This week: snake on a plane, fog, new airport & no more x-ray scanners

It seems the airport news follow the volatile recent climate – you never quite know what you’ll get. So, this week has been relatively quite and we’re going to focus on four interesting stories from around the world.

Let’s start with our home airport, Melbourne in Australia. There (or or rather here, we should write), a 3rd airport appeared on the distant horizon when the Herald Sun wrote that the [state] government said it’s open to the idea of a third Melbourne airport, noting the drive from the city’s southeast to the International Airport Melbourne Tullamarine (MEL) can take longer than a flight to Sydney. According to the article the case for a third airport is laid out in a discussion paper by a committee advising Planning Minister Matthew Guy on options for Melbourne up to 2050. Or in other words, don’t hold your breath!

Then two stories reached us from the United Kingdom this week. And yes, one of them came from our usual problem child, London Heathrow (LHR) when on Tuesday the Mail Online reported that the UK’s Met Office issued a severe weather warning as thick fog lead to more than 120 cancelled flights at Heathrow. To be fair to Heathrow though, the affects of the heavy fog was felt across Europe, including in Poland where planes due to land at Warsaw airports were redirected to neighbouring cities or were forced to wait for the fog to temporarily dissipate before landing, airport authorities said in the same article.

Further north, problems were of a different kind when the Washington Post titled a headline with “Glasgow Airport discovers 18-inch snake on flight from Cancun”. According to the article the Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals says quick-thinking workers at Glasgow Airport (GLA) remained “remarkably calm” when they discovered the 18-inch (45-centimeter) snake Tuesday under seats in the passenger cabin of a flight from Cancun, Mexico. It says the young snake was taken to its Glasgow animal center, and has been named Furtivo, Spanish for “sneak.”

And finally, now even the U.S. seems to rethink the use of the controversial “X-Ray scanners” after they already have been banned in Europe. The Huffington Post wrote this week that faster lines and less-invasive security screenings are on the horizon for passengers traveling through O’Hare International Airport (ORD) as the TSA announced Monday it will phase out the controversial “X-ray” body scanners from O’Hare and four other major airports in favor of millimeter wave Advanced Imaging Technology (AIT) machines that render a generic human body outline. Apparently the new AIT machines don’t map a passenger’s body in as much detail, instead detecting possible threats underneath clothing. If a threat is detected, an orange square highlighting the object in question appears on the screen, the article stated.

That’s all we have for you for this week – safe travels everyone!

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