Travel Safety Update.
South American Carriers are becoming freed up in their desire to fly to the US after Washington softened its stance on two countries which were previously restricted on services. Ecuador has now been rated as category 1 for safety instead of category 2, which made it hard for the country's airlines to fly to US cities. The decision follows a similar move over Venezuelan airlines. A Category 2 status meant those countries had to lease aircraft off category 1 nations to fly to the US. May 26, 2006
US National Transportation Safety Board said it is sending a team to Bangalore to assist in the investigation of a reported left wing fuel tank explosion on a Transmile Airlines 727-200. According to NTSB, the incident occurred on May 4 and involved a Malaysia-registered aircraft during a ground repositioning. There were no passengers onboard and no injuries were reported. May 25, 2006
Expert helps airlines develop disaster plans. Most airlines have emergency plans laying out how to deal with air accidents. Kenyon International Emergency Services President Robert Jensen said top executives must concentrate on helping family members and communicating with all parties.
May 24, 2006
Regulators may lift ban on using cell phones in flight. Some airlines and phone companies hope regulators will eventually permit in-flight cell phone calls. The Federal Aviation Administration now bans the use of mobile phones in flight. Critics of lifting the ban say using phones in-flight would diminish the comfort of other travelers. May 24, 2006
NTSB to investigate 727 fuel-tank explosion in India. National Transportation Safety Board investigators will travel to India to assist in a probe of a reported wing fuel-tank explosion on a Boeing 727-200. No one was injured in the explosion, which happened May 4. May 25, 2006
Istanbul Ataturk International Airport
Istanbul Ataturk International Airport was closed temporarily yesterday afternoon after a large fire broke out in a cargo facility around 3:15 p.m. local time. The fire did not reach or damage the passenger terminal, which is located about 1,000 m. away, and authorities said it had been contained some hours later. All aircraft were moved away from the area successfully, according to Airport Director Irfan Balta, who said the fire caused "great financial damage." Parts of the cargo building collapsed, the Associated Press reported. Authorities gave no definitive explanation for what caused the blaze but said there was no indication of terrorism. The damage is expected to disrupt cargo throughput severely at IST. Three people reportedly suffered from smoke inhalation but there were no other injuries May 25, 2006
Nigeria, infamous for poor aviation safety, has taken steps to tighten up its airline industry by raising the capital needed to operate in
the country. The move follows two crashes last year which killed 223 people. Domestic, regional and international carriers will need to show they have capital between $4m to $16m to gain agreements with the Nigerian government to fly. The new amounts are up to 100 times more than previously demanded May 26, 2006