Aviation and Airport Development Newsletter, June 14, 2010, Vol. 2, No. 2

The following is a summary review of articles from all over the nation concerning aviation and airport development law news during the past week.  These were all first posted, in abbreviated form, on http://twitter.com/smtaber.  This Newsletter also appears as a post on our website on our blog, The Aviation and Airport Development News.

AIRPORTS

Editorial: Naples Municipal Airport … council wise to wave off runway-extension review.Naples Daily News, June 6, 2010
Naples City Council moves in the right direction by delaying further action on the extension of a runway at Naples Municipal Airport until September. Council ought to keep going and stand beside those concerned citizens who testified the other day that the pluses, however slight, for jet noise would be outweighed by the minuses of bigger planes in the heart of a quality, fully developed urban area. The airport’s proposed customs facility won council’s favor, as it should have. That can be good for business with planes of the size already using Naples airport. Regardless of what the Federal Aviation Administration says about who has control over the decision on the runway, we tend to prefer home rule — the same community force that won an FAA ban of the noisiest, oldest private jets a few years ago.
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FAA ends controversial Santa Monica flight path test. – Dan Weikel, The Los Angeles Times, June 9, 2010
The federal government Tuesday ended its 180-day test of a controversial departure route from Santa Monica Municipal Airport that resulted in thousands of noise complaints from densely populated neighborhoods along the flight path. The Federal Aviation Administration’s experiment, which began Dec. 10, directed departing propeller planes to turn right over the neighborhoods of Sunset Park and Ocean Park when flying under instrument flight rules, such as during foggy or cloudy weather. FAA officials and airport officials say they will analyze the noise complaints, potential benefits and alternative flight paths to determine whether the experimental departure route should be made permanent. FAA officials plan to release a final report in August.
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Flights canceled after planes bump into each other. – Ely Portillo, The Charlotte Observer, June 7, 2010
Some airline passengers headed to Germany and San Francisco had an unscheduled overnight delay this weekend when their planes bumped into each other on the tarmac at Charlotte-Douglas International Airport. US Airways officials said the incident happened about 4 p.m. Saturday, when the planes were taxiing to runways. The wing of one of the jets clipped the tail of the other. “You didn’t feel bumped in your seat,” said Becky Buckman, a passenger who was heading back to San Francisco after visiting her parents. “It was almost as if they closed the cargo door, more like a bang.” “The pilot said, ‘We’ve been hit from behind,’” Buckman said. The airline canceled both flights.
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Other Articles on the Same Topic:

Pilot in Charlotte bumping incident was anxious to take off. – Steve Lyttle, The Charlotte Observer, June 8, 2010
The Federal Aviation Administration and USAirways say they are investigating an incident Saturday in which two passenger jets bumped on the runway at Charlotte/Douglas International Airport, forcing the aircraft back to the gates. A tape of radio communications leading up to the incident, obtained by The Observer’s news partner NewsChannel 36, raises the question that a pilot’s concern over fuel levels might have led to the bump. No injuries were reported in the incident. The FAA says USAirways Flight 704, bound for Frankfurt, Germany, with 280 passengers, struck the rear of USAirways Flight 413, headed for San Francisco with 170 passengers. Federal officials say the wing of the Germany-bound flight damaged the rudder of the other jet. The incident happened shortly after 4 p.m. Saturday.
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Airport approves 2010-11 budget. – Christopher Cadelago, Glendale News Press, June 8, 2010
Bob Hope Airport officials Monday unanimously approved a $96-million budget that will pay for several major infrastructure projects, such as runway improvements and work on a new regional transit center.
The 2010-11 budget for the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority comes amid a drop in passenger traffic, fluctuating fuel costs and overall uncertainty regarding the national economic recovery. Despite ballooning by more than $20 million over last year, the budget does not increase charges to airlines or rely on reserves. The 555-acre airport, which serves about 5 million passengers annually and houses some 45 private jets, also maintained investments in programs to enhance environmental sustainability.
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Airlines, authority at odds over curfew. – Christopher Cadelago, Glendale News Press, June 8, 2010
A week after airlines rejected a proposed contract to limit nighttime flights at Bob Hope Airport, officials on Monday pledged to push ahead with other noise-abatement measures. Airport officials Monday sought to reaffirm their commitment to seeking nighttime noise relief after a contingent of airlines refused to commit in writing to a long-standing voluntary curfew on flights between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m. A committee made up of representatives for the airlines that use Bob Hope Airport, including Southwest Airlines, American Airlines and US Airways, sent a letter to airport officials on Friday rejecting the proposal as a de facto mandatory restriction, which last year fell flat with the Federal Aviation Administration.
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Airport commissioners approve $4.4B budget. – Art Marroquin, The Daily Breeze, June 8, 2010
The Board of Airport Commissioners on Monday approved a $4.4 billion budget for Los Angeles World Airports for the fiscal year that begins July 1. A bulk of the spending plan is socked away in reserve funds, but the airport agency’s operating budget remained relatively flat at $655 million to cover day-to-day operations at Los Angeles International Airport and its sister airports in Ontario, Van Nuys and Palmdale.  “The overall goals across the department is that we’re looking to cut costs wherever we can,” Ryan Yakubik, director of LAWA’s capital development and budget, told the airport commission. The airport agency is also projecting an overall 7.5 percent increase in operating revenue to $824.2 million over the next year as passenger traffic slowly rebounds at LAX.
