Travel News: Turtles on the Tarmac delay flights

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Turtles On Tarmac Delay Flights At JFK

Flights were briefly held up at New York’s JFK Airport at the weekend due to a walkabout by dozens of turtles. About 40 diamondback terrapins escaped their habitat at nearby Jamaica Bay and crawled onto the tarmac. Port Authority of New York and New Jersey spokeswoman Cheryl Albiez said: “There were planes briefly stuck in queue. It is turtle season here, but it was a little unusual to get the turtles at this time.” Jamaica Bay is a wildlife refuge and has a large turtle population. It is not the first time the airport’s wildlife experts have been called into action to clear the airport. NBC News reports nearly 500 turtles were captured last year after venturing too close to the airport. The turtles’ annual migration takes place from June to mid-July.

Circular Runway Plan Poses Questions

A BBC video is taking YouTube by storm, chronicling one man’s vision of circular runways that could revolutionize the way the world travels. Researcher Henk Hesselink is working with Netherlands Aerospace Centre to test the idea but questions remain about the idea. Hesselink told the BBC: “My big idea is a circular runway. Aircraft can take off and land at points on the circle to make certain that they have no crosswind. He was inspired by watching scary crosswind landings on YouTube. His team is using simulators to test the concept, one that could allow up to three aircraft to take off and land simultaneously on a 3.5-kilometre runway. The runway’s sides would be banked, like those of an automobile racetrack. “Upon landing, because of the centrifugal force an airplane would automatically go slower and go towards the center of the runway,” Hesselink says. “Passengers will not feel like they’re on a roller coaster. They will [only] use part of the circle,” as well as avoiding tricky landings.” “Because we now have the possibility to fly in from any direction, towards any direction we can make the decision where to fly and where to avoid flying. Hesselink says one of the advantages of his idea is that it would do away with the need to take off and land into potentially dangerous crosswinds. Since his idea means the airport proper would be in a shallow bowl bounded by one runway knowing the effect of winds on arriving and departing aircraft is critical. None of this is to say there might not be circular runways in your future, just that there’s a lot of research yet to be done. The European Commission has funded some testing already. But apart from military trials in the mid-1960s, a commercial circular runway has never been constructed. Read the full article and view the video here

Dubai Introduce New Facial Recognition Technology

BIOMETRICS and a new generation of smart immigration gates are to be introduced at Dubai International Airport’s Terminal 3 to help streamline check-in and immigration procedures. UAE authorities announced the projects after a review aimed at getting travelers flowing more smoothly through airport checkpoints. The review involved a collaboration between Emirates Airline, Dubai Customs, Dubai General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA), Dubai Police and Dubai Airports. The new technology is expected to be in place within 12 to 18 months and will include facial recognition integrated with the UAE wallet, an app that allows passengers to scan their smartphone rather than a passport. Travelers will be able to register and store their biometric data through multiple means including by taking a selfie on their mobile phones, as well as using biometric registration kiosks placed at check-in areas and Emirates lounges. They then utilize this biometric data to ease their journey through immigration at T3 Departures, and later, other touch-points throughout DXB airport, including automated access to Emirates’ first and business class lounges. The new smart immigration gates, to be installed at T3 Departures and which will supplement existing e-gates, will offer an automated border control system using biometrics. The system will allow travelers to forgo the additional step of getting their passports and boarding passes manually checked by a security officer before they go through immigration.

Norwegian Cruise Line Sends Second Ship to Cuba

Norwegian Cruise Line will deploy a second ship, Norwegian Sun, to the region. The vessel will also serve as the line’s second alcohol-inclusive ship. Following a 2.5-week dry dock that will include a revamp of all cabins and the addition of popular venues, Norwegian Sun will begin sailing from Port Canaveral beginning April 2018 and offering four-day itineraries to Havana and Key West (beginning May 2018), as well as three-day voyages to the Bahamas. The ship will also include soda, juice and alcohol in its fares, a concept introduced on Norwegian Sky in 2015. Norwegian Sky homeports in Miami and is the only Norwegian vessel to visit Cuba and provide a beverage-inclusive experience. Following Norwegian Sun’s fall/winter season in South America and a drydock enhancement, the ship will spend summer 2018 sailing from Port Canaveral. Norwegian Sun will depart for Cuba and Key West each Monday on four-day sailings that feature an overnight in Havana. The three-day cruises to the Bahamas, departing Fridays, will visit Nassau and the recently enhanced Great Stirrup Cay. A 2.5-week drydock in Victoria, BC, will add features under the company’s ‘Norwegian Edge’ revitalization program. After the work, Norwegian Sun will re-enter service April 19 with a 17-day repositioning cruise from Seattle via the Panama Canal to the East Coast.

