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.

Commuter

February 9, 2009 by  
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Heading off on vacation or going on an important business trip? You will likely be flying on a commuter aircraft. Commuter airplanes vary in size from those which seat just a few passengers to those which seat over 100. All commuter planes have a cargo hold in which baggage and other goods are stored during flight.

Commuter aircraft are fitted to ensure the comfort of commuters over both short distance flights (nationally) and long distance flights (internationally). Commuter planes have developed to the point where refuelling on certain long journeys is unnecessary thus making such flights quicker and more convenient.

Norway Airports

February 9, 2009 by  
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With almost a hundred different airports scattered across the country, Norway is an easy place to get around. Even the most remote parts of the country seem closer when accessed by an airplane. So, while you contemplate your travels in this incredibly scenic, peace-loving country, make sure that you consider all your options before deciding on a destination.

The two most popular airports in Norway are likely the Haugesund International Airport and the Oslo International Airport – the country’s two major international gateways. Since the Haugesund Airport is the lesser known and utilized of the two, it is the best place to get discounts on aviation fees and cheap flights. It is situated on the west side of the island and is one of the best airports to use if you are planning to fly to one of the country’s smaller destinations. Oslo Airport, on the other hand, is the second largest airport in Scandinavia. In 2006 some 17.7 million passengers passed through its doors giving it the distinction of being Scandinavia’s fastest growing airport. The airport is well built and has great facilities as well as plenty of domestic and international flight options.

When traveling to Norway one needs to remember to pack in a valid passport to identify yourself, and your country of origin, to customs officials. It is also a good idea to keep in mind the fact that the country employs Daylight saving time between the months of March and October to make better use of the longer daylight hours during the longer summer months, so if you are traveling during this time you must remember to set your clock one hour forward. Also, you should remember that while Norway enjoys relatively mild weather for a country with its latitude, you should always pack a variety of clothing to cater to all occasions – clothes that can be layered are preferable. This can include cool daytime wear if you are traveling during summer or waterproof trousers if you are visiting during spring. So make sure that you come prepared and you may just enjoy one of the most beautiful holidays ever!

Airports in Norway:

Da Nang International Airport

February 9, 2009 by  
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The city of Da Nang is a beautiful place to visit, with diverse geography ranging from plains to mountains, forests, rivers, seas and islands, making the center of Vietnam a must to see. Here you can also find a variety of transport as you tour the country.

The Da Nang International Airport is operated by the Central Airports Authority. The airport is found in Da Nang in central Vietnam in the Hai Chau District and is both a civil and military airport. The Vietnamese Air Force shares in the use of the asphalt runways that are only 10 meters or 33 feet above the mean sea level. In Vietnam the Da Nang Airport is one of three international airports, the others being Tan Son Nhat International Airport and Noi Bai International Airport.

The Da Nang International Airport is probably the airport you will use if you want to explore central Vietnam. The airport has quite a bit of military history as it was used by the United States Air Force as well as the South Vietnamese Air Force during the Vietnam War. The Da Nang International Airport’s coordinates are 16 degrees 02’38″N and 108 degrees 11’58″E. The two runways that the airport has are both of equal length totaling 3,048 meters or 10,000 feet. Da Nang can handle 100 to 150 flights each day and has modern aviation equipment to navigate large aircraft that land there.

Each year the airport sees between 800,000 and 1 million passengers. By 2015 the airport hopes to have increased to as many as four million passengers. Da Nang International Airport can take on 400,000 tonnes of cargo each year. The intended growth of the airport is vital as the city increases its importance as an economic center.

Boeing 737

February 9, 2009 by  
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The Boeing 737 jets are the most popular commercial airplanes in the world. Boeing’s “Original” 737 models are the 737-100 and the 737-200 variations. The “Classic” 737 models are the 737-300, 737-400, and the 737-500.

Boeing‘s most recent line of 737 jets is the 737-600, 737-700, 737-800, and the 737-900, all known as “Next Generation” 737s. These jets incorporate the latest technology, some of which is under constant development and testing. Next Generation features include wingtip extensions known as blended winglets that create added lift, making it possible to carry more weight. They help to minimize engine maintenance and extend the airplane’s range while also saving on fuel costs.

Boeing’s newest 737 jet is the 737-900ER, an extended range variant of the 900 series. The 737-900ER incorporates a number of high-tech features, some of which were originally developed for the United States military.

One example is the Heads-Up Display (HUD) that displays relevant information onto the pilot‘s field of vision, as well as the Enhanced Vision System (EVS), which uses infrared, or thermal, imaging to visually enhance objects that may be difficult for the pilot to see, such as terrain or other airplanes when flying in darkness or bad weather.

The Quiet Climb System (QCS) is another feature of the 737-900ER. The QCS reduces engine noise and gives operators the option of loading more cargo or passengers. It also allows airplanes to operate within local noise restriction airspace.

Here are some fast facts about the Boeing 737-900ER model.

