This week: Spanish ghost airport up for grabs, snowy owls at JFK & more

This week is the second last week of our airport news reviews in 2013 before we take a – what we think – well deserved break. Let’s look at what we found this week then:

We’ve reported about the abandoned Spanish airport before. Ciudad Real International Airport (CQM) cost $1.5 billion to build and boosts Europe’s longest runway (4,400 meter). This week it was put on the market for just $150 million. CNN reported that the airport was meant to serve the Spanish capital [Madrid] and the Andalusian coast by high speed rail, but it appears to have been planned in the same vein as other far-flung but optimistically named airports, such as Paris Beauvais Tillé (85 kilometers from the French capital). The article also told us that low-cost carriers such as Ryanair and Air Berlin flew in to Ciudad Real International, but the airport opened in the same year, 2008, as the bursting of the Spanish property bubble tipped the country’s economy into double-dip recession. We shall wait and see if someone actually buys it. Don’t hold your breath though!

Southeast England didn’t have a great week as three of its airports reported issues in the past days: First up was Stansted Airport (STN) when the Telegraph reported that flights were unable to land at Stansted Airport after an early morning incoming flight damaged the landing system. A number of Ryanair planes were diverted to Birmingham and East Midlands airports after the technical problem combined with low visibility created disruptions lasting several hours. An airport spokesperson said that an arriving Gulfstream G550 was involved in an incident that has resulted in some damage to our ILS (instrument landing system). The plane landed safely though.

Then there was news from England’s busiest airport, London Heathrow (LHR): The Guardian wrote on Wednesday that fog has swept over the south-east of England, causing delays and cancellations at Heathrow and London City airports (LCY). In the same article a spokeswoman for Heathrow said 40 incoming and outgoing flights had been cancelled on Wednesday morning, and others had been delayed. The Met Office warned the public of travel disruption, with visibility expected to drop to lower than 50 metres in places.

In the United States only today it emerged that, according to CNN, an airport worker was arrested Friday attempting to detonate a vehicle packed with explosives that he thought were real in a planned suicide attack at a Wichita Mid-Continent Airport terminal in Kansas (ICT). The arrest came as part of an undercover FBI investigation, according to the Justice Department statement.

And to finish the week off, this one here from New York through CBS News: The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has said they are working with the state Department of Environmental Conservation in order to relocate snowy owls after it was revealed that the agency had allegedly shot and killed some of the birds. An unusually high number of snowy owls have been setting up winter residence at airports, fields and beaches far south of their normal range. The Port Authority said five planes from John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR), and LaGuardia Airport (LGA) were struck by snowy owls over the last two weeks. Snowy Owls are protected under federal law, however, airports can get permission to kill them.

That’s all for this week – safe travels!

[Photo from Wikipedia – some rights reserved]