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Airport News - North America.

Mar 19, 2007

FAA, airlines confront potential $47 billion collective cost of NextGen ATC Friday US airlines will have to invest $20-$25 billion through 2025 to equip aircraft for FAA's planned satellite-based NextGen system, according to ATA President and CEO James May, who spoke yesterday at the agency's annual Aviation Forecast Conference in Washington. Mar 16, 2007

FAA predicts steep climb in passenger traffic The FAA's annual forecast predicts that passenger boarding will rise 3.8% in 2007 to 768.4 million. Boarding will surpass 1 billion by 2015. Air Transport Association President and CEO James May says the increase in passenger traffic underscores the need for a modernized air traffic control system. "The real consequence of not making these changes is going to be delay," May said. Mar 16, 2007

Airlines will spend billions equipping planes for new ATC system Equipping planes for the FAA's satellite-based ATC system will cost airlines up to $25 billion through 2025, Air Transport Association President and CEO James May said Thursday. Meanwhile, the government will spend up to $22 billion to modernize the ATC. "I think a lot of people don't understand the magnitude of the task we have before us [in shifting from ground-based radar to satellite ATC]," May said Mar 16, 2007

FAA's Blakey pushes Congress for new system to fund NextGen ATC US FAA estimates it will need $15-$22 billion through 2025 to fund transformation of "grossly inefficient" radar-based ATC into the "NextGen" satellite-based system, including $4.3 billion over the next five years, and is pushing Congress to reform the agency's funding mechanism and allow it to borrow money when necessary. Mar 15, 2007

Biometrics add new level of security to air travel Advances in biometric identification are speeding security checks for travelers participating in registered traveler programs, writes Mark David in Electronic Design. He says the technology has boosted security for passport controls. Mar 14, 2007

TSA launches random inspections of airport workers The arrest of two Orlando-based airline employees has prompted the TSA to conduct random inspections of airport workers. Lawmakers are calling for the TSA to screen the 900,000 airport workers who can get access to secure airport areas without going through metal detectors. Mar 13, 2007

FAA to issue rules this year on preventing fuel-tank explosions The FAA later this year will issue new rules on what jetmakers and airlines must do to prevent fuel tank explosions. Many airlines around the world filed comments with the FAA saying the agency underestimated the costs and misrepresented the benefits of the rule. Mar 12, 2007

Airports need updates to support record traffic, official says Airports in the U.S. need new runways and modern facilities to accommodate the increasing demand for air travel, Airports Council International-North America President Gregory Principato said. Principato, who testified before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation last week, also said the FAA needs a stable source of funding to support airport investment programs. Mar 12, 2007

Senate bill modifies screener union bargaining rights A Senate measure approved Wednesday would slightly constrain the collective bargaining rights of airport screeners. In the face of a threatened veto by President George W. Bush, senators decided to limit any union role to non-wage issues and give the government wide latitude to move workers around in an emergency. Mar 9, 2007

FAA to hire 15,000 controllers over next decade The FAA will address the expected increase in air traffic and retirements by hiring 15,000 more air traffic controllers over the next decade. The FAA says it has improved its training and ramped up recruitment efforts. "We have enough controllers in the pipeline," an FAA official said Wednesday. "Our goal is to have the right people in the right places at the right time." However, under the new guidelines, the number of controllers at some airports would decrease. Mar 8, 2007

Senate to vote today on union rights for screeners The Senate plans to vote today on whether to extend the right to unionize to airport screeners. The White House and TSA officials oppose giving screeners the right to unionize, saying it would weaken security planning and response. Supporters of the measure note that union contracts cannot stop an agency from redeploying workers. The legislation also includes a proposal for a "registered traveler program" based on biometric and background screening. Mar 6, 2007

Rep. Mike Thompson (D-Calif.) introduced passenger rights legislation in the US House of Representatives last week that would require airlines to allow passengers to leave aircraft if a ground delay lasts longer than 3 hr. "We must find a way for airlines to conduct business without holding passengers on planes for hours on end," he said. His bill makes exceptions only when pilots "reasonably determine" the flight is within 30 min. of taking off, but after two such determinations without departing the passengers must be allowed to leave. The pilots also would have the flexibility to keep passengers aboard if "permitting a passenger to deplane would jeopardize passenger safety or security." While onboard, passengers must receive "adequate food, safe drinking water, sanitary facilities, air ventilation and a reasonable temperature." The bill also requires airlines to "frequently update passengers at the airport and aboard aircraft on the cause and timing of delays" and to reveal a flight's ontime record when selling tickets. Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) has said she will introduce similar legislation in the Senate . The Coalition for Airline Passengers' Bill of Rights, which has lobbied Congress on the issue, said the proposed bill "will give passengers a legal voice when confronted with the horrific ordeal" of being stuck on a grounded aircraft. Mar 5, 2007

Union, FAA dispute staffing, but airlines maintain strong safety record: The union representing air traffic controllers says U.S. airport towers and radar facilities are not properly staffed. FAA officials disagree and say many facilities are adequately staffed or even overstaffed. Meanwhile, accidents involving commercial airlines remain very rare. The industry's safety record is as safe as it has ever been, an Air Transport Association spokesman notes. Mar 5, 2007

FAA plans to switch to satellite system The FAA plans to use a system based on satellites to modernize the U.S. air traffic control system. The new system would replace radars used today and allow pilots and

controllers to more accurately and quickly pinpoint the location of a plane. "There have been quantum leaps in aviation over the years, from using bonfires on the ground to direct aircraft, then flags and, for the last few decades, radars," an FAA spokesman said. Mar 5, 2007

Inside risks to airport security persist, lawmakers say. Airport workers are now subject to random screenings, but some lawmakers believe workers could still use insider jobs to avoid security. A proposal by the House Homeland Security Committee would require some airports to screen all employees before they're allowed into secure areas, which could slow airport operations to a crawl. Mar 2, 2007

DHS touts government's progress in information sharing. DHS officials said Wednesday the government has improved its ability to share security information and embrace new technology. At the same time, it is mindful of privacy issues. Deputy Homeland Security Secretary Michael Jackson says the government is focusing on protecting infrastructure, screening cargo, and mining information from government and commercial databases. Mar 1, 2007

Effort to unionize screeners threatens security bill. A provision that would allow TSA screeners to unionize may threaten an extensive homeland security bill. Labor leaders say a union would strengthen security by improving working conditions. Republicans and the White House object to unionization and say a union could compromise the TSA's ability to quickly respond to threat conditions by giving screeners new assignments. Mar 1, 2007

Number of takeoff, landing incidents rises in 2006 The risk that travelers face during takeoff and landing has increased in recent years, observers say. Congestion, weather, runway design and pilot errors contribute to the higher risk, according to analysts. In 2006, 330 runway incidents occurred, up from 240 in 1995. Nevada's North Las Vegas Airport and California's Long Beach/Dougherty Field reported a high number of incidents last year. Feb 28, 2007

Airlines urge FAA to change rule on returning to gates. The Air Transport Association is urging the FAA to change rules that penalize aircraft for returning to airport gates. The trade group also has proposed a meeting among other federal regulators including the Department of Transportation, carriers and airports to discuss procedures for weather emergencies. Airlines oppose legislated customer service rules and say they could actually result in greater inconvenience for travelers. Feb 26, 2007

