This week: Boston horror, Chavez gets airport & future US airport delays

Well, well, well – what an eventful week this one was, huh? Without doubt Boston was the focus of this week’s general news coverage which had a massive spill-over into the transport section as well. But we wouldn’t be LateDeparture if we didn’t look beyond the obvious in this week’s airport news round-up.

Let’s start with one of those “beyond” stories then: Remember Hugo Chávez? He was the President of Venezuela from 1999 until when he died just a bit over a month ago on 5th March. This week the Miami Herald revealed that the Haitian government is planning to rename an upgraded international airport in Haiti’s second larges city, Cap-Haïtien to bear the name of the late, controversial Venezuelan President. The newspaper quotes the Haitian’s Prime Minister’s office saying that “President Chávez has done his best to help Haiti in the most difficult times. He has contributed over $1 billion to assist Haiti and is beloved by the Haitian people. As a tribute to him, and for his work to Haiti, we have decided to name the airport in Cap-Haïtien (CAP) in his honor.”

Back to Boston now. As described in the lead-in, the city and its people went through a rough week which – as yo know – started with the bombing at the marathon on Monday. It was then only logical that after this event the state agency that manages Boston’s Logan Airport (BOS) said on Tuesday in an ABC article that there was “heightened security on roadways, in terminal and on the airfield”. On Friday then when most of Boston went into lock-down, Logan’s airport spokesman Matthew Brelis said in an article on CNN that “[the airport is] open and operating and flights are operating. Airlines are waiving fees for passengers who don’t want to or can’t fly today. … Taxis are coming and going. […] allow yourself a little extra time.”. Let’s hope the city’s transport system can get back to normal as quickly as possible. However, be mindful of continued heightened security at airports around the United States that may lead into flight delays.

Speaking of flight delays, MSN Money reported on Friday that travelers must get ready for airport delays starting next week. Not because of heightened security but due to budget cuts related to the federal sequester starting to kick-in. According to The Associated Press the Federal Aviation Administration must trim $637 million from its budget as part of the sequester cuts. With few options available, officials targeted air traffic controller payrolls and will cut staffing by 10%. Nearly 15,000 controllers will see one furlough day every other week through Sept. 30, wrote MSN Money. And further the average delay will be about 11 minutes, the FAA said, but some airports could see far longer waits. Travelers could be waiting for up to 210 minutes at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL), which is the world’s busiest in terms of passenger numbers and will likely see the worst delays. Other airports that could see delay were quoted as being

And to finish the airport news week off, something a bit lighter. Well, lighter “in substance of the story” but certainly not lighter in calories: a cake. A cake? Isn’t this an airport blog, you might ask? Yes, but a cake can make it into the blog when its presence is related to an airport. Smarty-pants. So, the stories goes – according to the BBC – that a Border Force worker from Stansted Airport in London (STN) quit his job by baking a resignation ‘letter’. Chris Holmes delivered the white iced resignation cake on Monday, his 31st birthday. He had worked at the airport as an immigration officer for four years. The Border Force said Mr Holmes “leaves with our best wishes”. And a sweet after-taste for sure, we say.

That’s all for this week – save travelling!

[Featured photo of Boston’s Logan Airport from Wikipedia – some rights reserved]