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Notice of Preparation of Draft Environmental Impact Report Issued for Proposed LAX Interim Taxiways Safety Improvement Project.Los Angeles World Airports New Release, June 9, 2010
Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) has announced the Notice of Preparation (NOP) of a Draft Environmental Impact Report for its proposed Interim Taxiways Safety Improved Project at Los AngelesInternationalAirport (LAX). The proposed project would enhance safety on the North Airfield while maintaining airfield operational efficiency.  It would enable all Runway 6L-24R arrivals to cross adjacent Runway 6R-24L farther down the runway, in accordance with Federal Aviation Administration procedures, rather than using existing Taxiways Y and Z (which are located in the middle third of Runway 6R-24L). The proposed project would also create high-speed exits on the runway that would enable pilots to see better when crossing it.
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DIA named nation’s best airport for 3rd year in Executive Travel magazine survey. – Mark Harden, Denver Business Journal, June 9, 2010
Denver International Airport has been named the nation’s best airport for the third straight year in a reader survey by Executive Travel magazine. DIA is recognized in Executive Travel’s eighth annual “Leading Edge Awards” survey on excellence and good value in the travel industry. The full results appear in the magazine’s July/August issue. The report gives gold, silver and bronze awards in 42 categories, mostly having to do with air travel and hotels.
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Small plane crashes just short of ONT runway; two injured. – Jannise Johnson, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, June 10, 2010
A small plane on Thursday afternoon made an emergency crash landing just short of a runway at LA/Ontario International Airport. The single-engine Piper Malibu crashed at 4:27 p.m. in a field east of Haven Avenue. A small fire broke out in the field. Two occupants were injured and taken to Arrowhead Regional Medical Center in Colton. Their conditions and names were not made available.  The pilot had reported the plane’s engine was running rough, said Ian Gregor, Federal Aviation Administration Western-Pacific Region communications manager.
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ONT ailing, but vacation was a trip. – David Allen, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, June 10, 2010
My vacation last week in my native Midwest began at L.A./Ontario International Airport. Or is that Airport/Ghost Town? It’d been a year since my last flight, and I didn’t recall the terminals being this sparsely populated. At 1:45 p.m. on a Tuesday, only two people were in the line by the escalator to have their ticket and ID checked. Only three were ahead of me for the security screening.  Upstairs, one wing looked closed. The arrivals and departures screens showed no arrivals, four departures and plenty of blank space. Half the businesses were closed for the day, and one store was vacant. I was starting to feel like the last man on Earth. Imagine my relief upon rounding a bend and finding a few dozen people waiting for planes.
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Reno airport adds 9 new flights.The Associated Press, June 10, 2010
Officials at Reno-Tahoe International Airport say nine new daily flights have been added this month with departures to Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle. This week American Airlines added three, nonstop daily flights to Los Angeles. United Airlines added two departures to that city and one to San Francisco. Horizon Air added two additional nonstop departures to Seattle and one daily nonstop flight to Los Angeles. Airport Director Krys Bart says Reno now has 13 daily departures to Los Angeles.
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Reed announces search committee for airport GM. – Maria Saporta, Atlanta Business Chronicle, June 10, 2010
Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed announced Thursday a nine-member search committee to select a new airport general manager. Reed also announced that the city is working with the search firm of Heidrick & Struggles to interview and recommend candidates for the post. The firm is conducting the search on a pro-bono basis. Ben DeCosta, who has been general manager of Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport since 1998, is leaving the post at the end of this month. “Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport is the world’s busiest airport and a vital part of Atlanta’s economic engine,” Reed said in a statement. “There are many opportunities for further development at the airport, and having an airport general manager who will continue to grow Hartsfield-Jackson and help fulfill its mission of become a leading international cargo hub is essential.”
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DuPage Airport Authority Responds to Secret Plan that Could Invalidate Airport’s Past and Present FAA Funding.Insurance for Less, June 9, 2010
In an effort to understand what exactly DuPage County Board Chairman Bob Schillerstrom intends to accomplish with his plan for control of real estate known as the DuPage National Technology Park, the DuPage Airport Authority (“DAA”) announced it had invited Schillerstrom to personally appear before the DAA Board today to explain his objectives and motives. “As a Board responsible to the taxpayers of DuPage County, we are struggling to understand why Mr. Schillerstrom, whose term as County Board Chairman expires at the end of this year, is so determined to restructure the Park in a way that could increase the financial burden on taxpayers while at the same time delaying development,” said Dan Goodwin, Chairman of the DAA Board.
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FAA

FAA Keeps 2020 ADS-B Deadline, But Cost Questions Remain. – Kerry Lynch, Aviation Week, June 7, 2010
FAA‘s final rule outlining equipment requirements for Automatic Dependent Surveillance ? Broadcast (ADS-B) received a mixed reaction from industry groups, which see the FAA as the primary beneficiary. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced Thursday the release of the much-anticipated rule, stating the agency has reached a “major NextGen milestone.” FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt, who joined LaHood in the announcement, says the release marks “A step across the threshold. This rule gives the green light for manufacturers to begin building the onboard equipment that will allow our air traffic controllers to know where aircraft are with greater precision and reliability.”