737-900ER

Maximum speed: 261 mps (Mach 0.79)
Cruise speed: 0.78 Mach
Range: 3,200 nautical miles with a two-class layout and two auxiliary fuel tanks. 2,700 nautical miles with a one-class layout.
Length: 138′ 2″
Wingspan: 112′ 7″
Tail Height: 41′ 2″
Maximum weight: 187,700 pounds
Empty weight: 94,579 pounds
Engine(s): Two CFMI CFM56-7 with 27,300 maximum pounds of thrust
Crew: Two
Passengers: 180 in a typical 2-class configuration, and 215 in a typical 1-class configuration.

Oslo International Airport

February 9, 2009 by  
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The Oslo International Airport was approved by the Norwegian authorities on 13 November 1992, and the construction of the new airport was completed in 1998. It is located approximately 50 kilometers outside the city of Oslo and is currently the largest and most busy commercial airport in Norway. The Oslo International Airport accommodates international flights, domestic flights and charter flights, with the international flights connecting Oslo Airport to more than 60 international destinations and more than twenty-five domestic destinations. At the end of 2009 it was determined that approximately 18 million passengers used the Oslo International Airport.

Oslo International Airport has two asphalt runways that are 3,600 meters and 2,950 meters respectively. Commercial airlines that operate to and from
Olso Airport include Scandinavian Airlines, Norwegian Air Shuttle, Finnair, Coast Air, British Airways, Lufthansa, KLM Royal Dutch Airline, Islandair, Turkish Airlines, Air France, Condor and Austrian Airlines. Charter airlines such as Novair, Spanair, Air Europa and SAS Braathens operate from the airport. The Oslo Airport also handles many cargo flights that are run by airlines such as DHL, Korean Air, Lufthansa, SAS Cargo Group, United Parcel Service and TNT Cargo.

Getting to and from the Oslo Airport can be done by taxi, buses (of which there is a night bus service available), trains such as the regional trains or the Airport Express, which is called Flytoget. The subway can also be used to get to the airport, and car rental facilities are available. For travelers that arrive by car, there are over 3,500 parking pays available in the short term parking area, and approximately 7,900 parking bays in the long term parking area which is located outdoors. Shuttle services are available, free of charge, to assist getting passengers and their luggage from the carparks to the airport terminal.

The Oslo International Airport has a variety of passenger facilities available within the terminal, including duty free shops, ATM’s, foreign exchange services, book stores, sweet shops, toy stores, gift shops and clothing stores. Passengers can choose from various cafes, fast food outlets, seafood bars and restaurants. Gourmet Norwegian foods and dishes are also available in the terminal. Disabled passengers have been provided for, through accessibility and spacious, clean restrooms.

Beryl Markham

February 9, 2009 by  
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In 1933, Beryl Markham was the first woman to earn a commercial pilot’s license in Kenya. This adventurous British woman flew passengers, cargo, and mail through the most remote and inhospitable regions of Africa, in most cases landing and taking off using empty fields because of the lack of runways. In 1936, Markham became the first woman to fly solo from east to west across the Atlantic.

West with the Night, Beryl Markham‘s memoir about her life as a bush pilot, became an international best seller.

Boeing 787

February 9, 2009 by  
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As the Boeing 787 Dreamliner took to the air from the Boeing Field in southern Seattle for its maiden flight on December 15, 2009, no doubt there was a collective sigh of relief from all those who have been involved in the development of this mid-size, twin-engine jet airliner, which is anticipated to be the company’s most fuel-efficient airliner yet. Making use of composite materials for most of its construction, the Dreamliner was a collaborative project involving numerous suppliers around the globe, and by the time the airplane made its appearance at a roll-out ceremony on July 8, 2007, the anticipation was so great that Boeing had reportedly secured close to 600 orders.

Unfortunately, a series of unforeseen problems and delays resulted in the scheduled date of delivery being altered several times, with the original date of May 2008 becoming a distant memory and the anticipated date being pushed forward to the fourth quarter of 2010. It would seem that the delays were primarily due to the collaboration of suppliers, with some not being able to meet their commitments in time. Despite the delays, Boeing is confident that the innovative features of the 787 Dreamliner will be well worth waiting for.

These features include an airframe that is 80 percent composite by volume, resulting in lighter weight and improved fuel efficiency. With a cruising airspeed of Mach 0.85, the 787 can cover a distance of between 8,000 and 8,500 nautical miles, allowing non-stop flying between Los Angeles and Bangkok, or Taipei and New York City, to give just two examples. Flight systems feature Avionics Full-Duplex Switched Ethernet, to transmit data between the Dreamliner’s flight deck and aircraft systems. The flight deck itself boasts LCD multi-function displays using a GUI widget toolkit with two head-up displays and a yoke.

The Dreamliner has the capacity to seat between 210 to 330 passengers, depending on the variant and seating plan. To enable passengers to maintain a view of the horizon, cabin windows have been made larger with a higher eye level. Moreover, windows make use of “smart glass” technology facilitating a reduction in glare while retaining transparency for viewing. Another feature that has been developed with passenger comfort in mind is the adjustment of cabin pressure from the average equivalent of 8,000 feet to the equivalent of 6,000 feet. The increase in cabin pressure is made possible partly because of the superior properties of composite materials.