Tokyo To Turn Cruise Ships Into Hotels For 2020 Summer Olympics

Japan authorities reported on their plans to use their cruise ships as hotels during the much-awaited 2020 Summer Olympics. According to Japan News, the Japanese government is currently progressing in their goal to make cruise ships function as hotels. This innovation is planned for the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo. As of now, Japanese laws do not allow cruise ships to moor for more than 15 days. The only exception was the Queen Elizabeth 2 liner, which could accommodate more than 1,500 people. It stayed for 65 days during the Exotic Showcase in Yokohama in 1989. Several issues are connected to Japan’s new project. With ship crews becoming hotel staff, they would instantly fall outside the maritime legislation. Moreover, Japanese laws do not regulate ships’ meals. A special license under the Customs Law would be necessary to obtain for this. Japan News stated that in 2016, 24 million visitors arrived in Japan. This amount filled 80% of hotels in Tokyo. 40 million people are expected in the country in 2020, when the Olympics take place. This is why “floating hotels” could give the industry a big hand. The Port of Tokyo can accommodate up to 1,000 people, while Yokohama’s port can accommodate twice as much. The Port of Kawasaki and Kisarazu Port could also be used if they meet certain requirements.

Hotel cruise ships are not an uncommon sight. Vancouver used them for this purpose during the 2010 Winter Olympics and all the Olympics since until last year’s games in Rio de Janeiro.

EU Court Says Airlines Must Not Charge Cancellation Fees 

The European Court of Justice has said that airlines cannot levy additional charges if a consumer cancels a flight. German judges asked the court to rule on Air Berlin’s refund policy and disclosure of additional taxes. Airlines were ordered last Thursday by Europe’s top court to increase the transparency of their airfares by individually disclosing taxes, airport fees and other charges levied to consumers. The European Court of Justice (EJC) also ruled that carriers can no longer levy extra charges against customers who either miss or cancel their flights. The ruling means airlines can no longer hide those additional charges in the airfare or cancellation fees. 

Lot Polish Airlines To Begin Year Round Service Between Budapest and Both New York and Chicago

In May 2018, Lot Polish Airlines will begin year-round service between Budapest and both New York and Chicago, This will be the first direct flights between the US and Hungary since Malev Hungarian Airlines ceased operations in 2012. Traffic between Budapest and the US has been on the rise for the past few years, according to Lot “More than 165,000 passengers travel between Budapest and New York and Chicago every year,” They change mainly in Frankfurt, Paris, Amsterdam and London, which makes their journey considerably longer. The Budapest flights constitute Lot’s first base of operations outside Poland, according to Budapest Airport CEO. The carrier aims to consolidate in Central and Eastern Europe, including its investment in Estonian carrier Nordica, which was announced last year. Lot will move one of its Dreamliners to Budapest for the US service. It will fly to New York four times per week, on Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays, and to Chicago on Tuesdays and Saturdays.

More Ships To Visit Port Of Montreal

A new terminal will be completely finished by the fall foliage season for the Port of Montreal, and 2018 bookings are moving ahead of 2017. There will be more ships arriving earlier in the season and AIDA will be doing three turnarounds. There is renewed interest in cruising the Great Lakes and Montreal could become a turnaround port with small ships for both the Saint Lawrence and Great Lakes and growing interest in cruising the St. Lawrence. Montreal’s new terminal will operate alongside a second berth option that was originally temporary but is now sticking around. The secondary option includes a large tent positioned before a bridge that can accommodate ships with a larger air draft.

Alaska Volcano Eruption Triggers Red Aviation Alert

A volcano on Alaska’s Aleutian Island chain that has erupted frequently in the past eight months has sent up another ash cloud, leading an agency to issue a warning to aviation. The Alaska Volcano Observatory says the Bogoslof Volcano erupted at 10:15 a.m. Saturday Alaska time, creating an ash cloud that rose to 5.6 miles (9 kilometers) above sea level. The agency issued a red, or warning, alert to aviation because of the ash cloud. Bogoslof has erupted periodically since mid-December.

Concordia Ship Recycling Project Completed

The dismantling and recycling of the Concordia cruise ship, conducted under latest European environmental and safety regulations, has been completed in Genoa by San Giorgio del Porto, in partnership with Saipem. Fewer than three years have passed since the arrival of the Concordia wreck to Genoa, on July 27, 2014. Described by Genova Industrie Navali, a holding group comprising T. Mariotti and San Giorgio del Porto shipyards, as ‘one of the most important green ship recycling projects ever carried out in Europe’, the process engaged more than 350 workers and took approximately 1 million hours of work. Some 78 companies (98% of them Italian) were involved. Approximately 90% of the materials were recycled, equal to more than 53,000 tons, and required almost 4,000 trips to recycling facilities in Italy.

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