Three firms qualify to bid on FAA contract. Three defense companies have qualified to bid on a portion of an FAA contract to upgrade the nation's air traffic control system. Lockheed Martin, Raytheon and ITT may bid on the contract, which is expected to be awarded as soon as July. The FAA hopes the system improves runway operations and increases the number of planes that can fly safely at the same time. Feb 26, 2007 Airline passengers who choose to use the new machines stand in front of it with their arms in the air. A tiny laser beam scans the passenger from head to toe. The images come up on a computer screen in a room about 50 feet away. A green or red light -- for pass or fail -- is pressed and shows up at the screening location. Officials said the computer does not have the ability to save or store images, a concern expressed by privacy-rights groups. Feb 25, 2007 Airport travelers had mixed opinions about the new device, saying they hope it doesn't slow down the process of getting through security. Few had any privacy concerns. "If it's something that's going to improve safety, then I don't have any problem with it," said Ashley Houston, 32, as she waited for a plane to Albuquerque. "I have nothing to hide." Feb 25, 2007 US Airport Debuts Controversial X-Ray Scanner. US authorities have began testing a controversial new X-ray machine in Phoenix which will screen air passengers for weapons, which critics likened to a "virtual strip search." The US Transportation Security Administration rolled out an X-ray machine that uses so-called "backscatter" technology at one checkpoint at Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport. The machine peers beneath passengers' clothes to search for hidden explosives and weapons. Feb 25, 2007

Clear Card has lost money since 2005, founder says. Clear Card founder Steven Brill says his company has lost money since it started up in 2005. Brill says he got the idea for the program, which was designed to move travelers who pay a fee quickly through security, when he was writing a book on the 2001 terror attacks. At this point, it is unclear how much time the Clear Registered Traveler program saves travelers going through airport security, Brill admits. Feb 23, 2007

Regulators, airlines should partner to address delays, group says. The government should quickly call a meeting of officials and airlines to discuss how to handle flight delays related to weather, Air Transport Association President and CEO James C. May said Thursday. The ATA also supports a plan that allows a flight to return to the terminal to let passengers deplane without losing its place in line for departure. Feb 23, 2007

Technology may ease the strain on ATC system. The FAA this summer plans to award a contract for technology that will ease the strain on the U.S. air traffic control system. Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast ground sensors coordinate the location of sensor-equipped planes with satellites, feeding information back to pilots and air traffic controllers. Feb 23, 2007 Bipartisan legislation proposed in the Senate would force airlines to take specific action to get passengers off planes during long delays, a proposal that carriers fear would tangle operations and impose high costs. Airlines in 1999 averted congressional action over similar incidents by developing a "Customers First" service commitment. The big carriers said they would review their customer service plans, and update them to assure "the safety, security and comfort of customers." Airlines also want the Federal Aviation Administration to change rules so they can return to departure gates during delays and not lose their spot in line for takeoff, and for the Transportation Department to sign off on plans for weather emergencies that include providing adequate food and water to passengers during delays. Feb 23, 2007

DHS unveils redress Web site for travelers. DHS on Wednesday launched a Web site that will allow travelers who are mistakenly on the no-fly list to request that their names be removed. After a traveler submits a complaint, the DHS will ask the traveler to supply specific supporting documents. DHS did not disclose how long it would take to clear up a complaint once it receives the appropriate documents. Feb 22, 2007

After the massive delays and problems of JetBlue Airways, Kevin Mitchell, who represents the interests of corporate travel managers as chairman of the Business Travel Coalition said "The marketplace is holding JetBlue accountable, and like competitors before them, the pounding will lead to positive change," In Washington, JetBlue and other carriers still face challenges. Last week Rep. Michael Thompson, a California Democrat, said he planned to introduce a bill that would address delayed flights, time on the tarmac, cancellations, and lost or damaged luggage. One of Thompson's constituents, Kate Hanni, launched a drive for a passenger bill of rights after she was stranded on an American Airlines flight in Texas on December 29. The airline industry beat back a similar push for legislation in 1999 after agreeing to a adopt a voluntary customer service initiative in response to a Detroit snowstorm that snarled Northwest Airlines' operations. Feb 22, 2007

Airport ground delyas affect millions in the US. Nearly 60,000 flights, or less than 1 percent of total departures, were held on taxiways for up to two hours. More than 1,000 planes experienced delays of at least three hours and 36 were stuck for more than five hours. The figures have remained constant for several years and cover the industry's economic boom of the late 1990s and this decade's worst-ever downturn. But financial and schedule pressures on airlines can make it more difficult to cope with weather or other problems, especially at congested airports, experts have said. Congress clearly wants airlines to take steps on their own rather than draft legislation. The airlines have been in touch with key lawmakers, a congressional aide said. In the Senate, Democrat Barbara Boxer of California and Republican Olympia Snowe of Maine introduced legislation over the weekend that would permit passengers to get off a delayed flight after three hours. The bill would also require airlines to provide food, drinking water and "adequate" restroom facilities during delays. Feb 21, 2007

Ground Delays Impact Millions At US Airports. Millions of airline passengers are stuck in planes on the ground every year at US airports with nearly 60,000 departures delayed between one and two hours in 2006, government figures show. A couple of dozen flights annually are held between the departure gate and the runway for more than five hours. Nearly 400,000, or 5.6 percent, of the 7.1 million commercial flights last year at US airports experienced departure delays of 30 minutes to an hour after pulling away from the gate, according to Transportation Department statistics. Feb 21, 2007

Overhaul of no-fly program five years behind schedule. DHS will not complete its overhaul of the no-fly program until 2010, officials say. The agency has developed ways to reduce errors and protect privacy, but it will take more than a year and a half to develop the enhanced system. "All of us are anxious to get it started as soon possible," TSA Administrator Kip Hawley says. "But we are going to get it right before we set an artificial date and try to rush." Feb 21, 2007

FAA rules contribute to extensive delays. Extensive airline delays this winter expose a lack of communication between airlines and airports and FAA rules that keep flights from returning to gates, The Wall Street Journal's Scott McCartney writes. He notes the FAA's system may penalize flights that return to the gate because air traffic controllers take flights on a first-come, first-serve basis. Feb 20, 2007

More bomb-sniffing dogs patrol airports, rail stations. The federal government has increased the number of bomb-sniffing dogs patrolling airports and rail stations as part of an effort to boost highly visible security. "For the public, they convey the message that security is happening," Tom Farmer, head of TSA's mass-transit division, says. "They look good. They're imposing. They inspire fear about what the dogs can detect." Feb 20, 2007

Cincinnati's Registered Traveler enrolls more than 1,200. The Registered Traveler program at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport has enrolled more than 1,200 people after just two weeks in operation. Verified Identify Pass runs the program and hopes to eventually use shoe-scanning technology so registered travelers can keep their shoes on while passing through the security line. Feb 19, 2007

Airline and airport officials say operations should return to normal today at most airports. Severe winter weather forced airlines to cancel thousands of flights earlier this week. Strong winds and icy runways caused delays of several hours in New York on Thursday, and some travelers spent many hours delayed inside jetliners on taxiways. Feb 16, 2007

ATC funding proposal causes debate A White House proposal to modernize the federal air traffic control system through a new cost-based mechanism has caused disagreement between commercial airlines and other aviation special interests. According to an FAA fact sheet, general aviation is responsible for 11% of air traffic costs but pays only 3% of the taxes that go into the trust fund. A "cost-based funding mechanism ... is something that we have long endorsed," said James May, president and CEO of the Air Transport Association. "Whether you fly a 767 or a Citation 10, you are imposing the same demand on the air traffic system." A business aviation spokesman said the proposal would make traveling on corporate jets more expensive and increase fuel taxes. Feb 16, 2007

TSA union effort moves ahead A Senate committee on Thursday approved a measure that would allow the TSA's 43,000 airport screeners to join a union, the Washington Post's Stephen Barr writes. The White House said it would oppose the legislation after the House passed a similar measure last month. Feb 16, 2007

