This week: Luton’s bomb scare, Mumbai’s airport slum & more

We’re back and with that our weekly airport news round-up. Of course, there are quite a few news items that arrived during our absence. We’ve covered them on our twitter feed. Today, however, we’d like to focus on a few recent ones:

The biggest news in the last week was definitely the bomb scare at London’s Luton Airport (LTN). Newsweek reported that a bomb disposal team was sent to Luton Airport after a “suspicious item” was found in the departure lounge on Monday afternoon. A controlled explosion was carried out, but police said the item did not present a wider danger. In the process the entire terminal was evacuated while Bedfordshire Police sent for a bomb disposal unit, leaving hundreds of passengers stranded outside and disrupting air travel for thousands more.

From India received us a story from Bloomberg this week. The magazine wrote that India’s federal government has asked officials in Mumbai for a plan to evict 90,000 slum dwellers living around the airport after terrorist attacks on airfields in Pakistan. The civil aviation minister has written to the Maharashtra state government asking it to relocate and rehouse those living by the airport, according to an aviation ministry official, who asked not to be identified as the information isn’t public. The security threat to the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (BOM) from the slum is grave, the official said. Whether this is just a convenient excuse to make more land available for future airport expansions, wasn’t highlighted in the article.

The next two stories both originate in the Middle East. The first one is about Dubai, when Business Insider Australia wrote that Dubai announced this week that the emirate’s Al Maktoum International Airport (DWC) is about to get a massive $US32 billion expansion. Since opening in 2010, the four year-old airport has been mainly used for cargo operations. Passenger service commenced last year. The journalist further quotes that with this announcement, the seaside emirate will have a second major international airport, in addition to the already palatial Dubai International — home to Emirates Airlines. Dubai Airports expects Al Maktoum to be able to handle more than 120 million passengers a year, making it the busiest airport in the world. The expansion, which is expected to take six to eight years to complete, will enable the facility to accommodate up to 100 Airbus A380s simultaneously. According to PlaneSpotter Emirates Airlines currently already owns 52 A380s and has a further 8 on order.

Then, our last story, comes from a few hundred kilometers West of Dubai: Qatar. There, Yahoo! Travel this week broadcasted a new airport review about the Golf State’s brand new airport, Doha’s Hamad International Airport (DOH). The online portal likes the shiny high-end shopping and various curiosities. It doesn’t like the lack of seating and some unfinished facilities. Overall it received 3 stars. LateDeparture hasn’t yet reviewed this airport, so you’ve got to take Yahoo!’s word for it.

That’s it for this week – safe travels!

[Photo “Luton airport” by fr:Utilisateur:Steff – Personal picture. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.]