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FAA Issues Tire-Safety Rules. – Andy Pasztor, The Wall Street Journal, June 9, 2010
Prompted by landing-gear tire failures that led to a fatal 2008 plane crash, U.S. regulators have established new rules to ensure proper tire pressure on more than 200 Learjet business aircraft. Slated to be issued Tuesday by the Federal Aviation Administration, the safety directive requires U.S. operators to conduct more-frequent landing gear inspections of Learjet 60 models, which are especially susceptible to takeoff hazards from under-inflated tires. The FAA said such stepped-up scrutiny is intended to prevent tires on 240 of those models flown by U.S. operators from coming apart during takeoffs, “which could result in failures of the braking and the thrust reverser systems” and potential loss of airplane control.
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FAA lab to explore unmanned aircraft impact, new navigation concepts. – Michael Cooney, Network Word, June 8, 2010
The Federal Aviation Administration this week said it opened a new laboratory where scientists will use computer simulation technology explore how future systems such as unmanned aircraft and new navigation concepts will perform in the agency’s future airspace structure. The NextGen Integration and Evaluation Capability (NIEC) display area offers what the FAA calls a “futuristic NextGen gate-to-gate picture with advanced data collection to support integration and evaluation of new technologies and concepts. Its ability to combine existing systems with future technologies and capabilities means the NIEC will contribute significantly to the transition to NextGen (Next Generation Air Transportation System).”
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US orders frequent checks on 400 GE jet engines. – Bloomberg News, Cincinnati.com, June 8, 2010
The CF6-45/50 series turbofan engines must also undergo new inspections of their blades after two malfunctions since March 17, the Federal Aviation Administration said in a notice scheduled for publication in Wednesday’s Federal Register. The engines have been installed on Boeing Co. 747, DC-10 and MD-10 planes, and on Airbus SAS A300s, according to the FAA. Affected operators include cargo carriers FedEx Corp., Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings Inc. and Evergreen International Aviation Inc., agency spokeswoman Alison Duquette said in an e-mail.
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FAA: Boise Airport will keep air-traffic system.The Associated Press, June 8, 2010
Boise Airport will keep the sophisticated air-traffic control system that federal aviation officials had intended to relocate and fold into operations based in Salt Lake City. Federal Aviation Administration officials announced Tuesday they are backing off plans to uproot the Terminal Radar Approach Control system, or TRACON, from Idaho’s busiest airport. The agency’s decision represents a victory for the state’s congressional delegation, which lobbied fiercely to prevent the move on grounds it could compromise public safety in the skies over southwest Idaho.
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Delays in anti-pilot fatigue rules criticized. – Joan Lowy, The Associated Press, June 9, 2010
Lawmakers demanded Wednesday that Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood write new rules aimed at preventing pilot fatigue, as he promised to do last year after an airline crash near Buffalo, N.Y., killed 50 people. The top Democratic and Republican members of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and its aviation subcommittee sent LaHood a letter complaining that new rules governing how many consecutive hours airlines can require pilots to work haven’t been proposed by the Transportation Department.
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U.S., Europe Hit Turbulence on Ash Issue. – Andy Pasztor, The Wall Street Journal, June 10, 2010
U.S. and European aviation regulators clashed Tuesday over the hazards of airliners flying through low-level concentrations of ash, with Federal Aviation Administration officials reiterating that such plumes should be avoided under nearly all circumstances. Speaking at a safety conference here less than two months after the eruption of an Icelandic volcano temporarily shut down much of Europe’s airspace and cost the region’s airlines an estimated $1.7 billion in lost revenue, senior regulators from the two sides of the Atlantic laid out dramatically different approaches to the problem. Without directly attacking European decisions to permit flights once ash levels had
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FAA To Change Age Retirement Rules For Air Traffic Controllers. – Mike Mitchell, AvStop.com, June 10, 2010
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) proposes to amend its regulations that would require an air traffic controller to retire at age 56. Under the current policy an air traffic controller must be 18 years of age, the maximum age one can start training is aged 30 and they must retire at 56 years old. However, if someone had previously held an air traffic controller position such as in the military, they may join up to 31 years of age. However, under the current rules an air traffic controller may request an age waver which would allow the air traffic controller to work no longer than 61 years of age if the controller meets the requirements. Under the old rules the air traffic controller was required to certify that he or she was not involved in an operational error (OE), operational deviation (OD), or runway incursion in the past 5 years.
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Agency data management plan doesn’t fly, GAO says. – Alice Lipowicz, Federal Computer Week, June 11, 2010
The Federal Aviation Administration is moving toward improved use of data to identify and reduce risks, but its strategy for managing the data, analysis and staffing for that work isn’t sufficient, according to a new report from the Government Accountability Office. The agency has a long history of analyzing aircraft accidents and safety incidents to prevent their recurrence. It now is boosting its capabilities to analyze data proactively to identify new and ongoing risks with the goal of preventing incidents, states the GAO report released today. The FAA intends to have the initial capabilities of its Safety Management System in place by year’s end and is improving its access to industry data and its capabilities for automated processing of data as part of that work. In a related program, the agency also is developing the Next Generation Air Transportation System traffic management system.