Air Transport Association calls FAA reauthorization proposal good first step: The Air Transport Association issued the following statement in response to the release of the Federal Aviation Administration Reauthorization Bill and FAA Cost Allocation Study on the reauthorization of the Airport and Airway Trust Fund. Read here. Feb 15, 2007

Airline, airport wildlife problems increasing FAA statistics show that collisions between aircraft and animals have increased to about 7,000 incidents each year. Experts note that more people are flying and that the population of animals that interfere with planes is increasing. Feb 15, 2007

Authorities arrest two Seattle baggage handlers Authorities arrested two Seattle baggage handlers after one was noticed selling a large number of cigarettes around the airport and the other tried to use a credit card believed to be stolen from someone's luggage. The workers, who were employed by a contractor, have been fired. No charges have been filed. Feb 15, 2007

FAA proposal would shift ATC to cost-based funding The reauthorization funding proposal unveiled by the FAA Wednesday includes eliminating the 7.5% ticket tax and paying for the air traffic control system with a cost-based funding mechanism and higher fuel taxes. Under the current system, airlines pay about 95% of the system's cost but use just two-thirds of its services. Air Transport Association President and CEO James May noted that two airplanes that fly the same route should pay the same amount as they use the same amount of ATC services. Feb 15, 2007

Snow, ice force carriers to cancel flights Severe weather forced airlines to cancel flights throughout the Midwest and Northeast on Wednesday. United Airlines canceled nearly 1,000 flights at its Chicago and Washington, D.C., hubs. Hundreds of other flights were canceled at other airports. One airline apologized after passengers were left waiting on a plane for hours in New York due to the storm. Feb 15, 2007

US FAA revenues required by the agency and for the development of satellite-based ATC would be generated by a combination of user fees, international arrival and departure taxes (reduced 50%) and government contributions. The proposal also provides for limited borrowing authority that FAA can use to support infrastructure improvements, gives airports the leeway to raise more money (including an increase on PFC caps to $6 from $4.50) and offers money for research into airframe and engine technology designed to reduce noise and emissions. Feb 15, 2007

User fees would comprise 53% of FAA's budget and would be calculated from the agency's "cost accounting and allocation systems." General aviation users would pay through a fuel tax, which would combine with a common fuel tax imposed on all users to total 28% of the budget and fund the Airport Improvement Program, the Essential Air Service Program and FAA research and development. Contributions from the government's general fund would make up the remaining 19%. Feb 15, 2007

FAA wants to borrow up to $5B for new air traffic system The FAA plans to ask lawmakers for permission to borrow up to $5 billion to build a new satellite-based air traffic control system. The FAA also supports a new system based on user fees for taxing airlines and private planes that use the air traffic control system Feb 14, 2007

Severe storm snarls operations, forces three airport closures A severe winter storm forced officials to close three major airports Wednesday morning. Washington Dulles, Reagan Washington National, and Hartford's Bradley International closed at least temporarily, and major delays and cancellations were expected throughout the Midwest and Northeast on Wednesday. Feb 14, 2007

TSA may take over airport document checks The TSA wants to take over checking travelers' documents at airport security checkpoints and has asked Congress for $60 million in funding. ATA President and CEO James C. May said, "We are pleased to see that steps are being taken to incorporate this government function into TSA's basic passenger-security screening process." Feb 14, 2007

FAA to decide on airspace redesign project this spring The FAA this spring will decide how to route planes from five major and 16 satellite airports in the Northeast. The FAA says the effort is part of a plan to reduce delays and minimize conflicts among planes. Some community groups and politicians say the FAA is not adequately addressing noise issues on the ground. Feb 12, 2007

Modern air traffic control would reduce emissions, group says Modernizing air-traffic control systems would reduce the number of planes circling airports and, as a result, cut carbon emissions, Air Transport Association Executive Vice President John Meenan said. He noted that a new air traffic management system could improve environmental performance by up to 15%. "It's a matter of making the investment to make that happen," Meenan said. Feb 12, 2007

Schumer calls for more funding for controllers Safety problems and flight delays will increase at New York airports unless air traffic control towers are properly staffed, said Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y. on Sunday. He said the towers are now operating with just 70% of the staff they need and urged the Senate Appropriations Committee to triple the FAA's budget for fiscal 2008 by adding $47.7 million for new controllers. Feb 12, 2007

Air marshal program encounters turbulence The U.S. now employs between 2,500 and 4,000 air marshals trained in hand-to-hand combat and advanced marksmanship. However, some air marshals have complained the job doesn't lead to advancement. Meanwhile, budget cuts have led to a hiring freeze, heavier schedules and fewer flights covered. Feb 9, 2007

Air tours must improve safety, FAA says The FAA is raising safety standards for companies that operate air tours over scenic areas in the U.S. The new rules, which were prompted by a series of accidents, take effect next month. "These new standards will increase overall air tour safety, improve the FAA's ability to track and monitor commercial air tour flights, and help us identify and address operational trends that could lead to accidents," FAA Administrator Marion Blakey said Thursday. Feb 9, 2007

Budget would reduce funding for airport grants Under President George W. Bush's budget proposal, grants for airports would fall 22% to $2.75 billion. Airports use grant money for construction projects, equipment purchases and land acquisition, but FAA Administrator Marion Blakey says the money is needed in other areas such as safety and security. Feb 8, 2007

Airport screeners will start receiving AMBER alerts The TSA said airport security screeners will start getting notices and photos of abducted children in an effort to stop abductors from taking children on planes. The program is part of the AMBER Alert network's goal to find missing people. "This can be tremendously effective," said Ernie Allen, president of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children. "You're talking about 43,000 TSA officers around the country." Feb 8, 2007 US Wants User Pay For Air Traffic Services. The Bush administration proposed on Monday that airlines pay billions in user fees to replace ticket and other taxes that currently underwrite much of the nation's air traffic control system. The plan outlines by the Federal Aviation Administration would streamline funding and ultimately place a greater burden on the private sector to foot more of the air agency's budget, which currently runs about USD$14 billion. Business jet owners and other private fliers would likely pay higher fuel taxes as part of the new formula, industry officials said. Congress must approve a new funding plan or reauthorize the existing one before it expires in September. Key lawmakers in the Democratic-led House of Representatives are doubtful of the proposal. It is too early to tell what impact the proposal would have on the airline industry's bottom line, airline and government officials said, because the FAA did not disclose a fee structure. Those details are expected to be revealed in the coming weeks. The Bush administration has proposed user fees in a number of non-military and entitlement budget areas over the years to reduce strain on the federal treasury and cut the deficit. For example, a full flight from Boston to Miami generates more money for the FAA than another that is half full, but both planes require the same attention from air traffic controllers. The FAA also believes the current funding arrangement is too volatile with revenue tied closely to swings in airline industry financial performance.

