With electronic devices firmly entrenched as part of daily lives for many travelers, airlines are under pressure to allow passengers to use their tablets, laptops, smartphone, e-readers and other devices without restriction during flights. In the United States, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has been working on a set of regulations to govern the use of these devices on airplanes, but is reportedly far from ready to put any new rules into action, with the delay being attributed to the authority’s desire to put into place a concise set of regulations to deal with current, and even future, technology.
A year ago, the industry working group set up by the FAA noted that, faced with evolving electronic technology, the FAA was reviewing the use of personal electronic devices, excluding the use of cellphones, on aircraft. A full year later the FAA appears to be no closer to resolving the issue and this has drawn sharp criticism from some quarters. Among the critics is Senator Clair McCaskill (D-MO) who recently announced her plans to circumvent the FAA and introduce legislation allowing passengers the freedom to use their electronic devices throughout a flight.
The increasing number of different types of electronic devices brought by passengers onto airplanes is adding to the difficulty of drafting a set of standard regulations. The FAA working group needs to include all these devices and take into account the different modes of operation they offer. Currently a number of electronic devices include an “airplane mode” option, which generally means that they do not send or receive wireless signals, but this is not necessarily standard across all devices with this option. Also, there is concern that FAA’s desire to have rules that will apply to devices of the future may not be realistic given the speed at which technology is developing. The group has apparently also noted concerns over expecting already busy flight attendants to police the use of various devices.
The initial concern with the use of electronic devices on flights addressed, among other things, the issue of possible interference with electronic signals pilots rely on for safe flight. To date, the FAA reportedly has no record of aviation accidents caused by interference from personal electronic devices. Flight attendants note that their main concern is that passengers should not be using electronic devices when the safety measures are presented at the beginning of the flight, as they need to hear and understand what should be done in the event of an emergency.
The FAA anticipates a final report from the working group later this year, with rule changes being implemented by the end of 2013.
To enjoy a unique day trip adventure, book a Grand Canyon West Rim Air Adventure excursion, which is bound to be very memorable. Visitors can be collected by shuttle bus from any hotel in Las Vegas and be transported in a fixed wing aircraft to the Grand Canyon West Rim. The flight lasts approximately forty minutes, which is followed by a ride in a helicopter, which descents to the floor of the canyon. Visitors will also be treated to a boat ride, a tasty barbeque lunch and a visit to the Eagle Point Indian Village.
Inquiries in regard to this magnificent day trip can be made at your hotel, or the local tour operator. The trip is available every day, although departure times are subject to change, depending on the season.
Date: 30 April 2010
Venue: Grand Canyon
City: Las Vegas
Country: United States of America
Over the recent years, the air traffic in South Africa has increased dramatically due to the influx of tourists, visitors and business related visitors. South Africa has become a leader in safari, wildlife and eco-tourism, and thousands flock to the country every year, to experience the African wildlife and explore a country with diverse cultures, an amazing history and a vast landscape of natural treasures and magical destinations. To accommodate the vast numbers of visitors and travelers, South Africa depends on its strong aviation infrastructure and the network of airports that are scattered over the country.
The airports in South Africa fall into different categories, as some are international and domestically orientated, while others focus on chartered flights and light aircraft. The largest South African airports are owned and managed by the ACSA, or Airports Company of South Africa. Airports under ACSA management include the biggest airport in South Africa namely the O.R. Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg, the second largest, which is Cape Town International Airport and the Durban International Airport, which is third. Other airports include the Bloemfontein Airport, East London Airport, George Airport, Kimberley Airport, Port Elizabeth Airport, Pilanesburg Airport and Upington Airport. Nine of ACSA’s airports have international airport status and between them handle most of the air traffic in South Africa.
To cover the entire landscape, South Africa makes use of smaller airports, like Margate, Nelspruit, Port Alfred and Vryheid that divert passengers from the bigger airports to specific destinations. Most of these South African airports or airfields make use of light aircraft and assist in flights for privately owned aircraft. The Lanseria International Airport, which is located in Johannesburg, is owned by a consortium of private owners and investors, and was given International airport status in 2001. Lanseria International Airport does deal with commercial airlines such as Kulula, but concentrates mainly on charted flights.The Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport is another airport that deals with chartered flights, but also handles flights from airliners such as SA Airlink, Nationwide, Interlink Airlines, Nelair and Pelikan Air Services. This airport is known as the port to Mpumalanga, and is also close to the world renowned Kruger National Park, and other popular attractions.
