Miami Airport To Test Passenger Self-Boarding

Miami International Airport has plans to test a self-boarding system that would cut out airline gate agents and, hopefully, make the boarding process flow better, Skift reports.

Maurice Jenkins, the airport’s director of information services and telecommunications, tells the news outlet the airport already has the equipment it needs to get the process started, and will soon roll out tests with several airlines. He also mentioned the airport is looking at testing self-service kiosks in customs, but that would be further down the pipeline.

According to the Star Tribune, at least 17 airlines across Europe and Asia already use self-boarding machines, and several U.S. carriers are testing the devices. The process is simple: an automated turnstile allows fliers to scan their own boarding passes at the gate before passing onto the plane. Although this essentially means travelers can bypass all interaction with airline employees until the point they step onto an aircraft, it doesn’t mean passengers will get to skip any form of security, so everyone who uses the system will have already passed inspection.

We all know how bad people can be at forming a line at the airport, so we’re curious to see this implemented. My only question is, who will police the size of our carry-on bags now?

‘Airport 24/7 Miami’ Takes Off On Second Season

When “Airport 24/7 Miami” took off last October, the Travel Channel show delivered to viewers an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at one of the busiest airports in the world. We watched as an army of Miami International Airport (MIA) staff moved 100,000 travelers a day through the facility like clockwork.

Handling everything from lost luggage to drug smuggling and terrorist threats, viewers saw a real, unfiltered look at the people who work every day to keep planes and people moving. Coming up later this month, “Airport 24/7 Miami” returns for a second season with all new episodes.

Starting April 30, fans will reserve Tuesday nights at 9 p.m. ET/PT for 19 weeks of all new episodes. Each week, viewers will have an all-access pass inside the intense and dramatic world of MIA. This season, “Airport 24/7 Miami” promises even more unprecedented behind-the-scenes footage.In the season opener, MIA staff works together when two passenger planes collide as we see in this sneak peek video:

Can’t wait until April 30? Need an “Airport 24/7 Miami” fix right now? The Travel Channel has a photo gallery, video library and an “About the Staff” intro to some of the key people who run the airport every day.

Want to know what happens while moving 38 million people every year through MIA, an spot considered a prime terrorist target and Category X airport? “Airport 24/7 Miami” has the stories, people and events we don’t see on the news or read about online … well, except for here, that is.

[Photo credit – The Travel Channel]

Behind The Scenes At Miami International Airport, Tonight

Travelers passing through Miami International Airport (MIA) most commonly are concerned about luggage, customs, security and making connections. Given the time, they might linger at an airport store in the mall-like shopping areas, have something to eat, work or just relax before a flight. But behind the scenes, an army of MIA workers handles situations travelers may never hear about from drug smuggling to terrorist threats, medical emergencies and more.

Tonight, the Travel Channel is taking us back stage to see how it all unfolds every day as 100,000 travelers make their way through one of the busiest airports in the world.

“This is one of many ways in which Travel Channel is trying to give viewers a different look at all aspects of travel,” network general manager Andy Singer said in a Washington Post article. “And we think the Miami International Airport is a fascinating way to do that.”

“Airport 24/7: Miami” brings us behind closed doors to watch workers as they handle terrorist threats, deal with drug smugglers, act quickly in medical emergencies, get ready for an Air Force One landing and more.

Going behind doors marked “Staff Only” and “Secure Area” into places travelers rarely see, “Airport 24/7: Miami” promises to show what happens as thousands of Miami International Airport workers go about the business of running a safe and secure airport facility, all while getting passengers to their flights on time.

“Airport 24/7:Miami” premieres tonight with back-to-back episodes at 9 p.m. EST.

[Flickr photo by Let Ideas Compete]

LAN Colombia will begin flights to the U.S.

On February 1, LAN Colombia will celebrate the airline’s inaugural flight to the United States when it touches down at Miami International Airport from Bogota. The event will be marked by a water cannon salute and will be attended by the iconic Juan Valdez (and possibly his mule Conchita) in an effort to promote his coffee brand-which will now be served exclusively on all of LAN’s long-haul flights.

So why might you be interested in hopping on one of the seven weekly flights between Bogota and Miami? Not only was Bogota named one of Gadling’s picks for best budget vacations in 2012, but Tayrona National Park on the Caribbean coast is one of our top picks for national parks to visit in all of South America. If you need more convincing, find out why Alex Robertson Textor things Bogota is the next Buenos Aires.

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

New 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, 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.

Flickr photo by gTarded

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