Feb 6, 2007

Bush budget paves way for ATC fee reform. President Bush's new $2.9 trillion budget "provides a framework for reforming the aviation system by tying what users pay to the costs of providing air traffic control and other services," the US Dept. of Transportation confirmed yesterday, pleasing airlines that have advocated a user-based funding mechanism. The US Airport and Airways Trust Fund is due for reauthorization in the current fiscal year ending Sept. 30. The budget requests $175 million for a next-generation satellite navigation system and an additional $900 million in other ATC upgrades, which Secretary Mary Peters called "critical if we are to deploy the state-of-the-art technology that can safely handle the dramatic increases in the number and type of aircraft using our skies." Feb 6, 2007

The Air Transport Assn. said yesterday that it is "pleased" with the proposal that establishes "a cost-based method to fund our nation's aviation system, with a direct correlation between revenue and cost." ATA President and CEO James May said that to an air traffic controller, "A blip is a blip. Whether there are three or 300 passengers on an aircraft." The National Business Aviation Assn., which has pushed for a funding mechanism based on fuel taxes, said it will join the GA community to "oppose this toxic mix of higher taxes, new fees and airline control" in favor of the current system, which it called "effective and efficient." NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen blamed "more than a year of intense lobbying by the nation's big airlines" for the policy shift, which he said "gives airlines more control over the air traffic system." Feb 6, 2007

Airports Council International-North America said funding for the Airport Improvement Program will fall 27% to $2.75 billion but that the reauthorization proposal includes wording that left ACI hopeful the PFC cap may be raised from $4.50 to its requested $7.50. Still, President Greg Principato said the budget "fails to provide adequate resources." Feb 6, 2007

Some lawmakers doubt that funding for the nation's air traffic control system needs reform, says a top aide for the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. The Air Transport Association last year launched an effort to reform the system. Airlines pay for 94% of the air traffic control system but use just 68% of it, according to the ATA. Feb 2, 2007

US FAA funding reform not 'inevitable,' top Congressional aide says Airline efforts to get business and general aviation to bear a larger share of the cost of the air traffic control system may stall when Congress takes up FAA reauthorization legislation this year, a senior congressional staff member said yesterday. Speaking to the American Bar Assn. Forum on Air & Space Law in Washington, David Heymsfeld, majority staff director for the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, told attendees that Democratic members are not convinced that major changes and reforms are needed. He also said there is a perception in Congress that airlines "inevitably have to be very shortsighted" because of their focus on near-term financial performance and that the experience of improving airports shows that carriers have an "extreme reluctance to fund modernizations." ATA launched an effort last year to reform FAA's funding structure. On Thursday, ATA VP-Government Affairs Sharon Pinkerton repeated the group's claim that airlines fund 94% of the ATC system while using just 68% of it, while Edward Bolen, president and CEO of the National Business Aviation Assn., disputed the figures. Heymsfeld also said industry consolidation "would be a major concern" for the new Democrat-controlled House of Representatives. Feb 2, 2007

Most airports keep operating through severe winter storms Most airlines and airports are able to continue operating through snowstorms as long as they do not allow snow to accumulate. In December, severe storms forced Denver International Airport to shut down twice, but those incidents were unusual. The airport is vulnerable because of its location on the prairies east of Denver. Feb 1, 2007

Proposal would create trusted traveler program for foreign visitors. The U.S. travel industry is urging lawmakers to create a trusted traveler program for visitors from foreign countries. The proposal would allow regular international visitors to submit extensive personal and biometric information to the U.S. government. If approved to participate, the travelers could count on predictable airport clearance procedures in the US. Feb 1, 2007

House proposal allows US FAA to continue with plan to hire controllers The FAA would not have to furlough workers to meet a government-wide funding freeze under a proposal by House lawmakers. The proposal funds the FAA's budget at the level the agency requested, and it will allow it to proceed with its plan to hire more air traffic controllers. Jan 31, 2007

House committee chairman criticizes Registered Traveler The new chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee criticized the Registered Traveler program Monday, calling it a "glorified frequent flier" program. "I'm not certain that a new program where people pay extra money to get in a lane will do any better because they still will have to go through the same screening. They're just in a different lane," said Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss. He also said lawmakers would continue to promote new technology to improve passenger safety. Jan 30, 2007

Passengers want airlines held accountable for disruptions Some passengers believe airlines should be held responsible for long delays and service disruptions and are demanding federal legislation, The New York Times' Joe Sharkey writes. Passengers were kept on a flight diverted to Austin, Texas, for eight hours during the holiday travel season after severe weather disrupted flight operations. Jan 30, 2007

State Department expects to issue 16 million passports this year The State Department expects to issue 16 million passports in 2007, up from a record of 12.1 million issued in 2006. New rules require Americans flying from Mexico, Canada and the Caribbean to have passports to re-enter the U.S. Jan 29, 2007

Union says controller shortage could lead to more delays The union representing air traffic controllers warns that travelers may experience more delays because the pace of hiring has not kept up with the increasing number of retiring controllers. However, the US FAA says there is no controller shortage and that the the number of controllers is rising. Jan 29, 2007

Strained air traffic system leads to delays. The air traffic control system is nearing its capacity and is prone to breakdowns, experts say. The FAA is trying to design a new system based on satellite navigation and allow an increase in air traffic. Because carriers often operate full flights, it is difficult for airlines to rebook travelers who are on a delayed or canceled flight. Jan 29, 2007

TSA chief criticizes plan to inspect cargo. TSA chief Kip Hawley says requiring inspection of all cargo on commercial jetliners could actually increase the planes' vulnerability to terrorist attacks. He says inspecting all cargo would divert airport screeners from other responsibilities, such as screening airport workers and looking for suspicious travelers. Jan 29, 2007

Fewer overseas travelers visit the U.S. amid tightened security Tightened security and entry requirements have contributed to a 17% drop in overseas travelers to the U.S. since the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks. The decline has resulted in $15 billion in lost taxes and 200,000 lost jobs. Jan 24, 2007

DHS has created a system to fix errors on the no-fly list. Under the new system, travelers will still be stopped if their names appear on a watch list. However, if screening clears them, agents make note so the next time the they travel they are not detained. Jan 22, 2007

Verified Identity Pass, which was approved by the US Transportation Security Administration last month to operate its Clear Registered Traveler program at select US airports, this week launched the screening program with the opening of an RT lane at New York JFK's Terminal 7. Clear now has over 35,000 members. The program is scheduled to be implemented in Indianapolis, San Jose and Cincinnati by the end of the month. Jan 19, 2007

Canada, border states concerned about passport rules. Many airline agents have been reminding people traveling to the newly targeted destinations about the need for passports. New passport rules could hurt tourism and commerce in Canada and some border states, according to some officials. Starting Tuesday, most air travelers who are citizens of Canada, Mexico or Bermuda or U.S. citizens returning home will be required to show passports to enter the U.S. Jan 18, 2007

U.S. says new passport rule won't leave travelers stranded. New passport rules could affect travelers who suddenly need to fly home to Canada. However, U.S. officials say they will not leave people without proper documents stranded in the U.S. Starting Jan. 23, anyone entering or leaving the U.S. by air, including Canadians, must present a passport or risk being denied boarding by the airline. "They're going to do something so that people are not stranded," an Air Transport Association spokesman says. Jan 17, 2007

TSA to announce guidelines on security tray advertising. The TSA is expected to issue guidelines today for advertisements appearing in trays that carry travelers' possessions through airport X-ray machines. Advertisers would pay fees to the airport and provide trays and tables in exchange for placing their ads in the trays. Jan 11, 2007

US House approves bill mandating cargo inspection. The House on Tuesday approved a measure to require airlines to inspect all cargo placed on passenger jetliners. Critics say the bill would create excessive costs and that it may be impossible for airlines to inspect 100% of air cargo. The White House has opposed several aspects of the bill and says it will not support it as currently drafted. The Senate has not yet taken up the measure. Jan 10, 2007

US Supreme Court declines to hear case on passenger identification. The Supreme Court on Monday rejected an attempt to challenge the federal government's policy that requires passengers to show identification before they board flights. Sun Microsystems founder John Gilmore sued the government because it would not disclose the regulation requiring identification. Jan 9, 2007

Bill would allow screeners to join unions. A House bill scheduled for floor action today would give union rights to about 43,000 TSA airport screeners. The TSA has not allowed screeners to join unions since it was created in 2001, saying collective bargaining is not appropriate for airport passenger and baggage screeners because of their national security mission and the agency's need to make staffing changes quickly in response to threats. Jan 9, 2007

