This week: Group to safe Pan Am JFK terminal, BBC live from Heathrow

This week has certainly been an airport themed week for the United Kingdom with one of its TV stations focusing on a 4-day live show from its biggest airport. But of course we spotted other interesting airport related news from around the world as well. Here’s what we have for this week in our overview:

Let’s kick off with the UK where the BBC2 hosted an airport themed live show over 4 days of this week. On Monday, the start of the show, The Guardian wrote that the BBC2 debuts Airport Live, a week-long experiment to see what happens when you combine the BBC’s inexplicable fondness for ostensibly live One Show-style magazine programmes that mainly consist of pre-recorded footage with television’s inexplicable fondness for programmes about airports. Wow. Then yesterday after the episodes concluded the Mirror titled an article “Airport Live: BBC Heathrow-behind-the-scenes yawnfest simply won’t fly. Obviously the show wasn’t very well received. However we saw the final episode ourselves and found it quite informative. Plus, there are certainly worse programmes on TV, that’s for sure. You can find a few clips from the show on the BBC website.

Over on the otherside of the Atlantic, word got out that a group is fighting to save one of America’s most iconic terminals. The object in question is the Pan AM terminal at New York’s JFK airport. Yahoo! News wrote [the terminal,] built in 1960 as the Pan Am Worldport, now known as JFK’s Terminal 3, was an early icon of New York’s entry into the modern jet age. Its white circular roof and ultrasleek glass-and-steel interior was unlike anything anyone had ever seen, adding an air of glamour to the growing passenger airline industry. And the article continued by saying that once considered one of the world’s most stylish airport facilities, it was named the world’s worst airline terminal last year by the travel site Frommer’s—and soon, if airport officials get their way, it will be demolished. Now a group called Save the Worldport hopes the old terminal will be given a place on the National Register of Historic Places, saving it from the wrecking ball. However, according to one of the group’s twitter posting, demolision has already begun. We will certainly keep on the case to see how this story continues!

Then from Kuala Lumpur received us a ‘delay’ message when the Associated Press wrote that the opening of a new airport to accommodate budget carriers has been delayed until next year because of design changes and other construction setbacks, Malaysia’s airport operator says. The contractors also have blamed poor ground conditions for the delay. Malaysia Airports has said 90 percent of the project is complete and that costs haven’t risen despite the delay. However AirAsia, Southeast Asia’s top budget carrier and the main user of the terminal, has criticized the multiple delays and the higher expense, was quoted in the same article.

On Thursday the BBC wrote that Stansted Airport (STN) is to be given an £80m (US$ 125m) redevelopment of its terminal building, including new security facilities and a larger departure lounge. The airport was recently taken over by Manchester Airports Group. It serves about 17.5 million passengers a year and is the fourth largest in the UK.

And finally, one day prior to the revamp announcement another article from Stansted Airport (STN) received us. This story was more amusing that anything else: The BBC wrote that airport managers admit an “error” was made when passengers found the cost of parking had suddenly risen by 66% overnight. The cost of non-booked parking at Stansted Airport should be £16 a day in long stay and £18 in mid stay. But on Tuesday, drivers found the prices had risen to £25 and £30 per day respectively. The BBC quoted the airport that said the price increases, which are planned, should not have gone “live” and apologised to passengers. At least we all know now what’s to come!

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

[Photo from Wikimedia Commons, some rights reserved]