This week’s airport events: Delta loves and hates Minneapolis

It seems as this week was mostly about Delta Airlines and Minneapolis St Paul International Airport (IATA: MSP). The news started on the good side when Delta Airlines announced new dining options and Apple iPads to rent at the airport as published by the Pioneer Press on Tuesday. The article read that the changes are part of a $2 billion investment to improve the overall travel experience for customers after similar upgrades at New York-area airports. Then, just when it was all happy days, on Saturday, local time, the news came from the same airport that Delta had to cancel 250 flights due to a power outage at the airport. According to a CNN report, the cause of the extended outage has not been pinpointed yet.

Over the Atlantic in Europe, Birmingham Airport in England (IATA: BHX), has unveiled the latest phase in the airport’s £100 million (US$161.8 million) redevelopment with the official inauguration of its new unified and renovated terminal, wrote Passenger Terminal Today. The centrepiece of the new facility apparently is a 2,000m2 walk-through duty free store operated by World Duty Free, through which all of the airport’s 4.5 million departing passengers now pass.

South of Birmingham, in the country’s capital, London airports are said to be investing billions to revamp and lure passengers. Passenger Terminal Today wrote that London’s Heathrow (IATA: LHR; LD reviewed) and Gatwick airports (IATA: LGW; LD reviewed), the busiest in Britain, are spending almost US$6 billion on makeover projects. The article argues the airports are trying to stay ahead of competing airports and want to stem an exodus of passengers and airlines put off by unappealing lounges and terminals.

And finally, back to the US once more: in Atlanta a cost-benefit analysis released on Wednesday by officials at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (IATA: ATL) said there is not a feasible site anywhere in metro Atlanta to build a second commercial airport. The study, conducted by consultants for the Atlanta Department of Aviation, identified 29 potential sites, then whittled down that preliminary list to eight finalists based on accessibility, site development issues and potential impact on the region’s air space and air traffic. In the final analysis, the study concluded that none of the sites are feasible “at this time”, reported the Atlanta Business Chronicle.

That’s all folks – have a great week and save travels!

[Photo from Flickr – Some rights reserved by xiaming]