FAA Reviewing Passenger Use of Electronic Devices

May 21, 2013 by  
Filed under Features

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.

Grand Canyon West Rim Air Adventure 2010

April 20, 2010 by  
Filed under Events

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

Mexico Airports

February 9, 2009 by  
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As a gateway for many from the United States to Central and South America, Mexico enjoys quite a bit of activity. The country has almost 2 000 airports to choose from, although only a few are able to cater to the demands of larger aircraft. This colorful country with its interesting people is often considered a quick and fun getaway for those living in the southern part of the United States and many choose to zip over the border for a few short days at one of the many great cities along the country’s coast. Those further north usually have to catch an airplane and so will arrive at one of the Mexico’s larger airports feeling relaxed and ready for a great holiday. A number of private plane owners also prefer to fly regardless of where they live in the United States and there are also those who enjoy a short stopover in Mexico before moving on to holiday in Central America.

The biggest airport in Mexico is the Mexico City International Airport. Known locally as the Benito Juarez International Airport, the airport is located in the country’s capital city. The Benito Juarez International Airport caters to both international and domestic flights and you can fly to more than 100 different international destinations from the airport. However, since this airport also has the distinction of being the busiest in Latin America, you may want to consider one of the country’s smaller airports such as the Cancun International Airport, which can be found on Mexico’s Caribbean coast in Cancun. The Cancun International Airport is the second busiest in the country and it has recently undergone a bit of upgrading and expansion and now has a new runway as well as a new terminal.

There are a large number of other international airports which offer flights to international destinations as well as some which are only suitable for domestic use. International airports include the Conzumel International Airport, the Tapachula International Airport, the Uruapan International Airport and the Xoxocotlan International Airport. While these are rather minor airports, they are definitely the best way to get to lesser-known parts of the country.

Airports in Mexico:

Sheremetyevo International Airport

February 9, 2009 by  
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Sheremetyevo International Airport was first opened on 11 August 1959, providing the Moscow region of Russia with a public international airport. The first international flight from the grounds of Sheremetyevo was about six months later to Berlin. Of all the airports found in Russia, Sheremetyevo is rated second in the amount of passenger traffic it experiences, with Domodedovo International Airport at number one. In 2005 Sheremetyevo had approximately 12,174,000 million passengers pass in and out its doors, a number which is sure to increase in coming years.

The official operator and the joint-stock company that operates and possesses the airport is the ‘International Airport Sheremetyevo’. The authorities of Moscow own none of the shares in the airport as the federal government owns them. The airport’s elevation above mean sea level is about 190 meters or 622 feet. The Sheremetyevo airport has two concrete runways, one being 3,550 meters or 11,647 feet long and the other being slightly longer at 3,700 meters or 12,139 feet long.

There are plans to expand the Sheremetyevo International Airport in the nearby future by adding a needed third runway and another international terminal. Work is also being planned on the second runway as well as ideas on increasing the variety of transportation between the airport and the capital. The goal would be to increase the 12 million passengers a year to as much as 30 million passengers a year, which would of course increase the air traffic hence the new runway.

On the third of September 1964 Sheremetyevo-1 was opened specifically for domestic flights whereas Sheremetyevo-2 was only opened two decades later as the entrance for foreign flights for the Moscow Olympics. The second entrance is bigger and is where passengers coming in and out of the country will find the arrival and departure lounges. The Sheremetyevo-1 entrance for domestic flights is almost a separate airport, with its terminal building being some distance from the main terminals, although they use the same two runways.

France Airports

February 9, 2009 by  
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With the promise of romance, the beauty of the Louvre and the iconic Eiffel Tower topping the skyline, France is one of the most visited countries in the world. People from all over the world come to experience the country’s magic and usually airplanes are their chosen means of transportation. Many of the country’s larger international airports, such as the Orly International Airport and the Charles de Gaulle International Airport, are linked to the nearby city by buses, shuttles, taxis and trains. The underground railway network is one of the most popular means of transportation, though navigating the system can prove to be somewhat challenging if you do not know the language. However, these various means of transport to and from the airports in France make them more easily accessible.

If you are planning a trip to France soon, you will find that the country has a great variety of airports to choose from. There is an international airport in each of the country’s major cities and a number of smaller airports that will allow you to gain access to almost every region in the country. Whether you are a foreigner looking to enjoy your slice of France or a pilot looking for a place to land, you will find that France has everything you need. Since the country is relatively large, you may well find that choosing to make use of domestic flights between destinations will cut your traveling time down drastically. You will also usually find that domestic flights are really not that expensive and are well worth paying for.

So whether you are looking to visit the Eiffel Tower or simply looking for an easy way to access the Swiss Alps, consider flying across France and making use of the country’s well-developed travel infrastructure. There are airports in Bordeaux, Lyons, Marseille, Nice and Strasbourg as well as, of course, the more popular city of Paris. As of yet we have not had the opportunity to cover the smaller, regional airports and if you find yourself needing the service of such an airport it would be wise to investigate your options thoroughly.

Airports in France:

Cancun International Airport

February 9, 2009 by  
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Cancun International Airport (CUN), gateway to the marvelous Riviera Maya, is amongst the Caribbean’s busiest airports. Annually large numbers of passengers pass through the halls of Cancun Airport International eager to begin their adventure in this unique region. Situated just 12km from Cancun’s hotel zone, the airport hosts some 800 000 passengers every month during vacation season, totaling some 10 million a year. It is a well-designed, top-class airport that sees charter airlines and international airlines landing each day. Easily accessible with top facilities, Cancun International Airport adds to the enjoyment of your journey.

As Mexico’s second most important airport, Cancun International Airport is operated by the ASUR (Aeropuertos del Sureste). The airport, located on the Yucatan Peninsula, stands at the coordinates 21º02’11.50″N, 86º52’37.50″W and an elevation of 20 ft or 6m above mean sea level. This public airport has a two asphalt runways in a 12R/30L direction with a length of 11 483ft or 3 500m and in a 12L/30R direction with a length of 9 186ft or 2 800m. Major airlines from both the USA and Canada as well as a few from South America and Europe have scheduled flights to Cancun International Airport.

This fine airport in Cancun, Mexico has 3 terminals with a total of 47 boarding gates. Cancun International Airport boasts top facilities and services such as banks, ATMs, VIP lounges, a business center with internet access, tourist information desks, lockers, public telephones, money exchange, duty-free stores, shops, a beauty parlor and a video arcade. If you have to satisfy your hunger or thirst there is a food court as well as bars and vending machines.

Transportation to and from Cancun International Airport is available in the form of a shuttle service. Car hire agents are also located at the airport if you would like to hire a vehicle for the duration of your stay. Airport parking in Cancun is also available for those with their own vehicles. Official taxis operate from the airport and can be paid for in the arrivals hall.

South Africa Airports

February 9, 2009 by  
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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:

Orly International Airport

February 9, 2009 by  
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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.

Morocco Airports

February 9, 2009 by  
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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:

OR Tambo International Airport

February 9, 2009 by  
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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.

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