Airport Consulting Weekly
Nov. 10, 2011

Mica: Bill to update nation's air traffic control system moving forward
The Daytona Beach News-Journal
A bill that would advance an Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University research project to help transform the nation's air traffic control system could be ready for the president's signature by Christmas, U.S. Rep. John Mica said. The Winter Park Republican made the prediction at a hearing of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, which he chairs. The panel met at Embry-Riddle and members then participated in a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the newly renovated NextGen Test Bed at Daytona Beach International Airport. More

TSA to expand pre-check program 'as broadly as possible'
USA Today
The Transportation Security Administration plans to expand its pre-check program for airline passengers, who provide information about themselves in exchange for a faster trip through security lines, the agency chief announced Wednesday. The experimental program began in October at airports in Miami, Dallas, Detroit and Atlanta. More

Airports try new screening to focus on threats
The airline industry forecast a slight decline in the number of holiday air travelers this year. The projected 2 percent drop is not likely to make a noticeable difference at airport check-in and security lines. But the Transportation Security Administration is tweaking the screening process to make it less onerous and more focused on people who are more likely to pose threats. More

2 commercial airlines fly into 21st century with biofuel blends
Aviation fans are fond of recalling great milestones in the industry. Dec. 17, 1903: the Wright brothers took off from Kitty Hawk, N.C. May 21, 1927: Charles Lindbergh landed in Paris, completing the first transatlantic flight. Oct. 14, 1947: Chuck Yaeger officially broke the sound barrier. As aviation technology has improved, history continues to be made in the air. More

For the chosen fliers, security check is a breeze
The New York Times
For the first time since 2001, travelers are going through airport security checkpoints with their shoes and jackets on, and without having to remove laptops from cases or adhere to rules like displaying carry-on liquids in containers of 3.4 ounces maximum, all packed in a single quart-size plastic bag. More

BWI plans a $100 million expansion
Baltimore Sun
Travelers passing through Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport will see extensive changes over the next two years as officials launch a $100 million renovation project that will transform the central section of the airport - including parts that date to its opening in 1950. More

This FAA rule no longer flies
Belleville News-Democrat
The Federal Aviation Administration says that money-losing, business-lacking airports like St. Clair County's MidAmerica can't be closed without reimbursing the federal government for the airport's fair market value. It's a rule. More

A new DFW Airport takes shape
Fort Worth Star-Telegram
A passenger walks into Dallas/Fort Worth Airport and is greeted by a customer service agent who uses an iPad to check bags. A monitor by the security checkpoint tells the passenger it will take 20 minutes to get through the security line and suggests walking to a checkpoint five minutes away, where the line is shorter. The traveler then boards the upper deck of an Airbus A380, the largest passenger plane in the world, preparing to depart for Dubai, United Arab Emirates. More

Snowbound jets on US tarmacs spur call for tougher rules
A weekend snowstorm that stranded passengers on at least seven airliners is prompting a call for tougher sanctions against airports even as others argue that the extreme weather that caused the chaos can't be regulated. Hundreds of passengers sat for hours on planes at Bradley International Airport in Hartford, Conn., on Oct. 29 while pilots begged for help unloading them. Airports should face fines if they can't respond, Kate Hanni, a passenger-rights advocate, said in an interview. More

LAX safer after $1.6-billion security investment, report says
The Los Angeles Times
A recent study concludes that $1.6-billion in security measures in the decade since 9/11 have helped make Los Angeles International Airport much safer. But LAX still needs to improve emergency management, police coordination and other functions, the report says. "The report confirms what we know to be true: LAX is safe and is safer today than it was following 9/11," Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said, adding that the airport has already implemented many of the report's recommendations. "We will be taking concrete steps to further enhance security and protect the flying public." More

Sharing catches on at airports
The New York Times
For years, frustrated air travelers have wondered why they had to sit on the tarmac waiting for a gate to open up when they could see empty gates outside the plane's windows. Part of the answer is that airlines typically do not share their gates with competitors. Now some airports are working to change that. More

Sacramento airport now may get not one, but two hotels
The Sacramento Bee
Sacramento International Airport might get that shiny new hotel after all - maybe even two of them. One month after the new $1 billion Terminal B opened to a warm public reception, airport officials have formally revived their efforts to get a new hotel built. They're aiming high. More

Future of air traffic control takes shape at new Daytona Beach center
Orlando Sentinel
The future of air travel could someday look like this: Passengers would have fewer delays and faster flights. Air-traffic controllers and pilots would depend on GPS, already commonplace among motorists and smartphone users, instead of the antiquated blips of radar. Airlines would save millions of dollars on fuel. More

New LAX retail options to open in April; exterior terminal upgrades planned
San Jose Mercury News
Just as a new series of shops and eateries is set to open next year at Los Angeles International Airport, officials said they are now focusing on exterior enhancements.  A proposed $79 million upgrade calls for connecting the structures with a series of synchronized horizontal light ribbons that would change color, similar to the 15 towering pylons that stand at the airport's entrance at Century Boulevard. More

Commercial flights to Cuba take off from some US airports
Another chartered flight is scheduled to leave the United States for Cuba as a result of recent U.S. government moves to ease restrictions on travel to the Communist nation. In a partnership with Delta Air Lines, Marazul, a Miami-based travel agency that specializes in travel to Cuba, has restored direct flights between select U.S. airports and Havana, Cuba, a Delta spokeswoman said. More

Will Bangkok's International Airport stay dry?
The Wall Street Journal
As flooding continues to swamp outer Bangkok, Thailand, some residents and international travelers have been pondering a critical question: Will the city's international airport stay dry? For now, it looks as if the airport most likely won't be badly affected by floodwaters, given its advanced flood defenses. But the unexpected has already happened in other parts of Thailand, which is suffering from its worst floods in decades, so travelers are advised to keep watch. More

Beamon named 2012 ACC Board of Directors Chair
Courtney A. Beamon, P.E. with Delta Airport Consultants, Inc. was named chair of the 2012 ACC board of directors on Nov. 8 at the ACC Membership Meeting in Palm Springs, Calif.

33rd ACC Annual Conference and Exposition
Over 150 attendees gained valuable insights on how to keep their firms competitive in critical times at the 33rd ACC Annual Conference & Exposition in Palm Springs, Calif. Thanks to all those who helped make this year's conference successful, including 2011 Annual Conference Chair Carol Lurie with Vanasse Hangen Brustlin, Inc., her committee and all the sponsors and exhibitors. Join us next year, Nov. 5-7, 2012 in Fort Myers, Fla!More

ACRP Impacts on Practice - November 2011: Traumatic Event Assistance for Aviation Employees
The latest issue of TRB's Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP) Impacts on Practice highlights information included in ACRP Report 22: Helping Airport and Air Carrier Employees Cope with Traumatic Events that is described as "critical" by Hilary Fletcher, former County Manager for Pitkin County, Colo.More

AC 150/5370-10F, Standards for Specifying Construction of Airports
The FAA will post separate files for each standard in the AC to the Airport Construction Standards Web page. More

FAA creates laser incident reporting website
Despite now carrying an $11,000 fine, incidents of fools or psychopaths intentionally aiming laser pointers - especially green beam laser pointers - at the cockpits of aircraft continue to increase. Hoping to combat the problem, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has launched a website where pilots and the public can report laser pointer incidents. More