an investigation after a pornographic film was aired on a large display screen at the country’s main airport, a magistrate said.

Hundreds of travellers and waiting friends and relatives at the main terminal of the Shahjalal International Airport were shocked as the film was aired for five minutes on Friday morning, magistrate Siddiqa Akhter said.

The display screen usually shows recorded documentaries about the culture and geography of Bangladesh, a conservative Muslim country.

source: ABC News

Snow grounds thousands of European flights, stranding passengers

19 December 2010

Hundreds of flights in Europe have been cancelled after heavy snow has closed airports, stranding thousands of passengers.

Germany was particularly hard hit as 450 flights were grounded. Snowstorkms saw schools across the country close as traffic on the roads was brought to a standstill.

Airports in the Netherlands were also closed causing at least 30 flight cancellations at Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam. Swiss airports at Geneva and Zurich were facing significant delays.


Body-scanner inspired underwear‎

22 November 2010

Inventor Jeff Buske has created new clothing products that should protect flyers from TSA body scanner radiation.

Additionally, the new bras and underwear should help flyers who want to keep their private parts a mystery.

Women can wear special bras or underwear, and men can wear underwear with a fig leaf design that has properties that will block radiation.


Iberia takes another step to make Barcelona airport a major intercontinental hub

24 October 2010

Iberia is growing in Barcelona. In the next summer season, the Spanish airline will operate direct transatlantic flights from the city to Miami and São Paulo. To bring traffic to these flights, Iberia is transforming El Prat airport into a genuine hub for flights by Vueling and Iberia Regional Air Nostrum.

In addition, for passengers on the new flights from Barcelona to Miami and São Paulo, Iberia has a thick web of connections to distribute this traffic throughout the Americas: from Miami to other U.S. and Central American cities via code shares with American Airlines; and from São Paulo to the rest of Brazil and cites of the southern cone of South American with the Gol company, under a new code share agreement that is now being negotiated, and with other airlines in the region.


One bag rule severely impacting retail revenues

20 July 2010

The ‘one bag’ rule prohibits passengers from carrying duty free purchases on board unless they fit into the traveller’s single cabin bag. This is having a hugely detrimental impact on many of the small and regional airports served by the low-cost carriers (LCCs), which rely on commercial revenues as an increasing proportion of income. LCCs are Europe’s fastest-growing airlines, accounting for 37% of European traffic, 50% of non-domestic traffic in some cases, and 80% of total traffic at some airports.

Non-aeronautical revenues are becoming increasingly important, particularly for small and regional airports, and are vital to providing the low airport charges enjoyed by LCCs across Europe.