FAA Reviewing Passenger Use of Electronic Devices

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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

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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

Japan Airports

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Japan is a wonderful country to visit, with many different activities and sights to do and see. With Japan being so accessible by plane and other forms of transport, it is definitely a must if you want an exciting trip. There are many airports to make traveling to all the cities you may want to explore a convenient and speedy experience. Kansai International Airport, or Osaka Airport, is a phenomenal airport to fly into as it is situated on an artificial island on the Osaka Bay. It is off the shore of the Sennan district in Japan’s Osaka.

If the Narita, Chiba area in Japan is where you want to visit then you will need to use the Narita International Airport, which is found in the eastern part of the Greater Tokyo area. Another airport that also serves the Greater Tokyo Area is the New Tokyo International Airport, found in Ota, Tokyo, Japan. The New Tokyo airport is also known as Haneda Airport to distinguish it from Narita airport, as they are both main airports that serve that area. Narita International does most of the international flights, where as Haneda Airport focuses mainly on domestic with only one international flight to Gimpo International Airport in Seoul, South Korea.

If you do manage to visit Japan here are a few of the things you should look out for to make your holiday all the more worthwhile. One of the more popular forms of entertainment throughout the country is the Amusement and theme parks, which there are many to choose from. One in particular is the Tokyo Disney Resort. For less commercial entertainment you can go see the natural, mineral hot springs, and there are many of them, for a relaxing swim and where you can enjoy the beautiful natural surroundings while gaining different health benefits. Then there is Japanese pop music you can look more into or Enka, which is focused on more the older Japanese generation. If getting more involved is more your thing, Japan also has Karaoke bars and there are slot machines and pinball for the youngsters.

Airports in Japan:

South Africa Airports

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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:

Haneda Airport (Tokyo International)

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The Tokyo International Airport services the Greater Tokyo Area and deals mostly with the domestic flights. The name Haneda Airport was given to the Tokyo International Airport after the Narita International Airport was opened. The Narita International Airport was previously known as the New Tokyo International Airport, which caused some confusion. After the opening of Narita, most of Haneda’s international traffic was diverted to the new airport, thus leaving the Tokyo International Airport, concentrating mainly on the domestic traffic. Neverthless, the airport still deals with approximately 60 million passengers annually, and is therefore one of the busiest airports in the world.

The Haneda Airport was opened as the Haneda Aerodrome in 1931, and at the time, it was the biggest civilian airport in Japan. As with many airports during war time, the Haneda Aerodrome became the Haneda Army Air Base in 1945, as an United States military facility. Japan received half the airport back in 1952, which was named the Tokyo International Airport. The entire airport was given back to Japan in the year 1958. During the 1960s, airlines such as Sabena, Cathay Pacific Airways, Pan Am, Air Siam and Swissair began running frequent flights to the Haneda Airport. In 1961 the instrument landing systems were installed on the Haneda Airport runways.

Haneda Airport operates out of three Terminals. Terminal 1 is nicknamed the ‘Big Bird’, and was opened for use in 1993. The new six story building, complete with shopping areas, observation deck, banks, gift shops and other facilities, replaced the older and smaller terminal that was constructed in 1970. In December 2004, the Haneda Airport unveiled Terminal 2, which features a variety of shops, restaurants, market place and an open-air restaurant that is located on the roof. The Haneda Excel Tokyo Hotel is also situated in this amazing six-story structure. Terminal 3 is a much smaller building and is responsible for chartered, international flights that run between Haneda and the Seoul Gimpo Airport. Haneda also takes care of charter flights during the hours that Narita is not open.

Haneda Airport has three runways, which are all paved and are used for both take-off and landings. The 16R/34L is 3000 meters in length, as is the 16L/34R, with the shorter 4/22 runway being 2 500 meters in length. Transport to and from the Haneda Airport, or Tokyo International Airport, is serviced by the railway service, monorail service and buses.

OR Tambo International Airport

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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.

Boeing 747

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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:

Boeing 747-8

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
Ceiling: 43,000′
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
Crew: Two
Passengers: 467

Narita International Airport

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Japan’s Narita International Airport (NRT) is located in the town of Narita, which forms part of the eastern section of Greater Tokyo. Its coordinates are: 35º45’50″N, 140º23’30″E. This exceptional airport handles chiefly international flights in the area, whilst Haneda Airport deals with Tokyo’s domestic flights. Formerly called New Tokyo International Airport, Narita Airport is the country’s second most busy passenger airport and the busiest air cargo center. The airport serves as an important connection for flights between the Americas and Asia. Japanese law states that Narita International Airport is a first class airport.

Narita International Airport in Tokyo was opened in May of 1978. Since that time it has seen dramatic growth and has played a vital role in creating international awareness for Japan. This well-designed airport is a grand gateway to a unique Japanese experience, opening up the country’s beautiful islands for travelers. Narita Airport boasts 2 paved runways. The first (4 000m) runs in a 16R/34L direction, whilst the second (2 180m) runs in a 16L/34R direction. The airport has 2 terminals. Terminal 1 handles North American and European air traffic. Terminal 2 is used chiefly by Asian carriers. A broad spectrum of flights depart from and arrive at Narita Airport, carrying passengers from around the world. Terminal 1 and 2 stand about 1 mile apart, however, a convenient shuttle bus provides regular transportation between the two.

Tokyo Narita International Airport offers top facilities for travelers. For their convenience there are banks, a post office, ATMs, bureaux de change, internet, business services and mobile phone hire. Also useful are the medical clinics, nurseries, a dentist, sleeping rooms, showers and children’s entertainment areas. Those who wish to dine or grab a quick beverage can make use of the numerous restaurants, coffee shops, bars and fast-food outlets. Passengers can use extra time to engage in some shopping at Narita Airport’s jewelers, bookshops, souvenir shops, clothing stores and others. Airport parking at Narita Airport is excellent with both short-term and long-term parking facilities.

Getting to and from the airport is no hassle at all. There are a variety of car hire agents at Narita International Airport. Both Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 have railway stations. Extensive taxi and limousine services are available as are shuttle buses. Narita International Airport is certainly worthy of its title as First Class Airport.

Madrid Barajas Airport

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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.

Kingsford Smith International Airport

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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.

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