BAA becomes Heathrow

This week: BAA renamed as Heathrow, bad airport joke & more

We could nearly brand this weeks news an all-British update as so many news pieces this week arrived from the British Isles. However, we worked hard to find three other news flashes from Australia, Brazil and the U.S. to mix it all up a bit.

Let’s start with one of those “mixers”: On Friday the Australian revealed that Brisbane Airport Corporation wants to charge airlines now for the $1.3 billion runway which will not be completed before 2020. This news (quite obviously) didn’t go down very well with Qantas CEO Alain Joyce who made it clear the airline will not be paying years in advance for Brisbane Airport’s (BNE) new parallel runway.

Over to the United Kingdom now with our “extended coverage” from this week: First up were our old friends, the British Airport Authority – BAA in short – that made headlines. The Telegraph reported on Tuesday that the company has broken with the past and rebranded as “Heathrow” after deciding its name was no longer appropriate for the smaller company. We wonder whether we can now double bag-out Heathrow by meaning the airport AND the company in one go? Of course, we wouldn’t do such a thing. Ever.

A little bit further South-East of Heathrow, the second large London Airport, London Gatwick (LGW) also became subject of a news article this week when Reuters reported that Gatwick airport is studying options to build a second runway and intends to submit the findings to a British government under pressure to resolve the country’s air capacity crisis. Reuters concluded the article by writing that building a second runway at Gatwick could transform it into an international hub. Bring it on, we say!

Staying on the island but moving to the far north, in Scotland there were different issues this week when another Reuters article quoted Edinburgh airport (EDI) saying jet fuel supplies were being rationed on Tuesday because of a glitch discovered last week at a Scottish refinery. It said this is a further sign Europe could be heading towards a supply crunch this winter. The airport was forced to rely on contingency stocks to avoid cancelling flights.

From an other part of the world – Brazil to be precise – headlines received us early in the week when on Monday Bloomberg’s Businessweek reported that more than 25,000 passengers in Brazil saw flights delayed or cancelled after a damaged cargo jet blocked the lone runway at one of the country’s busiest airports for two days. Separately, the check-in system at Tam airlines, Brazil’s biggest, was down for three hours early Monday at all locations around the world where the company operates, adding to the air transport chaos in Latin America’s biggest nation. Critics say improving the nation’s woeful airports is one of its biggest challenges before it hosts the 2014 World Cup, the article continued.

And final we have this: Have you ever thought of making a joke about blowing up an airplane while at an airport? Us neither. But guess what, a man at Anchorage Airport (ANC) in Alaska did exactly that. The Washington Post wrote that the guy who prompted an evacuation of the main terminal at Anchorage’s largest airport by making comments about a bomb, which he later said were jokes, has been charged with making terroristic threats and disorderly conduct.

That’s all we have – safe travels!

[Photo from Flickr - Some rights reserved by Chengings]