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.

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.

Cape Town International Airport

February 9, 2009 by  
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The Cape Town International Airport is managed and under the control of the Airports Company South Africa, or the ACSA. The Airports Company of South Africa is in charge of all the vital airports that are located across South Africa. Being the second largest airport in South Africa, it shares the international and domestic air travel load, with the O.R. Tambo International Airport, in Johannesburg. Cape Town International was formerly known as the DF Malan Airport, but changed its name in the 1990’s due to its apartheid-era connotations.

Annually, Cape Town International deals with approximately 95,000 flights and just over 7.8 million passengers, as reported for 2009. The traffic growth has been so phenomenal that it is expected that the airport will accommodate almost 14 million passengers by the year 2015.

Renovations and extensions have been an ongoing project, with new terminals being constructed in 2001 and in 2003. The most recent terminal, opened in 2003, is 21,000 square meters in size and has the capacity to process 1 million passengers annually, and 1,300 during rush hours. The Cape Town Airport operates from five terminals namely the International Arrivals, Domestic Arrivals, International Departures, Domestic Departures for South African Airways and a terminal for Domestic Departures for all other airline services. Airlines that fly to and from Cape Town International include Lufthansa, Air Mauritius, Mango, Virgin Atlantic Airways, Air Namibia, South African Airways, British Airways, Qatar Airways, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Singapore Airlines, Air Botswana and LTU International. The Cape Town International Airport has two paved runways that are 3,195 and 1,699 meters in length, respectively, and are used for take offs and landings.

Cape Town International is approximately 22 kilometers from the center of Cape Town, and transport to and from the airport is serviced by car rental agencies, shuttle services and taxis. Passengers can safely park their vehicles in the parking areas at the airport and there are more than 2,000 parking bays to choose from. A shuttle service between the parking area and terminals is available for passenger convenience. Facilities at the Cape Town International Airport includes ATM’s, banks, postal services, foreign exchange services, bars, restaurants, cafés, various shops and stores and a medical facility. All facilities at the airport are modeled bearing in mind the limitations faced by disabled people, and ensuring that public amenities are easily accessible to all passengers and visitors.

The Cape Town International Airport has proved itself to be one of the leading airports in South Africa, by winning the award for ‘World Travel Awards’ consecutively from 2001 to 2004. In 2005 it came in second for the award, behind the O.R. Tambo International Airport, but secured the ‘Skytax Best Airport in Africa’ award in the same year.

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.

Casablanca Mohamed V International Airport

February 9, 2009 by  
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The Casablanca Mohamed V International Airport is located approximately 25 kilometers outside of the city of Casablanca in Morocco. This airport in Morocco is the hub for Royal Air Maroc, Air Arabia Maroc, Jet4you and Regional Air Lines. The Casablanca Mohamed V Airport in Morocco has an average of 6 million passengers pass though the terminals in a year .

The Mohamed V Airport has two asphalt runways that are both 3 720 meters in length and are both used for take offs and landings. There are many airlines that operate flights in and out of the Mohamed V Airport, including airlines such as Kuwait Airlines, Tunisair, Qatar Airlines, Fedex, Royal Jordanian, Syrian Arab Airlines, Air France, Emirates Airlines, Royal Air Maroc, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, British Airways, DHL Air, Air Malta, Lufthansa, Regional Airlines, UPS and Egyptair.

The airport in Casablanca has many facilities available to passengers that include banking facilities, a foreign exchange service, ATMs, public telephones and clean and hygienic restrooms. Duty free shops, gift shops, newsstands, cafés and restaurants are available. For passenger convenience, the airport has a postage service and a business center. The business center allows passengers to make photocopies, send important faxes or log onto the internet to check on their e-mails. There is also a prayer room, pharmacy, medical center and first aid facilities that include an ambulance service. The airport in Casablanca has specially adapted restroom facilities and lifts to accommodate disabled passengers.

Transport from the Casablanca Mohamed V Airport to the city center of Casablanca, is available through taxi services, shuttle services, buses and railway. Car rental companies such as EuropCar Hire, Hertz Car Rentals, Budget Rent-a-Car and Avis Car Hire are located in the airport building. The airport has 1 600 parking bays in its long term parking area, and approximately 880 parking bays in the short term parking area, that is located outside of the Arrivals hall.

Spain Airports

February 9, 2009 by  
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When the holiday period comes around and you are lost for ideas on where to go with your family, think no further than Spain – the ideal family vacation destination. The Spanish life-style naturally encourages family oriented holidays because the family is viewed as such an important institution. From the minute you arrive in Spain you will be overcome by the warmth and hospitality shown to you and the usual worries associated with a ‘family holiday’ will be a thing of the past. All you need to know is that there is more than enough sunshine and beaches to go around.

What is there to do in Spain you may ask? You have to go no further but to look around you at all the old historic buildings that the different beautiful cities and towns in Spain have. No matter where you travel you will be enchanted with what you see, with each of the different regions of the country opening your eyes to something new.

Spain has an array of airports to take you to your destination, wherever it may be. One of the airports you may make use of is the Barcelona Airport, which sees the second most passenger traffic in the country. If you want to see Barcelona or any small towns along the Costa Brava then this is the airport you and your family will use. The actual airport can be found only 12 kms from the Barcelona city center.

