This week: a lost appeal, out-smarted security and a roaming bull

It’s another week with yet more exciting new airport news stories from around the globe. And it’s been quite an interesting week, so today we have a lost appeal, a boy that out-smarted all security checks, a study into spreading diseases and a roaming bull.

First up news about BAA, the British Airport Authorities – the owners of London Heathrow (LHR) and London Stansted (STN): Things weren’t going so well this week for the company when Reuters reported that in the latest stage of a long legal battle, the Court of Appeal on Thursday upheld the Competition Commission’s 2009 ruling that BAA exerted a dominant hold on airports in Scotland and the southeast of England, meaning BAA lost their appeal over a previously enforced Stansted airport sale. The company is now considering taking the matter to the Supreme Court.

Then on Monday Business Insider informed us about a very interesting, new study from MIT showing which U.S. airports are most likely to spread disease. According to the article the study factored in the airports that are flown to the most, the time spent waiting between layovers and connections, geographic location and how long travelers have to wait for planes be it at security or due to delays. The researchers emphasized the first 10 days of a public health emergency, usually the critical period in preventing a global pandemic, and relied on three years worth of U.S. air travel data to determine which airports are most likely to spread disease.

Below are the top 10 airports according to the MIT study:

  1. John F. Kennedy International Airport, New York City (JFK)
  2. Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)
  3. Honolulu International Airport, Hawaii (HNL)
  4. San Francisco International Airport (SFO)
  5. Newark Liberty International Airport, New Jersey (EWR)
  6. O’Hare International Airport, Chicago (ORD)
  7. Dulles International Airport, Washington, D.C (IAD)
  8. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL)
  9. Miami International Airport (MIA)
  10. Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW)

Moving on to this now: An 11-year old boy without a passport, a ticket or a boarding pass made a 1,700km (1,000 miles) journey from England to Italy this week on Tuesday and with that embarrassed officials ahead of the 2012 London Olympics. A Manchester Airport (MAN) manager said in the Financial Times article that “The boy was no threat to the aircraft,” but he admitted the boy passed through five security checks before boarding the plane. The airline,, issued a statement saying it had launched “a full investigation into what is a serious incident.”

And to finish the week off, we found news about a roaming bull for you. But no, it’s not about Sebastian Vettel’s Red Bull car in this weekend’s Hungarian Formula 1 Grandprix, in this case, we’re talking about a real animal. Plus – of course – the story has to do with an airport: So, the Huffington Post reported this week that a wandering bull that forced the closure of a Vietnam airport was captured after two days of roaming. Authorities said it may have killed an elderly villager. According to the article the bull was tranquilized on Tuesday afternoon and removed from Phu Bai Airport (HUI) in the central city of Hue. Twelve flights to the tourist destination had been affected.

That’s all we have for this week – safe ‘roaming bull’ free travels!

[Photograph of Stansted Airport Control Tower from Wikipedia – some rights reserved]