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AVIATION LEGISLATION AND REGULATION

ARSA Cautions Secretary Of State Hillary Clinton On Aviation Exports. – Steve Hall, AvStop.com, June 10, 2010
The Aeronautical Repair Station Association (ARSA) has told the Obama administration that legislation pending on Capitol Hill threatens to undermine the global competitiveness of the U.S. aerospace industry. In a letter sent to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, ARSA Executive Vice President Christian A. Klein warned that proposed language in the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reauthorization bill will obstruct aviation maintenance exports and hinder the ability of U.S. companies to compete internationally. In a recent visit to the Boeing maintenance facility at Pudong International Airport in Shanghai, Secretary Clinton acknowledged aerospace is the United States’ leading export.
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AVIATION/AIRPORT SAFETY

Europe Steps Up Efforts to Collect Aviation-Safety Data. – Andy Pasztor, The Wall Street Journal, June 10, 2010
European regulators plan to step up efforts to collect incident data involving pilots and air-traffic controllers, as agencies seek more information about potentially dangerous lapses in aviation safety. According to many safety experts on both sides of the Atlantic, European regulators lag behind Federal Aviation Administration officials in gathering details about serious mistakes or safety missteps. In the U.S, voluntary reports by pilots, controllers and mechanics are funneled straight to the FAA. But in Europe, where aviation oversight is fragmented among more than 25 national authorities, EASA only began collecting and analyzing such data three years ago.
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AVIATION SECURITY

LAPD, airport police discuss 911 call situation at LAX. – Art Marroquin, The Daily Breeze, June 8, 2010
Los Angeles International Airport’s police department lacks the necessary equipment and recognition from state and local authorities to properly handle 911 calls placed from terminals, airport Police Chief George Centeno acknowledged Monday. Responding to a complaint from the union representing airport police officers, Centeno told the City Council’s Public Safety Committee that emergency calls at LAX are therefore routed to the Los Angeles Police Department’s dispatch center. “If I had my own department, and it was as important as one of your facilities as LAX is, just that facility alone warrants you being as efficient and effective and being able to coordinate with whatever jurisdictions are showing up,” Los Angeles City Councilman Tony Cardenas told Centeno.
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Council seeks report on LAPD communication with LAX police. – Dan Weikel, the Los Angeles Times, June 8, 2010
Members of the Los Angeles City Council on Monday called for recommendations to ensure that airport police are promptly notified of 911 emergency calls that come from Los Angeles International Airport — potentially a top target for terrorists. The council’s Public Safety Committee requested that the Los Angeles Police Department and the Los Angeles World Airports Police Department report back in July with ideas to resolve issues raised by the Los Angeles Airport Peace Officers Assn.
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Garden Grove man sentenced in songbird smuggling case. – Robert Lopez, The Los Angeles Times, June 8, 2010
A Garden Grove man who tried to smuggle rare songbirds into the United States by attaching them to his calves was sentenced Monday to four months in federal prison. Sony Dong, 46, pleaded guilty last year to one count of smuggling in connection with the April 13, 2009, incident, the U.S. attorney’s office in Los Angeles said. Another Garden Grove resident, Duc Le, 34, pleaded guilty in April to one count of conspiracy in connection with the case.
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Reviving Fast Lanes at Security. – Barbara S. Petersen, The New York Times, June 8, 2010
The stereotype of the business traveler dashing to catch a plane with minutes to spare was long ago retired; 9/11 and unpredictable security lines took care of that. And any hopes that private companies could run faster alternative lanes proved too optimistic after the companies closed down a year ago. But there may be life yet in the E-ZPass-style lanes. A new crop of successors has risen up, and in recent weeks two airports, Indianapolis and Denver, have been named as the first airports to get the revived programs. While the companies’ odds of success this time around remain uncertain, one factor working in their favor may be pressure from members of Congress, business travel groups and some airports for a reprieve from the sometimes lengthy waits at checkpoints.
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Airport Screeners Reveal Travelers’ Surly Side. – Scott McCartney, The Wall Street Journal, June 9, 2010
New body-scanning machines have detected hidden weapons like ceramic knives and flagged illegal drugs. But they’ve also tested the patience—and vanity—of some passengers. The Transportation Security Administration has rolled out 80 of the machines at 27 airports and so far received 600 comments regarding their use out of about 4 million passengers scanned. Not a lot, and many travelers say they have come to accept the electronic peek under their clothing. But with a goal of 450 body-scanners on line by the end of the year, more travelers will likely be surprised by the sometimes uncomfortable procedures. Mike Murdock, who travels on two to three flights per week, one morning in May was ordered to put his belt and other belongings through the baggage X-ray machine and step into a body-scanning machine at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport. He normally leaves his belt on and keeps his wallet in his pocket when he goes through a metal detector.
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TSA nominee Pistole pressed on labor issue by Republican senators. – Ed O’Keefe, The Washington Post, June 9, 2010
During a generally warm welcome at his confirmation hearing Thursday, two Republican senators pressed John S. Pistole, President Obama’s latest nominee to lead the Transportation Security Administration, to reject collective bargaining rights for airport screeners. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (Texas), the top Republican on the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, urged Pistole, currently deputy director of the FBI, to resist pressure from federal employee unions to secure bargaining rights for nearly 50,000 transportation security officers. I am adamantly against that,” she said.