The Air Traffic Navigation Services, or ATNS, provide most of South Africa and surrounding countries with a sophisticated, technologically advanced and functional navigational system. They are also responsible for the training of air traffic controllers, to ensure safer skies and better service delivery. Safety standards, licenses and Air Traffic Services that are implemented at airports throughout South Africa, are managed and regulated by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).
Airports in South Africa:
Located in Orly in the southern end of Paris, France, Orly Airport was once the city’s main airport. It caters to flights around the globe and you may choose between Europe, the Middle East, the Caribbean and even Africa if you wish to book a flight from Orly. While Orly Airport is older and better established, the Charles de Gaulle International Airport has long since taken over its role as the city’s main airport. However, the airport is still thriving and many choose to use this airport instead. The airport is managed by the city’s main airport authority which also manages the Charles de Gaulle and the Le Bourget Airport, as well as several minor airports in the surrounding suburbs of the city.
Orly International Airport is a public airport and it is operated by Aéroports de Paris. Built at an elevation of 291 ft (89 m), there is seldom a problem with visibility. The airport has two main terminal buildings – the west and south – and each focus on flights to different parts of the globe so it is important to go the right building when booking or departing. Both terminals are linked to the rest of the city by freeways, buses and the metro. The airport also has three different runways only one of which is bituminous concrete and which measures 11 975 ft (3 650 m) in length. The other two are 7 874 ft (2 400 m) and 10 892 ft (3 320 m) in length and have a concrete surface.
When it was originally built, the Orly Airport was known as the Villeneuve-Orly Airport. That was in 1932 when it was opened to serve as a secondary airport to Le Bourget. During the Second World War, Orly came under the use of German forces and so was often bombed by opposing forces. It also saw a lot of military action during this time period. After the war it was used as a special air terminal for NATO meetings and in 1954 it was once again used for military operations. This continued until 1967 when all military operations at Orly were closed for good. Today this airport is immensely popular as an alternate destination airport for France.
As a country of intrigue and mystique – a place of living history, strong religious beliefs and interesting culture – Morocco has always been a popular destination. For centuries people having been exploring the country, making pilgrimages here and simply stopping by for a quick holiday. Morocco has become famous for its people, its curious wedding customs and its beautiful horses. But there is so much more to the country than just these few different elements. Why not join the millions before you and have your own sojourn in Morocco? The easiest and quickest way to get to this stunning country is by air and there are some 60 different Moroccan airports to choose from.
Of course, the most common stop over is that of Casablanca. Immortalized in film, this great Moroccan city is one of the country’s most popular tourist destinations and the Casablanca Mohamed V Airport is the best place to touch down. The airport was named for King Mohammed V of Morocco and is a hub for Royal Air Maroc. It sees more than 5 million passengers pass through its doors each year and is a great introduction to the country. Another popular choice is that of the Menara International Airport which is quite a bit smaller than the Mohamed V Airport. The Menara Airport receives a small percentage of European flights and flights from other Arab nations as well as a number of domestic flights. It usually serves just under 2 million passengers a year, though its runway is big enough to cater to bigger aircraft such as a Boeing 747.
There are also a number of other airports in Morocco though these are usually so small that only those flying themselves privately will consider them. Airports such as Al Massira Airport, Angads Airport, Hassan Airport, Ouarzazate Airport, Cherif Al Idrissi Airport, Dakhla Airport, Sale Airport and Mogador Airport do not really cater to very large aircraft. There are also two other international airports worth mentioning – Nador International Airport and Ibn Batouta International Airport – although both receive less traffic than the Mohamed V Airport and the Menara International since they are not as well situated.
Airports in Morocco:
When it was built in 1952, the OR Tambo International Airport was known as the Jan Smuts International Airport. At that time, it was named after Jan Christiaan Smuts who was the Prime Minister of South Africa between 1919-1924. Not long after the end of apartheid, a number of new governmental policies came into effect, one of which was the policy of not naming airports after politicians. Hence, in 1994 the Jan Smuts Airport was renamed the Johannesburg International Airport. However this policy soon fell out of favor and in 2006 the airport was renamed OR Tambo International Airport after Oliver Tambo who was a prominent South African politician. The OR Tambo International Airport is one of the country’s largest airports and it is situated near the city of Johannesburg in the Gauteng Province of South Africa. It also has the distinction of being Africa’s busiest airport, handling close to 20 million passengers a year.
