This week: Computer glitch, nose collapse & more

We found another mixed bag of airport related news for you this week. Here are our selected headlines:

This was probably the biggest news of the week – at least in terms of how many travellers the delay affected: Time wrote on Wednesday that a malfunction with computer systems at airports [U.S.] nationwide caused frustrated travelers to spend hours stuck customs lines. Apparently the problem was with the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) system that checks passenger names against the country’s terror watch lists with airports such as John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York (JFK), Boston’s Logan International (BOS) or Hartsfield-Jackson International in Atlanta (ATL). Officials told NBC News that the system was back up 2 hours later.

The bitter fight between rival airports London Gatwick (LGW) and London Heathrow (LHR) continued this week. The Telegraph wrote that in a letter from Sir Roy McNulty, the chairman of Gatwick, to Patrick McLoughlin, the Transport Secretary, seen by The Sunday Telegraph, the airport claimed that statements made by Sir Howard about Heathrow air pollution were “frankly astonishing”. In a veiled reference to the Volkswagen scandal, he warned that a third Heathrow runway would create “millions more car journeys” and that “it is hard to see how this will actually improve air quality – particularly in the light of recent revelations about car emissions”. Prime Minister David Cameron has pledged to decide by the end of the year whether to approve the Heathrow runway. With a Government decision weeks away, Gatwick is mounting an increasingly vocal campaign to unpick the Commission’s findings.

Moving to Asia where this week we saw a picture that put a shiver through our spines:

The Singapore based newspaper Straits Times wrote that a Singapore Airlines plane was seen lying awkwardly on its front end at Changi Airport (SIN), after the aircraft’s nose gear retracted on Sunday morning. According to an SIA spokesman, the Airbus A330-300, which had been undergoing a landing gear system check, was at a gate at around 8am when the incident happened. “Maintenance work was being carried out to rectify a defect, and the gear retracted during the subsequent system check,” said the spokesman. “There were no passengers or crew on board at the time. One engineer who was on the aircraft was not injured.

And – to finish the week off – we found a nice little article in The Guardian that portraits abandoned airports from around the world. Yes, some of our favourites, like Ciudad Real airport in Spain (CQM) or good, old Berlin Tempelhof (THF) are among them.

That’s all for this week – safe travels.

[Photo manipulated with based on a picture from Flickr: jaydon34 via Compfight cc]