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Judge rules against DHS on extended border laptop seizures. – Gautham Nagesh, The Hill, June 10, 2010
A federal judge has ruled the government may not seize and months later search a traveler’s laptop without a warrant, according to a blog post by CNet. U.S. District Judge Jeffrey White in the Northern District of California ruled on June 2 that Customs and Border Protection agents can not indefinitely seize and search a traveler’s laptop without a warrant. The ruling came in response to the case of Andrew Hanson, an American citizen whose laptop was seized upon his return from South Korea at San Francisco International Airport in January 2009.
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Gun on a plane: Screening for airline employees more lenient. – Rhonda Cook, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, June 9, 2010
Officials say more lenient screening procedures for airline employees at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport enabled a Delta Air Lines flight attendant to carry a gun onto the first leg of round-trip flight from Atlanta to Indianapolis. Airport screeners in Indianapolis found a handgun in Amber Robillard’s purse when she showed up for her assignment on a return flight to Atlanta on June 4. The 39-year-old woman was detained and charged with a misdemeanor for having a 9 mm Glock, with a full magazine of 10 bullets and a holder, in her carry-on luggage.
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AIRCRAFT

Emirates to Order Additional Airbus A380 Superjumbos. – Andrea Rothman, Bloomberg Businessweek, June 8, 2010
Emirates Airline said it plans to buy an additional 32 A380 jets from Airbus SAS, in the biggest single order of the superjumbo to date. The order, valued at $11.5 billion and announced at the Berlin Air Show today, takes the carrier’s A380 fleet to 90, with 10 so far delivered. Emirates President Tim Clark said his airline would be interested in buying a stretched version of the A380 that can seat about 1,000 passengers, a model Airbus said it may consider building sometime in the future.
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AP Interview: EADS sees challenge to sell US A380. – Geir Moulson and Emma Vandore, The Associated Press, June 9, 2010
A huge order for the Airbus A380 from Emirates airline means the superjumbo has passed a key “acid test,” but selling it to U.S. airlines remains a challenge, the chief executive of Airbus parent EADS NV said Wednesday. Louis Gallois said in an interview with The Associated Press that the order from a customer which already has 10 of the hulking planes flying is “a clear indication for other airlines that this airplane … is a winner.” That “means the acid test of delivering the airplane to an airline is successful,” he said.
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Bloomberg: Airlines installing seatbelt airbags.Seattle Post Intelligencer, June 9, 2010
Cathay Pacific Airways and Air France-KLM Group have started installing seatbelt-mounted airbags in economy-class cabins in anticipation of new regulations, Bloomberg reported Tuesday. The airbags are one way, but not the only way, airlines can meet new a U.S. Federal Aviation Administration standard designed to keep passengers conscious through an impact involving deceleration at 16 times the force of gravity (the European Aviation Safety Agency expects to introduce the same rule by the end of 2011), Bloomberg reported. Manufacturer AmSafe Inc. predicts airbags will become standard by 2020, although they’re in just 2 percent of seats now.
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AIRLINES

Airlines Compete to Offer Web Surfing in the Skies.Eyewitness News 16, June 6, 2010
After years of talking about what customers wanted and waiting for new technology, Delta Air Lines said it will begin offering broadband Internet service on domestic flights as early as October. Delta is trying to outmaneuver rival JetBlue, known for outfitting planes with satellite TV, and American Airlines, which is planning to launch Internet service later this year. other airlines, including Continental, Southwest and Virgin America, are planning tests or have them underway. Yesterday’s announcement makes Delta the first large U.S. airline to commit its main fleet of jets to a technology that lets passengers surf the Net while flying. the service will be available for a $9.95 flat fee on flights of three hours or less, and $12.95 on longer flights.
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Airlines overpack for summer travel. – Jon Hilkevitch and Julie Johnsson, The Chicago Tribune, June 6, 2010
Travelers at O’Hare International Airport face delays this summer that could be easily avoided if the airlines simply overcame their penchant for jamming too many flights into the most-congested hours, the Federal Aviation Administration has warned. The FAA says the carriers have scheduled almost as many flights as the airport can handle in peak travel times on good-weather days, and added operations that far outstrip O’Hare’s capacity in stormy weather. By tightly scheduling departures, the airlines are creating waves of delays that expand and can last all day, FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt said. Much of the problem could be avoided if United Airlines and American Airlines simply spread out departures and arrivals during slower periods when there is plenty of excess capacity on runways and at gates, FAA officials said.
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US Airways, Delta Plead for More Time from Regulators. – Andika Putra, Daily Intrernational Fresh News, June 7, 2010
Recently, two U.S. based airlines, Delta and US Airways, have been working on an agreement with regulators to initiate an asset-swap at two of the busiest airports in the United States: New York’s LaGuardia and Reagan National in D.C. This plan was originally introduced last summer, and now both airlines are now asking for more time to work on the deal. They have requested that the Federal Aviation Administration move the deadlines to early July. Earlier regulators demanded that these airlines give up some airport space, or, in other words, takeoff and landing slots, to other smaller carriers. Regulators are demanding that both airlines go through a blind auction to give up the space. In attempt to change the plan, the two carriers have tried to come up with their own plan that would give more access to the smaller airlines. However, their suggestions do not seem to have worked. Some of the smaller airlines included are JetBlue Airways and AirTran Holdings, among others.
