Archive for the ‘Daily Departures’ Category

  • Patrick Smith has some thoughts on the Airline Safety and Pilot Training Improvement Act of 2009. He finds good, unnecessary, and controversial in the bill. [Salon]
  • The FAA and NATCA have a newly mediated contract; it now goes to the controllers for ratification. [FAA, NATCA]
  • Richard Branson will be testifying before a House panel on September 16. Looks like a good show. [Aviation Week]
  • Burt Rutan, climatologist? [Aero-News.Net]

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Photo op gone wrong, and more

  • A thorough account of an ill-thought-out idea. [WSJ]
  • The U.S. Department of Transportation will make its decision on antitrust immunity for core Oneworld partners American Airlines, British Airways, and Iberia by November. [ATW Daily News]
  • “Rarely have I ever seen a former ranking official use that credential in more irresponsible ways than has [Mary] Schiavo since she left office. Having her comment on this will only undermine public understanding, but we have come to expect irresponsibility from her.” Ouch. [Airport Check-In]
  • The Midway Airport deal fell through, and now BAA is receiving smaller than expected bids for London’s Gatwick Airport. Too bad for BAA and good for the bidder; Gatwick is a valuable property that will be solid long-term investment, like most sparse infrastructure components. [FT]
  • Taiwan continues to expand bilateral aviation ties with mainland China. [ATW Daily News]
  • How to make the TSA even less accountable. [ANN]

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I recently found on my computer this photo taken during a trip to Gibraltar in 2005:


This is the barrier where the sole road into Gibraltar crosses the airport’s runway. (The airport terminal is in the background in this photo.) The road and walkway are closed during the few times a day when a plane is landing or taking off. I case you can’t see clearly, the signs say:

Pedestrians are to keep within the white lines.
Please cross quickly.

Litter can cause aircraft accidents.
Put your litter in the red bins.
Keep the runway clear.

It’s a bit surreal walking across an active runway. Gibraltar is a great aviation destination. Below the fold are a few photos from the terminal, through which my traveling companion and I departed the Mediterranean coast and returned to London.


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I’ve done several off-blog items on the subject of international airline alliances lately. Here they are:

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  • The FAA is attempting to temper the effects on passengers of its safety oversight, especially after last year’s regulatory overkill. [Aero-News.Net]
  • Southwest announces its first service into a slot-constrained airport: LaGuardia. Big step for the airline. [Nuts about Southwest]
  • The rush is on to hire more air traffic controllers as waves of them retire, but the controllers’ union says there are still too few being hired and that many of those that have been hired recently are of “low caliber.” [Today in the Sky]
  • How American is Virgin America? Oberstar asks. [ATW Daily News]
  • The privatization of Midway Airport is stalled as investors have trouble rounding up the necessary funds. There’s not a lot of capital for private-sector infrastructure projects right now. [Middle Seat Terminal]

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A few items for your attention today:

  • In an interesting test case for private airport development, the Malaysian government has blocked the construction of an airport to compete with Kuala Lumpur International Airport. Fascinating story. [WSJ]
  • The Conservative Party took a blow on the expansion of London’s Heathrow Airport. Well-deserved. [FT]
  • Adrian Schofield at Aviation Week has been bringing us all the latest gossip on Obama’s not-expected-anytime-soon FAA choice. The latest scuttlebutt? Minneapolis airport chief Jeffrey Hamiel. [Things with Wings]
  • The Government Accountability Office has a new report out on “actions needed to improve management of air sovereignty alert operations to protect U.S. airspace.” [GAO]
  • All-knowing political analyst Michael Barone writes about the politics of the Ray LaHood selection at DOT in the context of Chicago airport expansion. [USNews]
  • Finally, a former professor of mine, now a dean at Penn State, was directed by police not to take photographs at Charleston International Airport in South Carolina. He records his chilling conversation. [Targuman]

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  • Transportation Secretary nominee Ray LaHood has already weighed in on a matter under DOT review: whether to grant antitrust immunity to an American Airlines-British Airways-& co. transatlantic alliance. He’s in favor, but will likely have to recuse himself from any involvement. [WSJ Middle Seat Terminal, Things with Wings]
  • Acting FAA administrator Robert Sturgell will step down on January 16, replaced by new deputy administrator Lynne Osmus, who will also remain on board as acting administrator until Obama’s next appointment. [Things with Wings] Editorial comment: you can now see the congressional Democrats’ savvy in stonewalling the Sturgell nomination for the past year. The FAA administrator has a five-year term, so the Dems knew that if they delayed long enough, they could get their own person nominated in due course. Never mind the effect of a leadership vacuum. . . .
  • On that note, Rob Mark has some thoughts on the caliber of leadership needed at the FAA. [Jetwhine]
  • The TSA now wants to include private aircraft over 12,500 pounds in security screening procedures. [New York Times]
  • U.S. airlines have not (yet) partaken in the bailout-o-rama, but Chinese airlines have been lining up for aid. [ATW Daily News]
  • There are a few new papers worth a look on liberalizing international aviation services agreements. [Macilree’s Weblog]
  • Dan Webb takes issue with the airline lobby’s claim that its Stop Oil Speculation Now campaign helped bring down the price of oil last fall. [Things in the Sky]

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