May’s top stories: FBI examines phone threats in US, Auckland’s new flight path

4 June 2015 (Last Updated June 4th, 2015 18:30)

The UK Airports Commission has reopened its consultation to receive public feedback on the air quality assessment of the proposed expansion plans of the three airports, Auckland Airport will trial new SMART Approaches flight path from 1 September, and the US FBI launched an investigation into a series of anonymous telephone threats made to airports in New York, New Jersey and Massachusetts. Airport-technology.com wraps-up the key headlines from May 2015.

May’s top stories: FBI examines phone threats in US, Auckland’s new flight path

Heathrow

Airports Commission's new consultation to seek public feedback on air quality

The UK Airports Commission reopened its consultation to receive public feedback on the air quality assessment of the proposed expansion plans of the three additional option short-listed in its 'Interim report'.

The airports commission's decision follows a Supreme Court ruling that said that the UK had been failing consistently to meet European Union limits and needed to do more to control air pollution in the past several years.

With the launch of public consultation, both Gatwick and Heathrow Airports said why an expansion at their respective airports would be more feasible for the country's future.

Auckland Airport to trial new flight path from September

Auckland airport

Commercial aircraft flying to New Zealand's Auckland Airport from the north will trial new SMART Approaches flight path, for 12 months from 1 September.

Known as 'Yellow U23', the new satellite-based navigation is aimed at reducing fuel consumption, exhaust emissions and noise and to distribute air traffic over a wider area of the city.

Jointly implemented by the Auckland Airport, Airways New Zealand and the Board of Airline Representatives New Zealand, the one-year long flight plan will evaluate aircraft performance, management of airspace and operational benefits such as time, distance, fuel and carbon emission savings, noise monitor results and public feedback.

FBI investigates anonymous threat calls against six US-bound international flights

Airfrance

The US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) launched an investigation into a series of anonymous telephone threats that triggered security concerns at airports in New York, New Jersey and Massachusetts.

A threat call was received by the Maryland State Police about an Air France flight containing a chemical weapon, which prompted two US fighter jets to escort the plane as a precaution.

FBI said in a statement: "Out of an abundance of caution, Air France flight number 22 was escorted to John F Kennedy (JFK) Airport by US Air Force fighter jets following a phone threat.

Poland to construct new airport at former military airstrip in Szymany

Poland is investing around zl205m ($58m) in the construction of runways and a new terminal at a former military airstrip in Szymany in the north eastern part of the country.

The Olsztyn Mazury airport site was reportedly used by the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) between 2002 and 2005 to fly al-Qaeda suspects, who were later interrogated and tortured at a nearby detention centre, Bloomberg reported.

Out of the $58m being pooled in by local authorities, a total of $44m from subsidies were offered by the European Union (EU).

London City Airport begins work on pier expansion

Pier

London City Airport (LCY) begun a £16m development programme to expand its Western Pier by nearly 84%.

The pier houses 70% of the airport's departure gates.

The upgrade will result in a new Western Pier with bright, open-plan space featuring modern seating, electronic boarding gates, workspaces, quiet areas and charging points.

Orlando Airport to start construction of new $1.8bn terminal

The Orlando International Airport will soon commence the construction of a southern terminal at a cost of $1.8bn after securing approval from the airport board.

Planned to be built around a mile south of the existing one, the new terminal will serve both domestic and foreign visitors.

The airport plans to move forward with the expansion despite objections from the Southwest Airlines and Delta Airlines that have argued that the second terminal is unnecessary and expensive.

South Korea's Incheon Airport introduces self-bag drop facility

ScanFly

South Korea's Incheon International Airport installed Type22-built Scan&Fly system to offer self-bag-drop services to its passengers.

The technology will help the airport reduce wait time for passengers by eliminating the requirement for them to wait in line at conventional check-in counters.

Bag-drop service will initially be available for passengers flying with Asiana Airlines and Korean Air and will be offered to those who have checked-in online or at a CUSS kiosk.

Report: TSA failed to maintain security screening equipments

The US Transportation Security Agency (TSA) failed to manage its airport screening equipment maintenance programme, a new report by the Department of Homeland Security's Office of Inspector General has revealed.

About 450 airports across the country installed the TSA equipments that are used for detecting explosives, guns and other weapons and prevent such dangerous items from being carried on aircraft.

However, the audit found that TSA did not shared with airports the necessary policies and procedures for proper maintenance of the machines, which inspect around 1.8 million passengers and 1.2 million bags every day.

Saudi warplanes bombard Yemen's Lahij Airport

Saudi Arabian warplanes launched airstrikes at a military airport in Yemen's southern province of Lahij.

Press TV has reported that the aerial bombardment destroyed the runway of the al-Anad airbase, setting several Yemeni military fighter jets on fire.

The bombing comes barely a week after the Saudi Arabian fighters bombed the country's Sana'a International Airport.

FAA to conduct aviation noise survey around 20 US airports

FAA

The US Department of Transportation's (DoT) Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will study aircraft noise and its effect on people staying in the vicinity of 20 airports.

Over the next two to three months, the FAA will contact residents living near the 20 unidentified airports by mail and telephone to seek their opinions about aviation noise.

The names of the airports have not been revealed to preserve scientific integrity of the study, which is being initiated following the receipt of approval from the Office of Management and Budget.