Thousands Of Airport Delays In Wake Of Sequestration

Earlier this week we warned travelers to expect delays as sequestration cuts hit airports, and now the numbers are in: according to a news release from FlightStats.com, nearly 1,000 flights have been canceled and there have been more than 18,200 flight delays since the Federal Aviation Administration began facing the spending cuts on Sunday.

Airports with the highest percentages of delays yesterday were LaGuardia Airport in New York, Denver International Airport in Colorado, Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas and Newark Liberty International Airport, also in New York.

Data from the flight tracking website shows there were 207 flights canceled and 4,842 delays on Sunday, when the furloughs began. Those cancellations cascaded into Monday, when there were 404 canceled flights and 7,027 delays. Yesterday, the numbers were slightly lower, at 385 canceled flights and 6,396 delays. Hopefully this last set of data means airports are getting things under control, but for now the only advice we can give is to check each flight status and ensure you leave plenty of time to get through airport security.

[Photo credit: Flickr user _ambrown]

New airport terminals, once delayed, prep for opening this year

new airport terminalsNew airport terminals can add time-saving features to existing facilities, bringing the latest in technology and security. If and when they open. Local and worldwide economic conditions caused projects to be delayed or shelved for a while. Now, several new facilities are preparing to open and new projects are being approved, signaling a brighter future to come.

The long anticipated and twice delayed inauguration of a new terminal at the Daniel Oduber International Airport (LIR) in Liberia, capital of the northwest province of Guanacaste, is happening this week.

“Costa Rica will be in a very advantageous situation, since we will have the best secondary airport in all of Central America, and perhaps one of the best in Latin America,” Transport Minister Francisco Jiménez told Ticotimes. “This will be a very important part of the development of the northern Pacific region.”

The airport will have the capacity to provide service to 1,500 passengers during peak hours and boasts security upgrades, temporary holding rooms for detained passengers, and dormitories for people in the process of being deported. Said to be the answer to notorious Liberia airport lines that sometimes stretch outside of the terminal, the new facility will be a welcome addition.

Coming up in Las Vegas this June, McCarran International Airport (LAS) opens new $2.4 billion Terminal 3, primarily to serve international and domestic long-haul flights. The new terminal will have 14 gates, a baggage handling system and parking garage and will feature an underground shuttle to the D gates and two floors of security checkpoints. When the new terminal opens, Terminal 2, an eight-gate charter on the airport’s north side, will be torn down.

Miami International Airport‘s (MIA) North Terminal Development Program is quickly nearing completion in 2012. Only three gates remain to be opened in the 50-gate “super concourse,” which is used by American Airlines as its hub for Latin America and the Caribbean to serve more than 20 million passengers annually and provide more than 300 daily flights.

Noted as one of the top ten airports for shopping in the world by Cheapflights.ca, the “terminals feel more like shopping malls than airports” reports the Miami Herald.

Indeed, to make airports work in today’s economy, they are becoming much more than just a place where planes take off and land. In addition to destination-like features, community leaders are pushing airport construction and expansion as a way land on sound economic ground.

“We need a healthy economy to thrive as a community. And transportation infrastructure is absolutely a part of this,” said Supervisor Shirlee Zane, chairwoman, when the Sonoma County California Board of Supervisors unanimously endorsed an $84 million project to expand Charles M. Schulz-Sonoma County Airport (STS) to enable more daily commercial flights this week.

“In this economy, this is as close to an economic home run as we’re going to get,” said Jonathan Coe, of the Santa Rosa Chamber of Commerce.

In Vermont, construction on a new terminal building at Vermont’s Newport State Airport (UUU) could begin as early as this summer. That would be a big step in a $12.8 million expansion project that officials say is designed to boost the area’s economy.

“This 9-year project has put a focus on utilizing our existing airports to mark Vermont not only a destination for vacationers, but also a viable economic force in the Northeast region,” said Guy Rouelle, aviation director for the Vermont Transportation Agency in BusinessWeek.

Utilizing existing airports, remodeling and upgrading facilities to address security concerns and improve the process for passengers has been a long time coming. Signs like these indicate overdue projects will be getting back on track and point to a bright future for American aviation.

But new airports are not popular everywhere as we see in this video.


Chile Clashes Over Airport Construction

Flickr photo by gTarded


Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/01/11/2585180/mia-a-top-international-shopping.html#storylink=cpy

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11 things to do on 11-11-11

11 things to do on 11-11-11

Tomorrow is a unique day on the calendar and one that should not go by without some sort of memorable event. For those who do not have anything planned on the palindromic date, consider our list of 11 things to do on 11-11-11.

  1. Propose– Getting close to asking the big question? This is the perfect day to ask. Decades from now you will thank us for suggesting this.
  2. Your first_____. Anything not yet tried that might turn into something you like to do later works. Skydiving, Surfing, Sushi come to mind.
  3. Private Tour of Manhattan by helicopter– This romantic excursion could very well be the backdrop for a romantic proposal soaring over the Big Apple.
  4. Niagara Falls Day Trip from New York– It’s a tour you can take where travelers explore the falls on both the US and Canadian sides including a ride on the historic ferry “Maid of the Mist.”
  1. Play the lottery/Be brave – Number freaks are all over this date. Buying a ticket at 11:11AM on 11-11-11 has got to be the best luck. In a bar at 11:11PM? The pick-up line options are endless. You too could be lucky.
  2. Quit Smoking– Obvious choice. Just had to throw that in. Better yet: travel someplace cool to do it.
  3. Fly to Vegas- No matter where you are, there always seems to be a flight available to Las Vegas. Maybe just fly there for dinner and come back. Maybe get married or re-married while there. MSNBC reports that over 3500 couples have applied to be married in Vegas on 11-11-11.
  4. Grand Canyon All American Helicopter Tour– Take off from Las Vegas Airport on an helicopter flight to the Grand Canyon. It’s a 45-minute helicopter flight each way, land deep in the canyon for a champagne picnic, and fly low over the Las Vegas neon Strip on your return.
  5. Take a hike– 11-11-11 is a great day to begin a new hobby or passion or dig up an old one you’ve not done in a while. OneDayOnEarth has plans similar to their hike on 10-10-10, so does RandomGroupOfHikers.
  6. Think about a veteran– 11-11-11 is also Veterans Day. Take a minute to think about someone you might know or know of who served in the military. Better yet, travel to where they are and thank them for their service.
  7. Meditate– Join others from around the world. “When the forces of Eleven become fully activated on earth, they have the power to change history in the making.” says AlchemyEvent.com, hosting a world-wide meditation on 11-11-11.


Flickr photo by Cryo Mariena