This week: New York pledges to improve its airports & more

The weeks seem to just fly by, pardon the pun. So, here are our airport related news from this week in our headline overview:

Do you remember when in February US Vice President Joe Biden compared New York’s LaGuardia Airport (LGA) to an airport in a third world country? We wrote about it. This week, The New York Times wrote that the city announced design competitions for that airport as well as John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) in order to upgrade them. Governor Andrew M. Cuomo said in the article that he would open competitions for the best designs for the airports, seeking master plans for making them more attractive and efficient. At La Guardia, he said those plans could include linking the airport to Manhattan with ferries and a spur of the Long Island Rail Road. At Kennedy, he indicated, they could include a hotel and better access to existing transit lines.

Then two articles just reached us today. The first one came from England where the BBC wrote that an IT problem at London’s Heathrow Airport (LHR) caused disruption on Saturday night, a spokeswoman for the airport said, after travellers reported flight delays. According to the article some IT systems failed at around 20:50, causing delays in handling baggage and problems with the online live arrivals and departures service. A British Airways spokeswoman said: “Passengers are experiencing disruption as a result of issues”.

The second one reached us from across the pond, from the United States: There the Charlotte Observer wrote that a fire that broke out on a moving sidewalk in a Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT) concourse on Saturday was brought under control in about 30 minutes. A spokesman for American Airlines said there was no departing traffic at the airport for an hour and that 31 flights were affected. By late afternoon, all the flights were on the way and that they’re getting the system back on schedule.

Earlier in the week another article from the States had a few controversial tones to it. IT World reported that Austin Airport (AUS) is using signals from passengers mobile devices to help travellers plan ahead. According to the article, a forecast for how long each [security] line will take appears on screens right outside the security checkpoint. And any traveler who goes through security with a device that has Wi-Fi or Bluetooth turned on also helps to make the system work. This fact resulted in some critical comments on Slashdot about travellers’ privacy implications.

Our last article is of a lighter topic. In fact, it’s about a product rather than some sort of delay or event: Our friends over at
Nomo design announced their new Kickstarter campaign, raising money for a beautiful airport runway print collection. The first pledge starts at $25 and you will get a box set of 5×7″ prints of 30 runways. We think that’s definitely worth a pledge!

That’s all for this week – safe travels!

[Photo Credit: Pro-Zak via Compfight cc]