This week: Airport riot in China, LaGuardia’s third world remark & more

Is a high-profile politician who is ranting about an airport that is in bad need of an upgrade the bigger news than 2,000 people rioting in a Chinese airport? Hard to say, but we chose the Chinese news the top one this week; here’s the full list:

So what happened in China this week? According to Reuters, passengers at Zhengzhou airport (CGO), capital of the populous northern province of Henan, stormed check-in desks and smashed computers and other equipment after the airport closed for more than five hours due to the snow on Thursday. The Global Times, a tabloid published by the official People’s Daily, described the incident as a “riot”. It added that the airport finally reopened late on Thursday.

Then later in the week U.S. Vice President Joe Biden got into some hot air, when he described New York’s LaGuardia Airport (LGA) as if he was in “some Third World Country”. The New York Post wrote that Biden made the comment as part of a comparison with the Hong Kong airport (HKG). He says Hong Kong has the type of modern facility travelers would expect to see in the United States. His remarks came during an event Thursday in Philadelphia in which he stressed the need for infrastructure improvement:

We’re staying in the United States with the next story: FOX News reported this week that a lightning strike that injured an air traffic controller at Baltimore’s main airport (BWI) has exposed a potential vulnerability at airport towers during storms and is prompting Federal Aviation Administration officials to inspect hundreds of towers nationwide. The FAA will be looking for problems with the lightning protection systems for airport towers, where air traffic controllers do the vital job of choreographing the landings and takeoffs of tens of thousands of flights each day.

And to finish this week off, we “luckily” found a Super Bowl, airport related story when CBS New York published that the mild weather was fine for the first Super Bowl in the Northeast, but a snowstorm was making it tough to fly out of town. By midday (Monday), the flight-tracking website FlightAware reported nearly 2,000 delayed flights and 1,500 canceled flights nationwide, including in Newark, New York (EWR). The flight status boards at LaGuardia Airport (LGA) showed hundreds of cancellations and delays. That’s left Super Bowl fans stuck in New York until at least Tuesday. Well, there are probably worse places to get stuck in!

Safe travels!

[Photo from Sina Weibo via Quartz]