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

Kingsford Smith International Airport

February 9, 2009 by  
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Located in the suburb of Mascot, Sydney, the Kingsford Smith International Airport is Sydney’s main airport. Also known simply as the Sydney International Airport, the airport serves as a major hub for Qantas airways. Sydney Airport has the distinction of being the largest and busiest commercial airport in Australia and as such, is the most likely point of arrival for most international aircraft. Sydney Airport handles more than 26 million passengers in a year and this number is rising steadily. Thus the airport is often upgraded and remodeled to cater to the ever-increasing numbers. It should also be noted that Sydney Airport is the oldest continually operated commercial airport in the world.

The Kingsford Smith International Airport was officially opened in 1920 and it was then known simply as Sydney Airport. It had an low elevation of 19 ft (6m) and its runway, which was only built a few years later, only had a gravel surface. In 1953 the airport was renamed as the Sydney Kingsford Smith International Airport after Charles Kingsford Smith who was an Australian aviator. Not long afterwards, the need for expansion was seen and before long a new terminal was opened. The north-south runway was also expanded, making it one of the longest runways in the southern hemisphere. Today the airport has two terminal buildings and three paved runways. The longest runway is 13 018 ft (3 968 m) in length. The other runways are 8 297 ft (2 529 m) and 7 998 ft (2 438 m) in length.

The Sydney Kingsford International Airport is a public airport and is operated by the Sydney Airport Corporation Limited. It mainly serves the surrounding area of Sydney, though it is also Australia’s premier airport for international flights. Though comparatively small, the airport is designed to cater to the needs of those using it. Both terminals offer great shopping experiences and restaurants. Some of the services and amenities available include ATMs, public toilets, showers, baby change rooms, children’s play areas, a chemist, internet facilities, a smoking area, trolleys, wheelchairs and parking for the disabled.

Gimpo International Airport

February 9, 2009 by  
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Gimpo International Airport, formerly known as Kimpo International Airport, is managed by Korea Airports Corporation and is known as “Sky City” for its culture and shopping it provides. It is located on the west side of Seoul near the Han River and serves Gimpo City and all foreign visitors that come into the country. Before Incheon International Airport was formed Gimpo Airport was the main international airport for both South Korea and Seoul, now it is considered the second biggest in Korea. The airport is 18 meters or 58 feet above mean sea level and its coordinates are 37 degrees 33’29″N and 126 degrees 47’26″E.

Gimpo International has two runways, one is asphalt and is 3,200 meters or 10,499 feet long and the other is made out of concrete and is 3,600 meters or 11,811 feet long. Originally the airport was made up of just a runway, which the Japanese army built during the Korean War and was later used by the United States’ forces. The airport has now grown and has two international and one domestic terminal that can take on a total of 226,000 flights every year. It also has one cargo and two passenger terminals.

Today there is a subway that serves the airport and will take passengers into Seoul or you can take a bus to town or to Incheon International Airport. Since Incheon airport was formed, Gimpo has been restricted to only one international flight to Tokyo International Airport, as all other international flights are taken care of by Incheon.

Gimpo International Airport provides a variety of services to all but especially to the disabled. There are raised-point blocks and Braille signs for the blind on the elevators as well as information on flights and so on being broadcasted regularly. Two lifts are provided particularly for the disabled to help make their movement around the airport as easy as possible. Approximately 108 parkings are provided only for the disabled and the disabled marking printed on the floor easily identifies them. There are twelve handicap restrooms, which have special grips as well as automated doors, washbowls and toilets.

Stockholm-Arlanda International Airport

February 9, 2009 by  
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The Stockholm-Arlanda International Airport is the biggest airport in Sweden, and is located approximately 28 kilometers outside of Stockholm. During a year, the Stockholm-Arlanda Airport assists and accommodates approximately 17 million passengers, but has a capacity to deal with 25 million passengers a year. Originally, the airport was built in 1959 for practice flights, but in 1960 the airport was turned over for civilian use and commercial airline traffic.

