'Dark coulds' news week

This week: Shooting at LAX, wild UK weather & more

OMG, that wasn’t a good airport week in terms of news types that came in. It already started mixed with wild UK weather overshadowing the opening of Dubai’s newest airport but it all went pear-shaped with Friday’s shooting at LAX. Here is the full list of our topics for his week, in chronological order:

The week started off very peaceful when Dubai officially opened the passenger operations for its new airport, the Al Maktoum International Airprot (DWC). ABC News wrote that the United Arab Emirates’ most flashy city-state, known for its high-flying ambitions, already gave the new airport the code DWC for Dubai World Central. The name mirrors Dubai’s vision of itself as a connection point between east and west. And the article further revealed that the airport’s construction and development is forecast to cost more than $32 billion. When complete, it will have five runways capable of handling 160 million passengers a year. So when will transit passengers fly through DWC? Most likely not before 2025 when it is said for the airport to accommodate the needs of the Middle East’s biggest airline, Emirates.

Then the next day, UK tabloid newspaper the Mirror was one of many news sources covering the wild UK weather: One-in-five early morning flights from Heathrow (LHR) have been cancelled as Britain’s airports warn of disruption when the St Jude storm hits. And,  Gatwick (LGW) has released a statement advising passenger to “check their flight status with their airline and allow plenty of time for their journey to the airport.”

The next story really puzzled us, especially when we read the initial headline: “Small plane crashes at big airport; no one notices”. What? According to CNN authorities struggled to explain how a small plane crashed at an international airport, erupted in fire, but evidently went unnoticed for hours. The incident occurred early Tuesday at Nashville International Airport (BNA) when a single-engine Cessna evidently crashed sometime after 3 a.m. local time according to the National Transport Safety Board. It wasn’t noticed until well after sunrise when another plane taxiing for take-off saw an engine cover on the edge of the runway. An investigation is under way.

The one (and only) really good news from this week reached us on Thursday when CBS News wrote that Airline passengers will be able to use their electronic devices gate-to-gate to read, work, play games, watch movies and listen to music – but not talk on their cellphones – under much-anticipated new guidelines issued by the Federal Aviation Administration. Airlines will have to show the FAA how their airplanes meet the new guidelines and that they’ve updating their flight crew training manuals and rules for stowing devices to reflect the new guidelines. That’s surely great news and it gives us hope for a review of the ridiculous liquid rule!

Now the big one: the shooting at LAX. Unless you live under a rock, you would have heard of it for sure as pretty much every news outlet reported the chaos. For example The Washington Post wrote that [on Friday] a man dressed in black walked into Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), pulled a semiautomatic rifle out of his bag and shot his way through a security checkpoint Friday, killing a TSA screener and wounding at least two other officers, as panicked passengers scurried for the exits. Reuters reported the next day that the airport began allowing travelers who abandoned luggage and other property as they ran to escape the gunfire to collect their belongings at ticket counters. And, the area of Terminal 3 beyond metal detectors where travelers board flights was re-opened to passengers at mid-day on Saturday. Needless to write that thousands of flights were impacted by the incident, and not just at LAX as NBC reported.

That’s all for this week – let’s hope for a better week to come! Safe travels!

[Picture "Dark Clouds" from Wikimedia Commons - some rights reserved]