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Other Articles on the Same Topic:

Delta, US Airways get more time to consider NYC-D.C. slot swap. – Ben Mutzabaugh, USA Today, June 8, 2010
UPDATE (8:01 a.m. ET on Tuesday, June 8): Dow Jones News Wires updates the story, reporting late Monday that “the Federal Aviation Administration approved a request to extend its deadline for [Delta and US Airways] to pursue the planned [slot swap] deal until July 2. … The FAA confirmed Monday that it had given the two extra time.” Delta spokesman Trebor Banstetter tells The Atlanta Journal-Constitution the carrier “asked for the additional time just so that we have the opportunity to review all of the possible options.” ORIGINAL POST (11:15 a.m. ET on Monday, June 7): Delta and US Airways are asking the government for more time to consider whether they want to proceed with their proposed swap of landing slots at New York LaGuardia and Washington National, according to Dow Jones Newswires.
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United Airlines Reports May 2010 Operational Performance. – Business Wire, Market Watch, June 8, 2010
United Airlines today reported its preliminary consolidated traffic results for May 2010. Total consolidated revenue passenger miles (RPMs) increased in May by 7.5% on an increase of 3.3% in available seat miles (ASMs) compared with the same period in 2009. This resulted in a reported May consolidated passenger load factor of 83.3%, an increase of 3.3 points compared to 2009. For May 2010, consolidated passenger revenue per available seat mile (PRASM) is estimated to have increased 25.5% to 26.5% year over year. Consolidated PRASM is estimated to have increased 3.2% to 4.2% for May 2010 compared to May 2008, 2.2 percentage points of which were due to growth in ancillary revenues.
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Hawaiian Airlines May Traffic Up 1.6% – Quick Facts. – RTT  News, Stock Markets Review, June 8, 2010
Hawaiian Airlines Inc., a subsidiary of Hawaiian Holdings Inc. (HA), said its May traffic increased 1.6% to 693.68 million revenue passenger miles or RPMs from 682.64 million RPMs last year. Capacity in May declined 0.9% to 811.73 million available seat miles or ASMs from 819.47 million ASMs in the previous year. Load factor for the month of May improved by 2.2 points to 85.5% from 83.3% in the year-ago period.
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A 23% Revenue Surge…Airlines Celebrate. – Scott McCartney, The Wall Street Journal, June 8, 2010
Here’s an eye-popping number: Unit revenue at Continental Airlines Inc. in May surged more than 23%. Some of that comes from a small traffic increase. Continental said passenger traffic was up 3.7%. Capacity was essentially flat, so the airline had record high load factors – the percentage of seats filled – in May as airlines enjoyed some measure of economic recovery. So the biggest factor in the 23% surge in revenue per available seat mile, the standard measure of unit revenue in the airline industry, was higher fares. As noted in the Middle Seat a few weeks ago, summer prices are taking off for airlines.
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Qantas, Virgin Open to Bids as Industry Consolidates. – Steve Rothwell and Cornelius Rahn, Bloomberg Businessweek, June 8, 2010
Qantas Airways Ltd. and Virgin Atlantic Airways Ltd. said they’re open to merger proposals as efforts to cut costs and boost traffic push carriers to combine. Qantas, Australia’s biggest airline, favors an inter- continental deal and would be “a great asset for anyone,” Chief Executive Officer Alan Joyce said in an interview. Virgin is exploring options as U.S. and European mergers squeeze its position in the North Atlantic market, CEO Steve Ridgway said. “Consolidation isn’t easy to do and cross-border inter- continental mergers have not occurred yet, but I think they will and Qantas will be at the forefront of that,” Joyce said in Berlin, adding that the process “will take some time.”
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Seattle joins Detroit as burgeoning ‘gateway’ for Delta. – Ben Mutzabaugh, USA Today, June 8, 2010
Delta touted its efforts to develop Asian gateways in both Detroit and Seattle last week as it launched several trans-Pacific routes. From Detroit, Delta launched non-stop service to both Seoul Inchon and to Hong Kong. Delta will fly five flights a week on both routes using Boeing 777-200 jets. Delta also upgraded its Detroit-Shanghai service last week, expanding that to daily flights. The carrier says the additional service “continues Delta’s development of Detroit as a major gateway to Asia.”
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Satisfaction survey shows fliers less irked at airlines. – Gary Stoller, USA Today, June 4, 2010
Customer satisfaction with airlines serving North America improved in the last year-plus, reversing a three-year decline, J.D. Power and Associates says in its annual survey out today. The improvement comes despite a general increase in unpopular add-on fees nearly all airlines have imposed for such services as checking bags, changing bookings and even food and pillows, the marketing and consulting company says. “Passengers don’t like the extra fees, but they are starting to recalibrate their expectations,” says Stuart Greif, a J.D. Power and Associates vice president.
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Airlines group: new German fees a ‘cash grab’. – Juergen Baetz, The Associated Press, June 9, 2010
Germany’s plans to charge a new environmental fee on passengers flying out of the country are nothing but a “cash grab,” the International Air Transport Association said Tuesday in a harsh condemnation. IATA chief executive Giovanni Bisignani said the planned tax was “branded as an environmental measure,” but in fact was “the worst kind of shortsighted policy irresponsibility.” The fee is a blow to a fragile industry which is key to the economic recovery, he told journalists in Berlin. “Painting it green adds insult to injury,” Bisignani said, questioning Chancellor Angela Merkel’s environmental intentions. “How many trees is she planting with that money?” he asked.
