The deal brokered last week by U.S. Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice to relax travel restrictions to and from the Gaza Strip did not go far enough to reopen Yasser Arafat International Airport, as Israel continues to resist pressure to allow the Palestinians their own means of international airlinks they need to rebuild their economy.
Airports, Heliports and FBOs » Airports
New developments at airports including regulations and noise issues; legal disputes; openings, acquisitions and mergers.
While crewmen work on a United Arab Emirates air force F-16E/F after a demo flight, in the background construction workers are busy erecting a series of new hangars for Emirates’ new Airbus A380s. In addition to the hangars, Dubai International Airport is adding a new terminal and concourses to handle 70 million passengers.
Transportation communications and systems engineering specialist Arinc opened an office here in Dubai just after the 2003 Dubai air show. The move has proved to be a powerful springboard for securing work throughout the Middle East, since earlier this year the company won a major airport information technology contract for Dubai International Airport.
QinetiQ’s radar system that can detect very small items of potentially dangerous debris on airport runways has just completed a successful demonstration at Dubai International Airport. Called Tarsier, the all-weather, 24/7 system performed fully automatic detection and location of test debris items such as plastic and glass bottles, metal bolts and a small section of carbon fiber grill.
Etihad Airways will take delivery of its first 777-300ER on January 6, almost three months later than originally planned. The Abu Dhabi-based airline placed an order for five of the airplanes last December, at which time Boeing promised to deliver the first this past October, followed by two each in November and December.
For an airport, an annual throughput of 25 million passengers is enough to win respect, especially when it is the result of well-above-average, double-digit growth each year. Yet, in thriving Dubai, it seems that today’s figures are only young green shoots from which tomorrow’s branches will grow.
Perhaps contrary to the impressions of outsiders, flying business aircraft into and within the Middle East is not difficult. At least that seems to be the consensus of those who arrange planning and handling for international flight operations in this part of the world.
Two nonbinding referendums on opposite coasts of the U.S. allowed voters to register their opinions about airport projects, and both referendums failed to win approval. In Jacksonville, Fla. voters were asked to support a plan to return Cecil Field to the U.S. Navy, which gave most of the airport to the city in 1999.
The FAA is extending through Oct. 31, 2008, a flight-reduction program at Chicago O’Hare International Airport, including slot reservations for general aviation operations. Through several six-month extensions, the program has been in effect continuously since November 2004. The FAA said that the flight limits imposed since 2004 “have been effective” in easing congestion.
The proposed procedure for reimbursing FBOs, flight schools and other providers of general aviation ground-support services at five airports in the Washington, D.C. area for financial losses they incurred while the airports were closed after 9/11 is “a cumbersome government process” for small businesses and they will be “intimidated,” according to the National Air Transportation Association (NATA).