There are four terminals at the Stockholm-Arlanda International Airport. All international flights and their passengers are taken care of by Terminal 2 and Terminal 5. Terminal 3 and Terminal 4 are used for all domestic flights and passengers. During 2003, a central building was erected, namely the Arlanda North. This new building connects Pier 14 with Terminal 5. Arlanda North is utilized by the international flights that are managed by Star Alliance and SAS. The building that stands between Terminal 4 and Terminal 5, is called Sky City, offering a shopping center for passengers and serving as a railway station for the main line. In total, between all the terminals, the Stockholm-Arlanda Airport has 64 passenger gates. The airport also has five hangars, five cargo terminals and three runways. This makes the Stockholm-Arlanda International Airport extremely impressive in size and the facilities that they offer. The three runways that are used for both take offs and landings are the 2,500 meter 08/26 runway, the 3,301 meter 01L/19R runway, and the 2,500 meter 01R/19L runway, with the first two being concrete and the latter runway being asphalt.

The facilities available at various airport terminals include restaurants (of which there are approximately 33), a wide variety of stores, ATM’s, banks, bars, a pharmacy, a chapel, conference facilities and hotels. The lounges are all fitted with power points, so travelers are able to recharge their cellular phones, or work on their laptops. Parking areas around the terminals are available in different categories such as long and short term parking, multi-storey parking garages, indoor and outdoor facilities.

Transportation to and from the Stockholm-Arlanda International Airport is well taken care of. The Arlanda Express runs between the Stockholm Central Station and the Stockholm-Arlanda Airport. Bus services are available and it is the cheapest way to travel. Taxi drivers are required to ask a set price when leaving the airport, to ensure that all taxis are asking the same fare. Car rental agencies such as Hertz, Europcar and Avis operate directly from the airport.

The Stockholm-Arlanda Airport has gone to extreme measures to ensure that the airport is accessible to everyone, including disabled travelers. The Sky City building has text telephones available for hearing-impaired passengers, and all restrooms, lifts and parking areas are accessible to wheelchairs.

Tullamarine International Airport

February 9, 2009 by  
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The Tullamarine International Airport is also known as the Melbourne International Airport or the Melbourne Tullamarine International Airport. Locals prefer to call it Melbourne Airport or just Tullamarine. The Tullamarine International Airport is located approximately 25 kilometers from Melbourne, and is second to the Sydney International Airport, in regard to air traffic and passenger traffic. Melbourne International Airport remains operational twenty-four hours a day, even though there is not much air traffic in the early morning hours. It is mostly the cargo carrying aircraft that are in operation between midnight and four in the morning.

The Melbourne Tullamarine International Airport accommodates in the region of 20 million passengers a year, and has remained within the top five recognized airports in the world. Over the years, the Tullamarine Airport has achieved many successes and collected even more awards, for their outstanding service and world-class facilities. Awards that have been received, include the Australian Construction Achievement Award the was received in 2006, being the winner in the category for Industry Innovation and Best Practice Category in 2005 and the 2003 IATA Eagle Award. The Melbourne Airport has also been recognized by the Australian tourism industry, for its contribution, by winning the Australian Tourism Award for General Tourism.

The Melbourne Tullamarine International Airport operates from three terminals that are all located in one building. Terminal 1 is used exclusively for domestic flights and houses airlines such as Qantas Link, Qantas, Jet Star and O’Conner. Terminal 2 is for international flights and the airlines that operate from this terminal includes Air China, Freedom Air, Emirates, Pacific Blue, Qantas, United Airlines, Vietnam Airlines, China Eastern Airlines, Thai Airlines and Austrian Airlines. Terminal 3 is also a domestic flight terminal and is home to Virgin Blue and Regional Express.

The airport manages the air traffic through their competent air traffic control room, technologically advanced systems and two asphalt runways. Runway 09/27 is 2 286 meters in length, while runway 16/34 is approximately 3 657 meters in length.

Transport to the Melbourne Tullamarine International Airport or from the airport to Melbourne is available in the form of buses, taxis and rental cars. Rental car companies are located at the airport for convenience and there is also a large parking area for those who decide to drive. Facilities that are available to passengers within the terminals include medical facilities, banking, foreign exchange services, hotels, disability-friendly estrooms, terminals, parking area and drop off and pick up zones, snack bars, news stands, book stores, gift shops, restaurants, bars and jewelry stores.

