This week: UK airport expansion shortlist revealed, Pyongyang airport photos & more

It’s our final airport news round-up for the year and with that we brought you the following stories:

The biggest airport related news this week came from the United Kingdom when the UK Airports Commission revealed its expansion shortlist. The BBC wrote on Tuesday that the three short-listed options include adding a third runway at Heathrow (LHR), lengthening an existing runway at Heathrow, and a new runway at Gatwick (LGW). The commission, led by businessman Sir Howard Davies, will also consider a new airport in the Isle of Grain in north Kent. A final report is due by summer 2015. The Economist also had their say with the following sentence summarising their view quite nicely: ‘Safer to build on success than try to build up an alternative, if the cost of failure is the hobbling of Britain’s economy’. So, their view is Heathrow should be pushed to the west. Let the debate continue!

A little more tangible was the news we received from South America when Fox News reported that Venezuela grounded an Air France flight after being tipped off by French authorities that a terrorist group might be planning to detonate an explosive device in midair. Stranded passengers said they had cleared immigration and were preparing to board Air France flight 385 when they were told at the last minute that it was being delayed so that the Airbus A340-300 aircraft could be checked. Luckily it turned out to be a false alarm and the flight was rescheduled.

Australia’s airport week didn’t start too well either when The Sydney Morning Herald reported on Monday that earlier that morning flights had to be halted for a period before resuming at a slowed rate as a safety precaution after the air traffic control manager detected a data fault in its digital tower system. Travellers were warned to expect delays across the country and to check with their airlines for more information. According to the article Melbourne Airport (MEL) showed several flights by Qantas and Virgin Australia among those that experienced delays of around 30 to 45 minutes on Monday morning. That led to flights from Sydney (SYD) to other destinations around Australia experiencing delays.

And to finish the year off, we present you an interesting story from Business Insider portraying North Korea’s Pyongyang Sunan International Airport (FNJ).  The article contains many interesting photos about the far from world-class airport and is surely worthwhile seeing.

With that we would like to thank you for your loyalty in 2013 and wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. LateDeparture will be back with our airport news on 19th January 2014. Safe travels!

[Image from Wikipedia – some rights reserved]