The OR Tambo International Airport is a public airport operated by the Airports Company South Africa (ACSA). While it mainly serves the nearby cities of Johannesburg and Pretoria, it is viewed as the country’s primary airport for both domestic and international travel, so many people arriving at OR Tambo are not necessarily planning to spend much time in Johannesburg, but are moving on to other destinations. The airport has quite a high elevation of 5,512 ft (1 680 m) which makes it a ‘hot and high’ airport. This basically means that the air is thin at this altitude which affects the performance of the aircraft. Those aircraft which have to travel a long distance will usually have to stop off elsewhere to refuel since the high altitude and thin air limits the amount of fuel that the aircraft can carry at takeoff. Currently the airport has six terminals but these can be easily divided into three major areas – an international terminal, a domestic terminal and a transit terminal. Extensive renovations have ensured that the airport remains world-class and have included an extra terminal, a multiple story parkade and an international trade bureau. The airport also has two runways – one measuring 14,495 ft (4,418 m) in length and the other 11,119 ft (3,389 m). Both have an asphalt surface. Both run north-south and there is also a disused cross runway. The western runway is regarded as being one of the longest international airport runways in the world. The extra length is necessary because of the altitude in Johannesburg.
The OR Tambo International Airport is built in such a way that those waiting for the arrival of passengers or the departure of flights will be able to keep themselves entertained. There are shops and restaurants available as well as the normal facilities such as money changing operations, ATM machines and ticket booking facilities. The South African Airways Museum is housed on the grounds for those who are interested in the country’s aviation history.
The Franz Josef Strauss International Airport is situated to the northeast of Munich, Germany. This massive airport serves as a hub for the airlines Lufthansa and Star Alliance and is more commonly known as Munich International Airport. The Munich International Airport is situated so that its four corners each lie in one of four municipalities of the city. These are Freising, Oberding, Hallbergmoos and Marzling. The Munich Airport is currently ranked the 7th most important airport in Europe and it is the second most important airport in Germany.
The Munich International Airport is a public airport that is operated by Flughafen Munchen GmbH. It serves the city of Munich and is situated at an elevation of 1 487 ft (453 m). The airport has two very large terminals. Terminal One caters to non-Star Alliance airlines while Terminal Two caters to Star Alliance airlines. Terminal One currently caters to the demands of 68 airlines. It has 60 stands, 14 boarding stations and 19 aerobridges. It also has six halls which are numbered A-F and can handle roughly 20 million passengers during the course of a year. Terminal Two has 24 aerobridges, 47 boarding stations and two halls – G and H. It has the capacity to handle 20-25 million passengers in a year. Terminal Two currently caters to about 26 Airlines. The airport has two runways, both of which measure 13 123 ft (4 000 m) in length and have a concrete surface.
The Franz Josef Strauss International Airport began operations in 1992 when it replaced the Munich-Riem Airport. Construction on the airport started in 1980 and the small village of Franzheim had to be demolished in order to make space for it. Today Munich International Airport sees thousands of people passing through its doors on a daily basis. The two terminals are connected by a shopping, business and recreation area that keeps passengers busy while they wait for their flights or transportation.
The Casablanca Mohamed V International Airport is located approximately 25 kilometers outside of the city of Casablanca in Morocco. This airport in Morocco is the hub for Royal Air Maroc, Air Arabia Maroc, Jet4you and Regional Air Lines. The Casablanca Mohamed V Airport in Morocco has an average of 6 million passengers pass though the terminals in a year .
The Mohamed V Airport has two asphalt runways that are both 3 720 meters in length and are both used for take offs and landings. There are many airlines that operate flights in and out of the Mohamed V Airport, including airlines such as Kuwait Airlines, Tunisair, Qatar Airlines, Fedex, Royal Jordanian, Syrian Arab Airlines, Air France, Emirates Airlines, Royal Air Maroc, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, British Airways, DHL Air, Air Malta, Lufthansa, Regional Airlines, UPS and Egyptair.
The airport in Casablanca has many facilities available to passengers that include banking facilities, a foreign exchange service, ATMs, public telephones and clean and hygienic restrooms. Duty free shops, gift shops, newsstands, cafés and restaurants are available. For passenger convenience, the airport has a postage service and a business center. The business center allows passengers to make photocopies, send important faxes or log onto the internet to check on their e-mails. There is also a prayer room, pharmacy, medical center and first aid facilities that include an ambulance service. The airport in Casablanca has specially adapted restroom facilities and lifts to accommodate disabled passengers.