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India‘s Kingfisher to join oneworld alliance: BA.AFP, June 7, 2010
India’s leading airline, Kingfisher, will join the oneworld airline alliance and launch a partnership with British Airways, alliance executives said here on Monday. “In just five years, Kingfisher Airlines has become the first airline in India with more 380 daily destinations,” British Airways chief executive Willie Walsh told a press conference. “We will sign a code sharing in Europe for implementing later this month,” he added. Code sharing allows airlines to offer services provided by partners and thus expand their networks. With Kingfisher on board, the oneworld network will expand to some 800 destinations in almost 150 countries, with the addition of 56 Indian cities.
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JetBlue Airways reports May traffic. – PRNewswire, MarketWatch, June 8, 2010
JetBlue Airways Corporation reported its preliminary traffic results for May 2010. Traffic in May increased 9.8 percent from May 2009, on a capacity increase of 4.5 percent.  Load factor for May 2010 was 81.3 percent, an increase of 3.9 points from May 2009. JetBlue’s preliminary completion factor was 98.9 percent and its on-time (1) performance was 82.8 percent. JetBlue’s preliminary passenger revenue per available seat mile for the month of May increased 13 percent year over year.
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Spirit says it will keep flying if pilots strike.The Associated Press, June 8, 2010
Spirit Airlines says it will work with other air carriers to keep flying if its pilots go on strike on Saturday. Spirit spokeswoman Misty Pinson says the airline is partnering with other air carriers. She declined to provide details, or to say how much of its schedule it will maintain in a strike. Spirit is negotiating a new contract with its pilots. They have said they will walk out at 12:01 a.m. Saturday if there’s no deal. Spirit is a small, privately held carrier based in Miramar, Fla. It does much of its flying from the Eastern U.S. to the Caribbean.
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New DOT rules raise advertising concerns. – Andrew Compart, Aviation Week, June 7, 2010
The rules that the U.S. Transportation Department (DOT) is proposing as part of its second round of passenger “protections” could lead to major changes in how fares, total prices and fees are displayed, disseminated and compared, and also are likely to raise questions, and challenges, about whether they are reasonable. The impact of the proposed new fare advertising and fee disclosure rules could be far-reaching because the department’s advertising regulations apply to all airlines, travel agents and tour operators that do business in the U.S. — not solely to U.S. carriers — and to all forms of communication, including newspapers, television, press releases, online promotions, email and social media.
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American flight stops takeoff at last minute at Palm Springs airport. – K. Kaufmann, The Desert Sun, June 9, 2010
An American Airlines flight headed for Dallas-Fort Worth slammed on the brakes moments before taking off from Palm Springs International Airport today, shaking up passengers and jamming the American ticket counter at the airport with people needing to reroute their trips. “Just at the point where (the pilot) was really hitting it to take off, he hit the gravel,” said Pam Perrin of Cathedral City, who was on her way to Connecticut for her aunt’s 80th birthday. “I hit the seat in front of me.” Perrin and other passengers said they were scared by the sudden braking of the plane, but no one reported any injuries.
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Delta Welcomes Vietnam Airlines into SkyTeam Alliance.PR Newswire, June 10, 2010
Delta Air Lines (NYSE: DAL) today welcomed Vietnam Airlines as the newest member of the SkyTeam global airline alliance.  With Vietnam’s entrance, Delta customers immediately gain the ability to earn and redeem SkyMiles on the airline’s flights, as well as access to its airport lounges in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.  “SkyTeam continues to improve Delta customers’ access to some of the globe’s most important commercial and tourism destinations,” said Delta CEO Richard Anderson.  “The addition of Vietnam’s leading airline to SkyTeam positions our alliance as the fastest growing in Asia and builds on the planned addition of China Eastern Airlines.”
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More British Airways strikes possible. – Jane Wardell, The Associated Press, June 9, 2010
British Airways is facing the threat of more strikes over the summer after union leaders said they would ballot cabin crew members for further action in a bitter dispute over changes to pay and working conditions. As the last of 22 days of walkouts — which since mid-March have cost the airline more than 150 million pounds ($220 million) — drew to a close on Wednesday, there was little sign of a resolution to the dispute, with BA boss Willie Walsh vowing to “hold out as long as it takes.” Though BA has been forced to cancel hundreds of flights because of the walkouts in March, May and June, it has steadily increased services during the strike period as fewer workers participated in the action and it used quickly-trained staff from other departments.
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Airbus adds service to LAX. – Staff, The Daily Sound, June 10, 2010
In a bid to further improve shuttle service between the South Coast and Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), the Santa Barbara Airbus is adding four more daily trips to the popular travel hub. The new service will offer 18 daily trips, a 20 percent increase from its previous schedule. Airbus officials said the express bus will leave the South Coast every hour during peak morning hours, while return trips will be bolstered in the afternoon. “For 18 years, we offered 14 trips daily and the South Coast has come to rely on that dependable schedule,” Eric Onnen, the company’s CEO, said in a news release. “With the additional trips, now our customers will have even less wait and more convenience to catch a ride.”
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United, Continental moving quickly on contract with pilots. – Julie Johnsson, The Chicago Tribune, June 10, 2010
United and Continental airlines are on course to wrap up a new contract with their pilot unions by fall, a critical step if their megamerger is to deliver the $1.2 billion boost leaders of the carriers promised Wall Street. While pilot talks progress, flight attendants and other worker groups likely face a long, arduous path to new contracts, which could undermine labor peace at the new carrier, sources warned. The airlines began negotiating a transition agreement with pilot union leaders this week and intend to have a new collective bargaining agreement in place by the time the merger is expected to close late this year, said Douglas McKeen, United’s senior vice president for labor relations, at the Chicago-based carrier’s annual shareholder meeting Thursday.