Airbus, Los Angeles International

Officials urge Airbus to land A380 in Los Angeles Officials at Los Angeles International Airport are asking Airbus to reconsider its decision to have the A380 touch down in New York on its first visit to the U.S. next month. Airport officials say Airbus committed to landing the plane in Los Angeles first and noted that LAX had expedited construction on a $9 million gate to accommodate the plane. Feb 15, 2007

Alaska Airlines, Horizon Air, Seattle-Tacoma

Alaska Airlines and regional affiliate Horizon Air will spend $18 million to bring the Airport of the Future check-in concept to Seattle-Tacoma International by the end of 2007. The company, which introduced the concept in 2004, said it will eliminate traditional ticket counters at the airport and replace them with "customer-friendly islands of check-in kiosks and bag-check stations." The design will allow passengers "to get from curbside to planeside in record time," Alaska VP-Real Estate Ed White said. Jan 11, 2007

American Airlines, New York

American Airlines is to beef up service to and from New York area airports, a move that puts new pressure on JetBlue Airways as it strives to regain customer confidence after last week's operational meltdown. The expansion by American, the world's largest airline, also increases competition with Delta Air Lines and Continental Airlines. Feb 23, 2007

American Airlines, New York

American plans to complete a USD$1.1 billion terminal this summer at New York John F. Kennedy Airport where JetBlue is the largest carrier and is upgrading its own facilities. American said it would add new and additional service between Las Vegas, San Francisco, Atlanta and other cities. American also stranded passengers on planes for hours in December when storms in Dallas diverted some flights to Austin. Feb 23, 2007

American Airlines, Tokyo Narita

American Airlines yesterday transferred its Tokyo Narita operation to Terminal 2 from Terminal 1 and opened a new 13,300-sq.-ft. lounge as part of oneworld's effort to collocate its members prior to JAL's entry into the alliance later this year. By the end of 2007, five oneworld members will operate out of T2. Jan 17, 2007

Atlanta

Atlanta ranks as world's busiest airport Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport remained the busiest airport in the world in 2006, with 84.8 million passengers passing through. Chicago's O'Hare and London's Heathrow took second and third place, respectively. Mar 8, 2007

Atlanta

TSA to start random worker screening at Atlanta airport. The TSA said Tuesday it will start randomly screening workers at Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport next week. The screenings are part of an effort to improve security at the airport. "It's a very important program to aviation security because it adds an unpredictable layer to screening of individuals on the secure side of the airport," a TSA spokesman said. "No longer can an employee working in any airport secure area know with 100% certainty that they, their packages or their vehicles will not be searched by TSA." Feb 21, 2007

Atlanta airport

Atlanta official envisions second airport The general manager of the Atlanta airport wants to start planning a second commercial airport to serve the city. Ben DeCosta says he will start planning the airport if his contract is renewed. It expires March 21. "Atlanta will need a second airport between the years 2020 and 2025, and it takes such a long time to plan, we must start now," DeCosta says. Mar 12, 2007

Atlanta airport

Atlanta airport to take bids on Registered Traveler program Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport plans to seek proposals for a Registered Traveler program from private contractors within six weeks. Some travelers say the program is unnecessary because they get through security lanes relatively quickly. They also raised concerns about a private company compiling background information. Feb 9, 2007

Austin Bergstrom International

Austin officials mull leasing airport to private firm. Austin, Texas, officials are considering leasing Austin-Bergstrom International Airport to a private company. The idea will be presented to city council members sometime in the future. A handful of other airports have applied to the FAA to take their airports private Feb 22, 2007

Baltimore Washington International

Airports turn to technology to help travelers park Some airports are using technology to help travelers navigate crowded parking lots. Baltimore/Washington International has installed a system of sensors and electronic signs that guides travelers to open parking spaces. Other airports issue e-mail alerts and use the Internet to disseminate up-to-the-minute information on parking. Feb 13, 2007

Baltimore Washington International

BWI posts record passenger traffic in 2006 Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport says 20.7 million people traveled through the airport in 2006. The numbers surpassed pre-Sept. 11, 2001, levels for the first time and set a new record. The expansion of discount carriers at the airport has stimulated traffic. Feb 9, 2007

Blue Grass Airport

The Lexington, Ky., crash of a Comair commuter jet last August has brought new attention to the FAA's difficult-to-enforce "sterile cockpit" rule. Although investigators have not said what role, if any, the pilots' casual conversation played in the Aug. 27 crash, several air accidents have been blamed on instances when pilots were talking about subjects other than flying. Jan 19, 2007

Charlotte Airport

Smoking will no longer be allowed in public spaces in the Charlotte airport, starting March 15. Smokers are allowed to use areas designated outside the airport. Jan 22, 2007

Chicago

Chicago increases screening of airport workers Workers at Chicago's two airports will now face random security checks, TSA officials said. "It's another layer of security that lets the workers know they can be screened anywhere and at any time," said Kathy Petrowsky, acting TSA federal security director at O'Hare International Airport. Previously, workers did not face random inspections and were only required to show their identification badges. Feb 28, 2007

Chicago

Chicago launches plan to improve airport access. Chicago has launched a plan to improve access to Chicago O'Hare International Airport that includes modernizing the airport transit system, writes John Hilkevitch in the Chicago Tribune. The plan calls for widening the main road to the airport and building a new road with a feeder ramp. Feb 20, 2007

Chicago Airport

Chicago Airport Plan Seeks Passenger Fee Funds. Chicago's O'Hare Airport is looking to use passenger facility charge revenue to help plug a funding shortfall in its expansion plan after airlines objected to issuing more general airport revenue bonds, a city official said on Wednesday. Jan 10, 2007

Chicago Midway Airport

Midway to get new radar warning technology by 2010. By 2010, Chicago's Midway Airport will get a new radar system that officials hope will help prevent collisions on runways. The Airport Surface Detection Equipment-X notifies pilots and air traffic controllers of potential collisions with other aircraft and vehicles on runways and taxiways. Jan 29, 2007

Chicago O'Hare International

Chicago may use ticket tax to fund airport expansion. Chicago wants to use $270 million in passenger ticket taxes to fund part of an expansion at O'Hare International Airport. The taxes have already been collected, but the city needs approval from the FAA to spend the funds. Airlines oppose issuing more general airport revenue bonds to fund the project. Jan 11, 2007

Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky

Cincinnati fares are highest in U.S., DOT report says A DOT report found that fares from Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport are the highest in the U.S. The average round-trip ticket from the airport costs $556. Officials have said they have tried to attract discount airlines to the airport. Feb 28, 2007

Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky

Cincinnati hub likely to survive carrier consolidation, study says Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International would retain its hub status if four hubs survive after a round of airline consolidation, according to a University of Cincinnati business professor. The hub pumps about $4.5 billion into the region's economy each year. Jan 30, 2007

Continental Airlines, Denver

Continental expands Denver maintenance operations Continental Airlines may add as many as three dozen maintenance workers at Denver International Airport starting next year. Denver is one of the few cities where the carrier is considering adding more workers, a Continental spokeswoman said. She said "increased fleet utilization and the need for additional line check maintenance" created a need for more workers. Mar 9, 2007

Continental Airlines, New York

Continental, which flies to 77 international destinations from its hub at nearby Newark Airport, is the largest carrier in the New York area. Over the past 12 months, Continental flew an average of 45,985 seats per day out of the three main New York airports. American averaged 29,122 seats, while Delta flew an average of 28,551 seats, according to figures provided by Continental. In January, Continental said air fares in the New York area would come under pressure as it defends its Newark hub from competition from JetBlue and others. JetBlue has said it will pay out about USD$26 million in refunds and travel vouchers after it stranded hundreds of passengers aboard grounded aircraft and canceled some 1,200 flights after last week's ice storm. Feb 23, 2007

