This week: French protests, a singer shutting down an airport & more

This is going go be a juicy airport news update. In the mix are news pieces such as French protests, a singer shutting down an entire airport or a passenger landing a plane in Dublin, to name just three.

But first up is this one: Times of India reported this week that hundreds of passengers were stuck for hours at the Mumbai airport (BOM) on Sunday with no taxis or autos to ferry them home as the pre-paid taxi counter at the airport was shut through most of Sunday. Not good enough, we say.

Then in Germany, the news magazine “Der Spiegel” revealed a very interesting story this week titled “How the New Berlin Airport Project Fell Apart”. The report reveals head-scratching facts such as the one where a train arrives at the deserted [airport] station underneath the terminal four times a day. Running the empty train is supposed to keep the station ventilated. The article even asks whether the opening will be a bust once again, for a fourth time? Oh dear.

France is known for its unionized workforce and with that – and aside from cheese – also famous for protests and strikes. Just today we heard from the Associated Press then that more than 500 riot police, some firing tear gas, are clashing with protesters squatting in a wooded area of western France to oppose the building of a new airport there. Apparently environmentalists and the far-left Green Party complain the airport will mean pollution; supporters insist on its economic benefits.

Union protest also caused disruptions in the United States this week. Fox News reported that a labor dispute at America’s third busiest airport turned what was already a bad travel day into a nightmare for some travelers. According to the article, one of the nation’s biggest unions snarled traffic as it tried to block two entrances into the Los Angeles International airport (LAX) on Wednesday, in a protest police feared would turn the streets outside into a parking lot at a time when tens of thousands of cars are pouring into the airport.

How do you make a rock band famous? Well, we doubt that shutting down an airport to get into the news headlines is the way to go: The Sun reported this week that an entire airport was shut down after a dopey rock star was busted carrying a grenade in his suitcase. According to the news article, Wayne Coyne, frontman of The Flaming Lips, caused the bomb scare when an X-ray machine detected his gold-painted explosive and set off an alarm.

And finally, the British newspaper The Guardian reported this week that a German passenger had been hailed a hero after taking over the controls of a plane and helping it land at Dublin airport (DUB). The article continued by saying that details have emerged of how the off-duty pilot offered to help the flight crew after the first officer of the Lufthansa Boeing 747 became ill while flying over the Atlantic on Monday. When the cabin crew announced the plane was being diverted, the passenger asked why and then offered to help, pointing out he was a qualified pilot. The German national helped bring the plane down safely in an emergency landing at the airport in the Irish capital shortly before 6am. Good on him!

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

[Feature picture showing Flaming Lips front man Wayne Coyne – from Wikipedia – some rights reserved]