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:

Bangkok International Airport

February 9, 2009 by  
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The New Bangkok International Airport or as it is also known the Survarnabhumi Airport is located 25 km from Bangkok in Bang Phli district’s Racha Thewa. The name ‘Survarnabhumi’ means the ancient kingdom and was chosen by King Bhumibol Adulyadej. The airport serves mainly Bangkok city in Thailand and for the moment is concentrating mainly on commercial flights as its conducting limited operations for the moment. The Survarnabhumi Airport has only been open since September 2006 due to many delays that they have experienced.

The airport took over the older Don Mueang International Airport, which use to be the main commercial airport in Bangkok, and all its flights. The revamping of the airport has included 132.2m air traffic control tower, one of the worlds tallest and an airport terminal that stands at 563,000 m2, the second largest building. However that may not be the end of the Don Mueang International as the Survarnabhumi airport has experienced many problems since its opening and so it may need to be closed for repairs while the Don Mueang airport handles all the flights.

The Survarnabhumi International Airport is a public airport and is operated by the Airports of Thailand Public Co Ltd. The airport is 1.4 meters or 4.6 feet above mean sea level and has two asphalt runways between 3,700 and 4,000 meters long. From the airport there plans to be a high-speed rail for the use of passengers and hopes to be completed by the end of 2007. From the city to the airport passengers will be able to get fast and efficient transport, taking them a maximum of 15 minutes. For the moment while the high-speed rail is still being completed passengers can still make use of the suburban commuter train service.

An alternative means of transport is the airport express buses, of which the airport operates a total of four. The air-conditioned buses take passengers from the first floor terminal all the way to down town Bangkok and to other various destinations. The airport express bus can be a little pricey, so you can also take the City buses but you will be required to take a shuttle bus to the bus terminal before you can be taken to your destination. Taxis and limousines are available but can work out to be very expensive. The taxis work off meters but before you leave for your destination you will be given a surcharge of 50 baht, another 300 to 400 baht, depending on where you are going and charged for tolls, which is about 60 baht. A part from a heafty payment you will also have to endure a 40 to 60 minute trip into the city depending on the traffic.

Vancouver International Airport

February 9, 2009 by  
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Vancouver International Airport is located approximately 15 kilometers outside of the city of Vancouver in Canada. Second to the Toronto Pearson International Airport, this Canadian airport is extremely busy and accommodates domestic traffic as well as flights to the United States, Caribbean, Asia and to Europe. Throughout the last few years, the traffic to this airport has increased dramatically, with 15.7 million passengers recorded in 2004, 16.4 million passengers in 2005 and 16.9 million in 2006. Approximately 60 000 passengers depart and arrive at this airport daily. This Canadian airport is one of the eight airports in Canada that has facilities to service Border Pre-clearance for the United States.

The Vancouver International Airport operates from three active terminals. The terminal for the International and Domestic flights is housed in one building, but has been divided into two sections. The building that is home to the Domestic traffic was constructed in 1968 but underwent complete renovations to improve the facilities and services. The addition to the building, to house the International traffic, was built in the 1990s. The South Terminal is completely separate, and accommodates the regional airlines. The regional airlines operate in British Columbia for the most part.

There are four runways at the Vancouver Airport. The 08L/26R runway is made from concrete and has a length of 3 029 meters; while the 08R/26L is constructed from asphalt and concrete and has length of 3 505 meters. Runway 12/30 is 2 225 meters in length and is constructed from asphalt and concrete; and the last runway, the 26A, is constructed from concrete and has a length of 1 066 meters. The Vancouver Airport has also installed the Tarsier Foreign Objects Debris system to their runways. This is radar system that can detect debris on the runways no matter what the weather conditions are. They were the very first in the world of commercial airports to have installed and operate this system.

The Vancouver Airport has approximately 400 businesses on their premises that not only employ 26 000 people, but also accommodate international trade. Businesses that are housed here are not only situated at the airport for commerce purposes, but provide services to passengers. Facilities such as book stores, convenience stores, sport shops, gift shops, food stores, pharmacies, dental clinics, medical clinics, postal services, ATMs, banks, foreign exchange services, barbers and even dry cleaning services are available, to name a few.

Transport from the Vancouver International Airport and to the airport is available through taxis, buses and limousines. Parking areas are conveniently situated for passengers that arrive in their own vehicles, and the airport, including the parking area and some taxis, are wheelchair accessible.

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.

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