Dallas Fort Worth, American Airlines

Air traffic controllers at Dallas Fort Worth retrained after denying emergency landing runway request to August American Airlines flight with low fuel. American Broadcasting news channel KVUE Austin has broadcast an in-depth report on the retraining of air traffic controllers at Dallas Fort Worth after an incident in August last year when an American Airlines pilot declared an emergency but was held from landing on his requested runway. The crew on the flight on 312 August between Tulsa and Dallas declared low-fuel and asked to land against the flow of traffic. Transcripts of the cockpit, show the pilot saying: "We're not sure if it's a fuel leak or what, but we need to get on the ground right away, please." But air traffic controllers retort that this could delay other aircraft, suggesting an alternate of Dallas Love Field. As a result, air traffic controllers have been put on to retraining courses to reinforce the idea that an emergency landing always takes priority. Feb 26, 2007

Dallas/Fort Worth

Survey puts D/FW among world's top airports A recent industry survey recognized Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport as one of the best airports in the world for customer service. The Airports Council International survey ranked D/FW as the top major airport in North and South America. Mar 14, 2007

Dallas/Fort Worth International

FAA retrains D/FW controllers after incident. The FAA retrained all air traffic controllers at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport after a pilot who declared an emergency was told he could not land on a certain runway. The pilot had declared a low-fuel emergency and was eventually allowed to land the plane. Feb 21, 2007

Delta Air Lines, Atlanta airport

Delta overhauls lobby of Atlanta airport. Delta Air Lines is in the final stages of making the Atlanta airport's South Terminal easier for travelers to use. Changes include the addition of two large islands of ticket and baggage check-in positions. The airline said the changes will allow more space for travelers to move through the lobby. Mar 2, 2007

Delta Air Lines, Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky

Delta Air Lines has reached a tentative agreement related to its lease at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport. Mar 8, 2007

Delta Technology

Court papers show technology failures at Delta increased in 2005 after key technical staff left the airline for jobs at other Atlanta companies. The brain drain occurred at Delta Technology, a subsidiary that handles such operations as aircraft routing, Web site infrastructure, the gate agent system and baggage handling. Jan 10, 2007

Denver airport, Frontier

Denver airport, Frontier plan expansion for regional jets Frontier Airlines and Denver International Airport are creating a plan to expand the airport's regional jet facility. They are determining the costs and timeline of the expansion, which will accommodate Frontier's new regional jets and a fleet of 10 turboprop planes for its new Lynx Aviation subsidiary. Jan 30, 2007

Denver International

Airlines upgrade airport ticketing areas in Denver Travelers flying from Denver International Airport will soon see dozens of additional ticketing kiosks, more curbside check-in stations and new boarding lanes for elite frequent fliers. United Airlines and Frontier Airlines have added the upgrades to improve customer service and boost revenue. Other carriers are also spending more to attract customers, experts say. Mar 16, 2007

Denver International

Record Year For Denver Although passenger numbers fell for the first time in 20 months during December, Denver International Airport had a record year in 2006. The US airport handled 47.3 million passengers, a 9.1 percent increase over the previous year. A 3 percent drop in December traffic was attributed to a blizzard that closed the airport for 45 hours at the height of the holiday travel season. Feb 12, 2007

Detroit Metropolitan Airport, Northwest Airlines

Questionable proposals spark Northwest response A Michigan county executive is proposing a new tax on passengers flying out of Detroit Metropolitan Airport as one of several ways to pay for expanding Detroit's Cobo Center convention and exhibition hall. A Northwest Airlines spokesman says federal regulations require that any tax generated at the airport must be used at the airport. Feb 8, 2007

Florida International Airport

Florida airport sets new traffic record in 2006. Southwest Florida International Airport served more than 7.6 million fliers last year, setting a new record. The airport said passenger traffic rose 1.7% from year-ago levels. Jan 29, 2007

Fort Lauderdale airport

Fort Lauderdale airport serves fewer travelers in 2006The number of travelers who flew through Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport declined in 2006 for the first time in more than a decade. The decline is the result of airlines reducing the number of flights they operate from the airport. Feb 2, 2007

Frontier Airlines, Northwest Airlines, Bradley

Airlines add service at Connecticut's Bradley International. After declining traffic in 2006, Bradley International Airport in Hartford, Conn., is experiencing growth. Frontier Airlines and Northwest Airlines plan to add flights this year. "Growth at Hartford represents the airlines' desire to find underserved markets," says travel analyst Harry Harteveldt of Forrester Research. "Not that people are enamored with Hartford, but it's a good market: a lot of business traffic, a highly populated area and an easy-to-navigate airport without a hub carrier." Mar 2, 2007

JetBlue Airways, New York

JetBlue operates 173 daily flights from New York JFK and flies four daily nonstop flights from there to Las Vegas and plans to launch New York-San Francisco service in May. Feb 23, 2007

JetBlue, Delta, Air Lines American Airlines

Storm prompts airlines to cancel East Coast flights A winter storm on the East Coast prompted JetBlue, Delta, American, and Northwest to cancel hundreds of flights on Friday. More than 200 of the canceled flights were to or from New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport. A JetBlue spokesman said the cancellations were made so crews would be available when needed and so departure gates would be available if weather forced planes to return. Mar 16, 2007

Kentucky Airport, Comair, Delta Air Lines

NTSB makes public some files on Comair crash. The NTSB today will open the public docket on the crash of Comair Flight 5191 in Kentucky last August. The docket will include transcripts of the conversation between the Comair pilots and what the air traffic controller told the pilots from the airport's tower. The NTSB says the information is "factual in nature and does not provide analysis." Jan 17, 2007

Los Angeles

Los Angeles International Airport should build new gates on the west side of its Tom Bradley International Terminal, the Los Angeles Times editorial board writes. The board notes that LAX is losing international traffic to more modern airports. It also points out that the new gates would come under a growth cap and be funded mostly by landing and passenger fees. Mar 2, 2007

Los Angeles

Airlines criticize steep fees, rents at Los Angeles airport Twenty-two airlines have joined a complaint criticizing steep fees and rents at Los Angeles International Airport. Rents are expected to increase sharply at the airport next month when current leases expire. Airlines want federal officials to overturn a fee increase and refund higher charges already paid. Feb 28, 2007

Los Angeles

Twenty-two additional carriers reportedly have joined AirTran Airways, Alaska Airlines, ATA Airlines, Frontier Airlines, Midwest Airlines, Southwest Airlines and US Airways Group in filing a joint complaint with the US Dept. of Transportation opposing new terminal charges at Los Angeles International Airport, which this week broke ground on a $723.5 million renovation of its Bradley International Terminal. LAX raised fees on Feb. 1 to help pay for "much-needed airport improvements," operator Los Angeles World Airports said in a statement in response to this month's original DOT filing by the initial seven carriers. "In recent years, LAWA has absorbed the increasing costs to maintain and operate its terminals and other facilities at LAX without passing these costs on to airline tenants," it said. But the seven airlines "estimate the collective financial impact [of the new charges] over the next 15-20 years at more than $1 billion, with a near-tripling of charges from $20 million to $56 million in the first year alone," they said in a joint statement. "LAWA is not a private commercial landlord," their DOT filing noted. "Rather, LAWA is a public utility with monopoly power over the airlines wishing to serve LAX. . .access to LAX on fair and nondiscriminatory terms is essential." LAWA responded that while the new charges "may not be well received by some airlines," its previous model for assessing rent "is outdated and does not reflect the current aviation environment." Feb 28, 2007

Los Angeles

Los Angeles airport to add 11 additional gates. Los Angeles officials have agreed to build 11 more gates at Los Angeles International airport. Airlines have urged the airport to improve its terminals and gates and have moved some international flights to other airports because the facilities are outdated. Feb 27, 2007

