This week: Thightened security for U.S. bound flights, Washington airport to be renamed?

We’ve had another week of airport news coming our way. This week there was one very dominant topic overshadowing everything else – the terror threats with the corresponding tightening of airport security across Europe, Africa and the Middle East that is. Here are all of our topics this week:

If you searched for airport news online today, your screen would fill up with articles from Britain and the U.S. about measures taken to tighten airport security. Lets wind back a few days though: On Thursday The Guardian published the story that Britain’s airport security is stepped up due to al-Qaida operatives planning to develop explosives that can avoid detection.

Reuters wrote on the same day that the officials singled out smartphones including iPhones made by Apple Inc and Galaxy phones made by Samsung for extra security checks on U.S.-bound direct flights from Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

More pointed was the story in tabloid newspaper Mirror that wrote security is being increased at British airports after the US warned of a possible terror attack between 9pm and 11pm tonight [Thursday]. The US Embassy in Uganda issued an urgent email warning citizens of a “specific threat” to the country’s Entebbe International Airport (EBB) within hours. Thankfully this fear didn’t materialise.

One thing is clear though, these increased security measures are here to stay for a while. And this means longer queues and possible more delays for passengers heading to the United States.

Moving on to our next story which also takes place in Great Britain and was published on Monday by the BBC. According to the article passengers at Gatwick Airport (LGW) have faced delays of up to 90 minutes to reclaim their baggage. The airport has apologised blaming a shortage of staff at Swissport, which is one of the three baggage handling companies working at Gatwick. It said the company’s licence required it to deliver bags from each flight “within 55 minutes”.

And our last story raises the question of renaming an airport in favour of a sports person. According to the Fast Company, some soccer fans are petitioning the White House to rename Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in D.C. (DCA) after Tim Howard, who set a record-setting 16 saves in the elimination game for America in the soccer World Cup. Thus far, the petition has amassed more than 5,000 signatures, but it’s still a long way from its goal of 100,000 signatures.

That’s all for this week – safe travels!

[Photo from Flickr – some rights reserved]