Just 8kms outside the city of Palma de Mallorca you will find the Palma Airport which is the third most used airport, and in summer can be the busiest airport in the country. Tenerife North Airport is probably not an airport that you will use much unless you are really taking an in-depth trip of Spain. More often than not, foreign tourists will visit Tenerife using the Tenerife South Airport. The Granada Airport is 16km west of Granada city and can be found in the plains of the River Genil. The Granada Airport handles mainly domestic flights but is slowly increasing the number of international flights it provides.

Airports in Spain:

Netherlands Airports

February 9, 2009 by  
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The Netherlands is well known for its cheese making, its traditional wooden shoes called clogs, its large windmills and the vibrant colored tulips that blanket the countryside. On a whole the country is quite flat and densely populated. It is a popular tourist destination with much to keep traveler’s occupied.

There are many airports and other forms of transport within the country that allow for easy travel and touring. The main airport in the Netherlands is the Schiphol airport, which is both a cargo and passenger airport. The Schiphol International Airport can be found southwest of Amsterdam and is the lowest major commercial airport above sea level in the world. Passengers can make their way out of the airport to their next destination using the Dutch Railways train station that can be found below the passenger terminal complex of the airport.

If you have a couple of hours to spend at the Schiphol Airport then you can browse around all the different stalls they have available to you. The Schiphol Plaza or shopping area is before customs and so really anyone can enjoy this alternative shopping mall. In fact you can even find an average size supermarket that is open twenty-four hours a day for your convenience. Another added pleasure of this airport is the fact that it provides such an array of disability-friendly facilities, which includes toilets, telephones and wheelchair access all specially adapted for those in need of the facilities.

Eindhoven Airport is another international airport, seven km from the main city, that you may fly into depending on where you are heading in the Netherlands. From here you will also find that many destinations and primary airports are accessible to the visiting passengers. Another convenience provided to the much-valued passenger is car hire from the airport. There is also a bus that travels to and from the airport to the central station and a taxi rank in front of the airport terminal.

Other airports in the Netherlands are Rotterdam Airport, Groningen Airport Eelde, Maastricht Aachen Airport and Texel International Airport.

Airports in the Netherlands:

Gothenburg International Airport

February 9, 2009 by  
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Gothenburg International Airport, is also known as Gothenburg-Landvetter Airport, and is located
approximately 25 kilometers outside of Gothenburg. Gothenburg has a secondary airport, named Gothenburg City Airport. The Gothenburg International Airport is significantly smaller than Stockholm-Arlanda Airport, but still accommodates almost 4 million passengers annually. Gothenburg-Landvetter Airport is an international airport, and is the second largest commercial airport in Sweden, second to Stockholm-Arlanda Airport.

The Gothenburg International Airport used to operate from two terminals that were housed in one building, one for international travel and one for domestic travel. All passengers, domestic and international, book in through one side, and all arrivals come through the other. Booking in has now been streamlined to one area, as baggage needs to be screen and checked for dangerous objects and illegal goods.

Getting to the airport or leaving it couldn’t be simpler, with a number of transport options available. Airport busses leave the airport almost every fifteen minutes, and public busses are also stationed at the airport for passenger convenience. Taxis and limousines are available to passengers outside the airport building. Car rental companies can also assist travelers in their transportation needs, and the airport can accommodate 7,315 vehicles in their parking area. Indoor parking spaces are offered and all parking areas that are located indoors or outdoors, are continuously monitored by guards and cameras, to ensure safe and trouble free parking for passengers and people collecting passengers from the airport. Car rental companies that are located at the airport, if travelers want to make bookings prior to their arrival, include Avis Car Hire, Hertz Car Hire, Europcar Car Rental, Sixt Car Rental and Budget Rent-A-Car.

The Gothenburg International Airport in Sweden has only one runway for landings and for take offs. The runway is constructed from asphalt and is 3,299 meters in length.

Facilities that are provided in the airport terminal include restaurants, ATM’s, news-stands, book stores, cafes, gift shops, bars, banking facilities, clothing stores, duty-free stores and conference facilities. There is a secure and safe play area for children and a hotel is located within 500 meters of the airport terminal.

Amsterdam Airport Schiphol

February 9, 2009 by  
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Schiphol Airport is located southwest of Amsterdam and is the Netherlands’ chief airport. The Schiphol Airport competes with many other large airports such as Heathrow International Airport in London, UK and the Charles de Gaulle International in Roissy, France, for passengers and cargo throughput.

Schiphol Airport has 6 runways made of asphalt and measuring between 2 014 and 3 800 meters. The airport is one large terminal but is sub-divided into three big departure halls. All these halls, concourses and piers are connected, which is part of the airport’s plan to have everything under one roof. Schiphol is the hub for the Amsterdam Airlines, KLM, Martinair, Transavia, Delta Air Lines and Arkefly.

Over the years Schiphol has received many awards for being the best airport in the world, and for fifteen consecutive years it was voted the “Best European Airport” and “Best Business Travel Airport”. Inside the terminal you will find an array of large shopping areas, as well as the Schiphol Plaza, which is the shopping center just before customs. Last of all there is a average-size supermarket that stays open 24 hours, seven days a week for the passengers’ convenience.

Underneath the passenger terminal complex you will find a passenger train station run by Nederlandse Spoorwegen. There is also a bus service available for those wishing to travel to and from the city.

The history of the Amsterdam Schiphol Airport dates back to September the 16, 1916 where it started off as a military airbase, later it was used by civil aircraft and was named Schiphol-les-bains before it was later called Schiphol which means ‘ship hole’.

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