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Routes, the annual get together for airports and airlines will feature a much higher profile from the aircraft manufacturing industry when it opens its door in Dubai 17-19 September. Airbus and Embraer have confirmed their attendance, with more airframe people expected to join up following Routes' visit to Farnborough last week. Route analysts and senior executives from the manufacturers will be on hand to offer guidance and analysis to their airline customers from around the world as they explore potential new routes with airports. The decision of hardware suppliers to increase their profile at this year's event demonstrates its increasing strategic importance to the industry. Dubai will be the 12th annual gathering and it is set to surpass 2,000 delegates for the first time. New attendees include Brazilian Airport Group Infraero, which looks after 60 airports; transatlantic all-business operator Eos and San Antonio Airport of the USA. Seen here is the Mexico Airports stand at Copenhagen 2005. Jul 29, 2006

UK passport holders will have to pay more for passports from October 5, but after all it is for ten years. A standard passport will increase to [pounds sterling]66 for the normal postal service (up from [pounds sterling]51), [pounds sterling]91 for the fast track option (previously [pounds sterling]77.50), and [pounds sterling]108 for the premium same day service (up from [pounds sterling]96.50). The cost of the larger frequent travelers passport is going up too, but at the last inquiry they were not available. The Passport Office says the increase in fees (a 15% rise since last December) has been introduced to cover the costs of the new style ePassport, which includes an embedded secure chip containing the holder's personal details and a scan of their photograph Over one million ePassports have now been issued in the UK, and from the end of the summer all new passports will contain the biometric chip. This is in line with US requirements for countries wishing to remain within the US Visa Waiver Scheme. The Passport Service points out that the increased charges will also fund enhanced background checks on applicants and face-to-face interviews for first-time adult passport applicants, which begin in 2007. In its press release the Passport Office takes the unusual step of comparing UK costs with other countries. New Zealand citizens pay the equivalent of [pounds sterling]123 for a ten-year period, while in Switzerland the charge is a [pounds sterling]219. Australia charges [pounds sterling]72, Belgium [pounds sterling]96, France [pounds sterling]41 and the USA [pounds sterling]54. Jul 29, 2006

White House mulls Mineta replacement. The White House has yet to name a replacement for Norman Mineta, who stepped down as transportation secretary July 7. Observers say Federal Aviation Administrator Marion Blakey and Deputy Transportation Secretary Maria Cino are likely candidates for the job. Jul 26, 2006

Congress forges tentative pension deal. A new pension rule could materialize soon as congressional leaders work through their differences on the direction of reform. A tentative agreement involves allowing companies to advise employees on 401(k) investments and outlines how the government will cover for companies unable to meet their pension fund requirements, House and Senate aides say. Jul 25, 2006

DOT proposal for deaf fliers creates "undue burden," airlines say. A proposal by the Department of Transportation to create rights for deaf travelers requires airlines to provide informational and entertainment content captioning on televisions in airplanes and train employees to communicate with hearing-impaired individuals. The Air Transport Association says the DOT has mixed civil rights with customer service matters best left to the marketplace and the proposal imposes an undue burden on airlines. Jul 25, 2006
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Publication:Airguide Online
Geographic Code:4EUFR
Date:Jul 31, 2006
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