Los Angeles

NCL Strikes Environmental Agreement With Port of Los Angeles Norwegian Cruise Line has inked a multi-year deal with the Port of Los Angeles, which includes measures designed to support the port's clean air initiatives. Feb 22, 2007

Los Angeles

Airport commission votes to take control of Los Angeles terminals. Los Angeles' Airport Commission voted to spend up to $154 million to take control of several terminals at Los Angeles International Airport. The commission hopes the move will allow them to free up parking spots for discount airlines. "While we understand the airport's desire to capture some additional revenues, the level of these increases [has] created a very untenable situation for all the airlines at LAX," wrote ATA President and CEO James C. May. Jan 9, 2007

Los Angeles airport

Los Angeles airport loses international flights. Some international carriers are shifting their flights from Los Angeles International Airport to more modernized airports in New York, San Francisco and Las Vegas. Other major airports have gained international flights, but Los Angeles has posted a 12% decline in seats for international departures since 2000. Some observers blame the airport's outdated terminals. Feb 23, 2007

Los Angeles Airport

Los Angeles International Airport officials have put plans for a Registered Traveler program on hold. Executive Director Lydia Kennard in a recent memo cited questions about whether the program's benefits will outweigh its potential drawbacks. However, she noted that the airport remains "enthusiastic" about Registered Traveler. Jan 22, 2007

Los Angeles, American Airlines, Continental Airlines, United Airlines

American Airlines, Continental Airlines and United Airlines filed a lawsuit last week in US District Court against the city of Los Angeles in an attempt to fight a retroactive increase in Los Angeles International Airport "terminal maintenance fees" that the carriers say will cost a combined $15 million, the Associated Press reported. The fee hikes reportedly are designed to cover increased security costs. Earlier this month, the Air Transport Assn. called an increase in LAX rental rates "arbitrary" and said that "there was no sincere effort to reach agreement on fair and reasonable rental rates" and that "LAX has demonstrated that it has no interest in a long-term rational business partnership" with the airlines. Jan 23, 2007

Los Angeles International

Sensor failure forces LAX to divert flights The failure of an electronic sensor at Los Angeles International Airport Wednesday morning prevented some incoming planes from landing. About a dozen incoming flights were diverted before operations returned to normal at 8 a.m., officials said. Feb 8, 2007 Los Angeles, New York, Phoenix The TSA will test the machine in Phoenix for 60-90 days before deploying machines in Los Angeles and New York's John F. Kennedy Airport for additional testing by the end of the year. Privacy groups and the American Civil Liberties Union have labeled the new screening a "virtual strip search" that could be abused. But TSA officials said Friday they had worked with industry specialists to blur any images of body parts generated by the scan, and likened the resulting picture to a "chalk outline" of a person. The machine is made by Boston-based American Science and Engineering, and is on loan for the trial. Passengers selected for secondary testing at the airport, which is the nation's eighth busiest, can choose an X-ray scan or a pat-down search. It is strictly voluntary. Feb 25, 2007

Los Angeles/Palmdale

Los Angeles/Palmdale starts commercial flights in June The Los Angeles airport agency wants to attract airlines to LA/Palmdale Regional Airport, the Wall Street Journal's Scott McCartney writes. It will spend at least $300 for each passenger who uses the airport in the next year. United Airlines in June will start flying from Palmdale to San Francisco. The city will cover the airline's losses and handle advertising and marketing. Mar 13, 2007

Miami Airport

Liquor bottles accumulate at Miami airport Officials at Miami International Airport held an emergency meeting to discuss the thousands of bottles of alcoholic beverages confiscated from travelers. The TSA collected more than nine tons of oversized bottled items from October through January. Mar 12, 2007

Minneapolis, Northwest Airlines

Commission delays vote on plan to keep Northwest in Twin Cities. The Metropolitan Airports Commission on Tuesday delayed a vote on a plan aimed at keeping Northwest Airlines' hub operations in the Twin Cities because the airline said it could not agree to some of the terms. The plan would lower charges for all carriers and give them a portion of revenue from concessions. Jan 17, 2007

NAV Canada

NAV Canada selected Sensis to supply new surveillance technologies, including up to 200 ADS-B units, to areas in the northern part of the country and around Vancouver Harbor and Fort St. John that currently do not have surveillance coverage. NAV Canada President and CEO John Crichton said the deal will result in "safety and customer efficiency benefits at a much lower cost compared to traditional radar." Feb 14, 2007

NAV Canada, UK NATS

NAV Canada and UK NATS are able to track more than 1,000 daily flights across the Atlantic through technology developed by NAV Canada, the North American ATM company announced. Flights are monitored along their entire route by the Gander Automated Air Traffic System in Newfoundland and the Shanwick AATS in Prestwick. The software provides controllers with a "moving picture" of air traffic in areas without radar, while both systems allow text-based satellite communications between controllers and pilots. Mar 7, 2007

New Mexico

New Mexico will require airlines to have "public-service" liquor license The superintendent of New Mexico's Regulation and Licensing Department said Wednesday all airlines that use the state's airports must have a "public-service" license to serve alcohol on flights. Edward Lopez also said the state will start certifying the training program that airline crews receive for serving alcohol. Feb 1, 2007

New York John F. Kennedy

New York's JFK launches Registered Traveler. The Registered Traveler program opened Tuesday at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport, marking the official launch of the program beyond the Orlando airport. Some observers say they doubt the program will expand because of its high costs. Airports in Cincinnati, Indianapolis, and San Jose, Calif., now also plan to offer the program Jan 17, 2007

New York John F. Kennedy, British Airways

The program, first trialed in Orlando, will allow frequent BA customers at JFK's Terminal 7 to pay $99.85 for a TSA-administered pre-screening that will enable them to use a biometric ID card to gain expedited passage through security lanes. British Airways Senior VP-Customer Service Americas Steve Clark said the RT lane will give participating passengers "a quicker and more convenient experience when going through the security process." Jan 19, 2007

New York John F. Kennedy International

Penauille Servisair opened an InfraTek infrared deicing facility at New York JFK. Feb 9, 2007

New York La Guardia Airport

Airlines criticize a plan to auction LaGuardia slots. Airlines using New York's La Guardia Airport say the Bush administration's plan to auction off all landing rights will lead to higher ticket prices. Airlines say they should continue to be able to buy, sell, or sublet rights to land at the airport. Feb 19, 2007

New York LaGuardia Airport

US airlines, represented by the Air Transport Assn., strongly objected last week to US FAA's proposed new traffic management system for New York LaGuardia that would force carriers to operate larger aircraft or risk losing slots. ATA called the plan "burdensome and costly" and "incoherent and overreaching." FAA imposed new "temporary measures" from Jan. 1 that maintain the 75 scheduled flights per hr. limit that has governed LGA traffic under nonpermanent rules that were mandated by Congress to expire by the end of 2006. Jan 8, 2007

New York LaGuardia Airport

US FAA issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for LGA traffic last year that it is considering making final this year, but it would have to do so over the strenuous objections of airlines. FAA is seeking to reverse the trend of carriers operating lower-capacity regional jets to LGA, which it says leads to underutilization of the airport's terminals and other facilities and serves the needs of too few passengers. Jan 8, 2007

New York LaGuardia Airport

ATA called the proposed rule "complicated, convoluted and difficult to comprehend." It said the regulation is "unwarranted and should be withdrawn," adding that the NPRM "represents governmental micromanagement and interference in market forces to an extent not seen since the airline industry was deregulated in 1978." The interim rule implemented as of Jan. 1, which attaches no aircraft size requirements to LGA slots, is "simple and straightforward," ATA said, adding that the temporary policy could remain in place while FAA reevaluates its proposal and develops new, more reasonable measures. Jan 8, 2007

