This week: snow storms, pilot strikes, a cheetah and airport art

As another busy airport week is ending we have snow, strikes, brains, one exotic animal and new and exciting airport art for you. But first, the most exciting day in the history of airport news must have been Monday when we launched our reader campaign for you to vote for the Airport News of the Year. Make sure you check it out, we’ve secured some awesome prizes for a lucky few!

Let’s start with some snow as it’s that time of the year in the Northern Hemisphere. This time the white powder hit Chicago’s O’Hare Airport (IATA: ORD) as Bloomberg reported on Friday: United Continental, American Airlines and Southwest Airlines cancelled more than 460 flights as a snowstorm moves through the area.

Over in India it wasn’t the weather that disrupted the plans of hundreds of travellers; according to the Times of India, a sudden strike by Air India pilots resulted in massive chaos at the New Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport (IATA: DEL) on Saturday as passengers were caught completely off guard. Another Indian news source, the Indian Express wrote that the strike of nearly 60 pilots was in protest for non-payment of five months’ pay. According to the article the pilots resumed work later that evening after the management promised to release overdue allowances for two months in the coming week.

Egypt has certainly been a lot in the news in recent times, but it rarely made headlines with airport stories. This time though the Egyptian capital Cairo had a brainy moment – if you excuse the pun. According to an article from the Washington Post, officials at Cairo’s international airport (IATA: CAI) confiscated 420 pounds (190 kilograms) of frozen cow brains on Friday from three Sudanese travelers who planned to sell them to Egyptian restaurants. In the article an airport official said it was the fourth time this week that customs officers there had foiled an attempt to smuggle cow brains into the country, reflecting the growth of a moneymaking scheme made possible by some realities of international supply and demand: Cow brains are cheap in Sudan, and Egyptians like to eat them. It couldn’t be more obvious!

Over in the United Kingdom another animal airport story made headlines this week, but this time only one animal was involved and it was (and hopefully still is) alive: the BBC reported that a cheetah has been stopped at London’s Heathrow Airport (IATA: LHR) by border officials who were suspicious about the animal’s missing identity microchip. The African cheetah, called Isaac, was on his way from a South African safari park to Russia when he was seized. He is being kept in the UK until it is known why his microchip was missing, the UK Border Agency said in the news piece.

And finally this: Maybe it was the snow storms in Chicago that lead one of the city’s creative studios come up with an  ingenious and visually stunning idea of portraying airport runways. Architect and designer Jerome Daksiewicz’ screenprint project prints airport runway patterns and airport codes on 18″ x 24″ steel grey posters. Currently you can buy ATL, LHR, MSP, LAX, ORD and SFO with several others to follow. $2 of every poster sold go to the Challenge Air Program that builds self-esteem and confidence of children and youth with specials needs, through the experience of flight.

What a nice end to our weekly wrap-up, don’t you think? Have a great new week and safe travels!

[Picture from Flickr Some rights reserved by Scorpions and Centaurs]