Transport from the Casablanca Mohamed V Airport to the city center of Casablanca, is available through taxi services, shuttle services, buses and railway. Car rental companies such as EuropCar Hire, Hertz Car Rentals, Budget Rent-a-Car and Avis Car Hire are located in the airport building. The airport has 1 600 parking bays in its long term parking area, and approximately 880 parking bays in the short term parking area, that is located outside of the Arrivals hall.
The Boeing 747-100 was the world’s first jumbo jet when it entered commercial service in 1970. Boeing delivered 250 of the 747-100s before halting production in 1986. The version with the most payload capacity was the 747-100B. The 747-100SP was a special performance version engineered to fly faster, higher, and farther than any other 747.
In 1971, the 747-200 arrived and when it was retired twenty years later, Boeing had manufactured 393 of that type. Not only was the 747-200 used as a passenger plane, it was also used by cargo companies to haul freight. The airplane could be converted for either or both purposes even on the same flight.
The 747 Freighter was designed for dedicated cargo transportation and could carry up to 100 tons. It was used for trans-Atlantic flights as well as on domestic routes. The 747 Freighter cost 35 percent less to operate than the older 707 Freighter and cargo was easily loaded and unloaded through the hinged nose and optional side-cargo door.
Boeing introduced the 747-300 in 1983. It featured more fuel-efficient engines and a larger upper deck that could accommodate 10 percent more passengers. The manufacturer built the last of the 81 747-300s in 1990.
Boeing has customized several airplanes for special uses, most often for the United States military. Two 747-200s were used to transport the President under the call sign “Air Force One.” Boeing supplied two more of the 200 models to the United States Air Force for emergency control and command posts. Several 747 aircraft have been used as airborne tankers but the main features can be summarized in the following table:
Cruise speed: Mach 0.855 for the Intercontinental, and Mach 0.845 for the Freighter
Range: 8,000 nautical miles for the Intercontinental, 4,475 nautical miles for the Freighter
Length: 250′ 8″
Wingspan: 224′ 7″
Height: 64′ 2″
Maximum weight: 970,000 pounds
Empty weight: 610,000 pounds for the Intercontinental, and 702,000 pounds for the Freighter
Engine(s): Four GEnx-2B67 engines with 66,500 pounds of thrust each
Spain’s Madrid Barajas Airport (MAD) is the busiest airport in the country. Statistics state that this fine airport handles some 40 million travelers each year, carrying them to both domestic and international destinations. Just 13 km from the center of the city, Madrid Barajas International Airport is convenient to reach and offers a top-notch experience to passengers. Madrid’s airport deals with transatlantic flights and is actually one of Europe’s main airports for offering flights to South and Central America.
Due to the large number of flights handled at Madrid International Airport, a new terminal was added in 2006 along with 2 additional runways. Madrid Barajas Airport has 4 runways now. Two of these run parallel to each other along the north-south axis. The other two run parallel on the northwest-southeast axis. Because of the design simultaneous landings and take-offs are possible and the airport has the capacity for 120 operations per hour.
Airport parking at Madrid Barajas is offered through 7 parking facilities along with a valet service if wanted. The airport has 4 terminals plus a satellite terminal, each with different airlines and purposes assigned to them. The newest building is Terminal 4 or T4. This new section handles international flights. Madrid Barajas International Airport provides an abundance of facilities for the convenience and comfort of travelers. Airport information desks can be seen throughout the airport. Also look out for the “Skycaps” who will be able to assist you. Tourist desks are found in Terminals 1 and 2. In the airport there are 3 banks, several ATMS and a few bureaux de changes. Passengers can also make use of the post office, nurseries, medical service center, pharmacies, travel agencies and beauty center. Madrid’s airport even has 2 chapels. Business travelers have the use of a business center in Terminal 2 as well as VIP lounges. Whilst waiting for your flight you may wish to engage in some shopping at the music shop, duty-free stores, tobacconist, jeweler, clothing store or sport shop. If you are feeling hungry or thirsty there are some 30 restaurants, cafés and bars in the airport. A variety of services and facilities are available for disabled passengers.
There are a number of transportation options available for people traveling to or from Madrid Barajas Airport. Madrid has an excellent Metro system which runs right up to the airport’s 2nd terminal. Outside of all the airport’s terminals are taxi stands. Madrid has a reliable bus service with various buses making runs between town and the different terminals.