New York LaGuardia Airport

Air Transport Assn. issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for LGA traffic last year that it is considering making final this year, but it would have to do so over the strenuous objections of airlines. US FAA is seeking to reverse the trend of carriers operating lower-capacity regional jets to LGA, which it says leads to underutilization of the airport's terminals and other facilities and serves the needs of too few passengers. Jan 8, 2007

New York LaGuardia Airport

Air Transport Assn. called the proposed rule. The interim rule implemented as of Jan. 1, which attaches no aircraft size requirements to LGA slots, is "simple and straightforward," ATA said, adding that the temporary policy could remain in place while US FAA reevaluates its proposal and develops new, more reasonable measures. Jan 8, 2007

New York Newark Liberty International

Lawmakers demand explanation for security lapses at Newark airport The chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee and two other lawmakers have asked the head of the TSA to explain security breakdowns at Newark Liberty International Airport. In a letter to TSA Director Edmund "Kip" Hawley, the House members noted that federal agents were able to sneak fake guns and explosives past security agents at Newark in October. Feb 2, 2007

New York Stewart Airport

Plans proceeding for fourth New York airport A plan to create a fourth major airport serving the New York City area will move ahead today when the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey acquires a 93-year lease on Stewart International Airport. The airport is 60 miles north of New York City. Expansion will begin in the fall. Jan 25, 2007

Newark Liberty International Airport

Newark airport adds Clear program Newark Liberty International Airport has joined the Clear passenger screening program. The program, which costs fliers $99.95 per year to join, is in place at five other airports.

Jan 31, 2007

Oceanside

City to seek grants for airport improvement project. The city council of Oceanside, Calif., on Thursday voted to proceed with plans to renovate and expand the city's municipal airport. It will apply for state and federal loans to fund a hangar and development and engineering work. Feb 23, 2007

Ontario International

Technology glitch delays flights out of California's Ontario. Fourteen flights out of Ontario International Airport in California were delayed Wednesday after new telecommunications equipment that delivers information to controllers in a San Diego facility malfunctioned. Jan 11, 2007

Orlando Airport

Strong demand prompts Orlando Sanford to build hotel Construction will start this summer on a hotel at Orlando Sanford International Airport, officials say. Steady growth at the airport has created demand for amenities. The airport is also building a five-story parking garage. Feb 1, 2007

Orlando Airport

Registered Traveler's ShoeScanner debut is disappointing. Many travelers who were screened by the first ShoeScanner at Orlando International Airport had to remove their shoes to get through airport security. The machine is designed to allow travelers to keep their shoes on. In many cases, the machine could not do an electronic scan for weapons because the travelers moved their feet or because they had metal material in their shoes. Jan 17, 2007

Orlando Airport

New machine allows travelers to avoid removing shoes. Orlando International Airport earlier this week started using a machine that allows airline travelers to keep their shoes on at security checkpoints. However, only travelers who are members of the Register Traveler program are eligible to use the ShoeScanner. Jan 12, 2007

Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport

Passenger scanner creates controversy. The federal government is testing backscatter X-ray machines at Phoenix's Sky Harbor International Airport. The machines allow screeners to see through clothes, and critics say the system invades travelers' privacy. Mar 2, 2007

Porter Airlines

Porter Airlines announced the installation of a C$1.85 million ($1.59 million) instrument landing system at YTZ that will allow a straight-in approach over the water. Feb 26, 2007

Reno-Tahoe International Airport

Unisys to operate first Registered Travel program in Reno: In February, Unisys will open its first Registered Traveler program kiosk at Reno-Tahoe International Airport. The company said its first concern is ensuring the program is predictable for members. It is unlikely to offer shoe-scanning technology when it starts operating. Meanwhile, Saflink Corp. says it has been notified by TSA that the company has met the minimum requirements to operate a Registered Traveler program. Jan 30, 2007

San Diego airport

San Diego airport will spend up to $385,000 to study the feasibility of a cross-border terminal that would give local residents easier access to flights boarding at Tijuana's Rodriguez International Airport. Feb 19, 2007

San Diego Airport

State wants San Diego to force developer to stop work on building California's Transportation Department is urging the city of San Diego stop a developer from doing additional work on a building that interferes with flight patterns. Adding a roof or doing any other work on the top two floors would be in disregard of public safety, according to a state transportation aviation safety officer. Jan 23, 2007

San Jose Airport

San Jose opens fast-pass lanes, but travelers don't have cards Mineta San Jose International on Tuesday became the first West Coast airport with fast-pass security lanes. However, participating travelers will not get their government-approved cards that allow them to move ahead of other people in line until today or Friday at the earliest, says Steve Brill, CEO of Verified Identity Pass, which is operating the program in San Jose. Jan 25, 2007

Seattle Tacoma International

US FAA to upgrade software at Seattle airport. The FAA says it will upgrade software used by air traffic controllers at Sea-Tac International Airport. Controllers have complained that "ghost" radar images confuse them as they guide airplanes to and from the airport. The FAA says new software is necessary but the current system is safe. Jan 10, 2007

St. Louis

As other cities fight congestion, St. Louis has excess airport capacity. St. Louis is one of the few cities with excess airport capacity. The city's MidAmerica airport serves just five commercial flights a week. Lambert-St. Louis International, the city's main airport, opened a new $1.1 billion runway in April. "The runway is a white elephant and is not needed now," one airport commissioner says. "A ridiculous amount of money was spent for a 9,000-foot patch of concrete." Jan 9, 2007

Stewart International Airport

Plans proceeding for fourth New York airport A plan to create a fourth major airport serving the New York City area will move ahead today when the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey acquires a 93-year lease on Stewart International Airport. The airport is 60 miles north of New York City. Expansion will begin in the fall. Jan 25, 2007

Tulsa International Airport

Renovated terminal features security advancements Renovations to Tulsa (Okla.) International Airport's passenger terminal include new center terminal security checkpoints and a behind-the-scenes checked baggage explosives detection system. Airport and city officials celebrate the grand opening of the terminal today. Feb 13, 2007

United, American, Continental aiports

Los Angeles commissioners approve airport fee increase The Los Angeles Board of Airport Commissioners unanimously approved fee increases that will affect 28 airlines using the airport's international terminal. United, American and Continental have filed lawsuits saying the board improperly doubled terminal maintenance fees and violated long-term leases they signed in the 1980s. Other carriers have filed a complaint over increased fees with the Department of Transportation Mar 7, 2007

US Airways

US Airways chose Pittsburgh International Airport for a new $25 million, 60,000-sq.-ft. flight operations control center that eventually will house approximately 600 employees and monitor 1,400 daily mainline flights. Groundbreaking is scheduled for later this year and the center is expected to go live in early 2009. US also considered Phoenix and Charlotte. Feb 22, 2007

US Airways

Phoenix council approves airport expansion plan. The Phoenix City Council on Tuesday approved a $2.9 billion airport expansion plan. However, US Airways and Southwest Airlines operate hubs in Phoenix and object to the plan because it will increase rent and landing fees. They say the increases would more than double their cost of doing business in the city. Feb 21, 2007

US Airways,Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh welcomes US Airways flight center. US Airways has decided to build a new flight operations center in Pittsburgh just two years after shedding hundreds of jobs in the area, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette writes. Allegheny County and the state offered the airline an incentive package worth $16.25 million. "In the end, Pittsburgh's proximity to the East Coast and the recognized quality of the local work force proved decisive, the latter being particularly flattering to local sensibilities," the paper writes. Feb 26, 2007

Z

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