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Other Articles on the Same Topic:

Merger Won’t End Obstacles Facing United, Continental. – Susan Carey, The Wall Street Journal, June 11, 2010
The merger of UAL Corp.’s United Airlines and Continental Airlines Inc. won’t be a panacea, and the combined carrier must continue to innovate and evolve if it hopes to become financially sustainable, UAL Chief Executive Glenn Tilton said Thursday. Mr. Tilton, speaking at what could be the last annual meeting for United in its current form, also said the entire airline industry must change dramatically for the merged carrier to be able to produce profit margins that businesses in other sectors routinely earn. The planned marriage would bring together two complementary route networks, opportunities to earn more than $1 billion
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AMR Revives Study of Whether to Sell American Eagle Airlines. – Mary Schlangenstein, Bloomberg Businessweek, June 10, 2010
American Airlines parent AMR Corp. said it will again evaluate whether to sell the American Eagle regional carrier, 23 months after taking it off the market. The review, announced in a statement today, comes as AMR adds new flights for Eagle and begins putting first-class cabins on the division’s largest aircraft. Eagle operates 270 planes, ferrying passengers between smaller cities and American’s hub airports. AMR said in November 2007 it would put the carrier on the block amid shareholders’ demands for divestitures to help boost the stock. The Fort Worth, Texas-based company decided against a sale or spinoff in July 2008, saying it wanted to wait until industry conditions were “more stable and favorable.”
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Southwest Airlines CEO sees a bright future. – Brandon Gee, Denver Business Journal, June 10, 2010
Gary Kelly — chief of Southwest Airlines, Denver International Airport‘s third-largest carrier — says it will take years for business travel demand to recover from the recession. But despite the impact that has on the company’s bottom line, bags will continue to fly free on Southwest, Kelly said Wednesday in a speech to a Nashville business group. After narrowly averting the first annual loss in the company’s history last year, Kelly — the airline’s president, chairman and CEO — said Southwest’s results are much improved this year. Kelly said 90 percent of management’s efforts are focused on improving customers’ experiences with the Dallas-based airline (NYSE: LUV). To that end, Kelly said Southwest plans to begin installing Internet connectivity in its planes later this year, is working on adding international flights for the first time and will make unspecified upgrades to its rewards program next year.
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Hawaiian Airlines adds Maui-Las Vegas link. – Ben Mutzabaugh, USA Today, June 10, 2010
Beginning Oct. 3, Hawaiian Airlines says it will add its “first-ever” service between Las Vegas and Maui. The carrier will fly two flights a week on the route using 264-seat Boeing 767-300 jets. “We’ve known for a long time how popular Las Vegas is with Maui residents, so we’re pleased tooffer this new flight to address that demand,” Hawaiian Air CFO Peter Ingram says in a press release. “At the same time, we believe the convenience of this new nonstop service will boost visitor traffic to Maui, as Las Vegas is home to so many people with strong ties to the islands as well as a busy hub for flight connections on other carriers.”
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Delta’s L.A. flight ready for takeoff.Business First of Columbus, June 10, 2010
Port Columbus International Airport’s first West Coast flight in nearly two years is taking to the skies later on Thursday. Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines Inc. (NYSE:DAL) begins service to Los Angeles International Airport at 6:30 p.m. The addition of the daily nonstop flight is being celebrated with a 5:30 p.m. event at Port Columbus featuring a water cannon salute. Delta, the second-busiest carrier at Port Columbus, ran a Los Angeles flight until 2008, when it cut the route from its schedule. Port Columbus hasn’t had a West Coast flight since. The Los Angeles flight is one of 36 daily flights Delta runs out of Port Columbus.
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Spirit Airlines nears deadline with pilots. – Joshua Freed, The Associated Press, June 11, 2010
Negotiations between Spirit Airlines and its pilots were entering their final stage on Friday, with pilots threatening to walk out at midnight if they don’t get a new contract. Both sides have said they would rather make a deal, and strike threats are a common feature of the endgame of airline negotiations. Still, a Spirit strike could disrupt the travel plans for thousands of passengers this weekend. The airline on Thursday began canceling some flights in advance. Spirit pilots have said their pay lags that of competitors like JetBlue Airways Corp. and AirTran Airlines, part of AirTran Holdings Inc.
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Delta to expand domestic first-class seats in fall.The Associated Press, June 10, 2010
Delta Air Lines Inc. said Thursday it plans to offer first-class seats on all domestic flights longer than 750 miles — about two and a half hours — beginning this fall. In Delta’s June schedule, about 11 percent of seats are located in first or business class. Overall, airlines have seen a slight uptick in premium traffic as the economy has improved. Carriers hope business travel will grow further and they will be able to fill more of those expensive seats. When the upgrade is complete, 50 routes where Delta Connection currently offers only one class of service will be upgraded to two-cabin aircraft. Those routes include: Atlanta to Albany, N.Y., Boston to Memphis, Tenn., Detroit to San Antonio and Cincinnati to Dallas-Fort Worth.
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