There are three variants of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, with the 787-8 slated to enter service in 2010, followed by the 787-9 in 2013 and an, as yet, undetermined date for the 787-3.

787-3 Dreamliner

Cruise speed: Mach 0.85
Range: 2,500 to 3,050 nautical miles
Ceiling: 43,000′
Length: 186′
Wingspan: 170′
Configuration: Twin aisle
Height: 56′
Maximum weight: 364,000 pounds
Engine(s): Choice of two Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 or General Electric GEnx engines
Crew: Two
Passengers: 290 to 330

Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner

Cruise speed: Mach 0.85
Range: 7,650 to 8,200 nautical miles
Ceiling: 43,000′
Length: 186′
Wingspan: 197′
Configuration: Twin aisle
Height: 56′
Maximum weight: 484,000 pounds
Engine(s): Choice of two Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 or General Electric GEnx engines
Crew: Two
Passengers: 210 to 250

Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner

Cruise speed: Mach 0.85
Range: 8,000 to 8,500 nautical miles
Ceiling: 43,000′
Length: 206′
Wingspan: 203′
Configuration: Twin aisle
Height: 56′
Maximum weight: 540,000 pounds
Engine(s): Choice of two Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 or General Electric GEnx engines
Crew: Two
Passengers: 250 to 290

Luis Munoz Marin International Airport

February 9, 2009 by  
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The Luis Munoz Marin International Airport, formerly known as the Isla Verde International Airport, is located in close proximity to the city of San Juan in Puerto Rico. Locals refer to the airport simply as the San Juan Airport even though it was renamed as the Luis Munoz Marin International Airport in 1985. The governor at that time was Rafael Hernandez Colon, and he renamed the airport after the first governor who had been elected democratically, namely Luis Munoz Marin.

With the Luis Munoz Marin International Airport being located in the capital of Puerto Rico, it is a very important gateway between San Juan and other domestic destinations such as Ponce, Culebra, Vieques and Aguadilla. It is also of great importance to the traffic that connects Puerto Rico to the United States mainland. San Juan Airport is the hub for the airlines American Eagle and Cape Air. Many other commuter airlines such as American Airlines, Delta Airlines, Lufthansa, United Airlines, Virgin Atlantic Airlines, US Airways, Continental Airlines and Air Canada operate from the Luis Munoz Marin Airport.

There are two terminals at the Luis Munoz Marin Airport, one which is used as the main terminal and the other that is exclusively for the use of American Airlines. The terminals are clearly marked to assist passengers in finding their way around, with Concourse D and Concourse E being part of the American Airlines Terminal and Concourse B and Concourse C are part of the Main Terminal. Flights from American Eagle and American Airlines book and check into the American Airlines Terminal. All other airlines and flights need to go through the main terminal. If you are a little impatient to reach your destination, and cannot bear the thought of waiting a moment longer to get there, then you can make use of the services of a local charter service.

The Luis Munoz Marin Airport has two runways. Runway 8/26 is constructed from asphalt and is 3,049 meters in length, while the 10/28 runway is built from concrete and is 2,443 meters in length.

Taxis, busses and car rental companies are available for passenger convenience and the terminals at the Luis Munoz Marin International Airport have a variety of facilities, including ATM’s, banking facilities, duty free stores, barbershops, health and beauty salons and gift shops.

Noi Bai International Airport

February 9, 2009 by  
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The Noi Bai International Airport in Vietnam is a situated roughly 45 kilometers from downtown Hanoi. It is the biggest airport in the northern part of the country and enjoys a light and airy feel as well as wonderfully modern interiors. Hanoi is the capital city of Vietnam and while the airport is relatively small when compared to the country’s other two international airports, it is the newest and most modern so many people prefer it over the other two.

When you arrive at Noi Bai, you might notice that there are some military aircraft in the vicinity. That is because the airport caters to both military and public aircraft. It is operated by the Northern Airports Authority (NAA) and is situated at an elevation of 39 ft (12 m). The Noi Bai Airport has two runways both with concrete surfaces. The 11L/29R runway measures 10 497 ft (3 200 m), while the 11R/29L runway measures 12 466ft (3 800 m). There is only one terminal building, although there are seven different boarding gates and the building is fairly large and well utilized. There are several lounges to cater to the various classes of passenger and all are well furnished and freely available for use to those with the required boarding pass. The airport is serviced by two Hanoi city buses, which provide transport to the city center. These buses run from five in the morning to 10 in the evening and the trip takes approximately one hour. You can also arrange to have a taxi collect you or use the airport minibus which may take a while to get ready for departure.

As with all airports, certain baggage restrictions apply at Noi Bai International Airport. Only one bag may be carried on board with you and this should not be placed in the isle or by your feet but rather under your seat or in the overhead compartments. It is suggested that valuables are not packed into checked luggage but rather carried on your person and, of course, all sharp objects are prohibited in the passenger cabin and should be packed into your checked luggage. You should also note that use of electronic equipment, such as radios and cellular phones, is prohibited once you have boarded your flight.

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