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September 8, 2013 | By Hugo Martin
If you worry about picking up a funky bacteria on your next airplane trip, fear not: the GermFalcon is on the way. GermFalcon, an idea that was unveiled last month at the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics conference in Los Angeles, looks like an airplane snack cart with retractable arms that stretch out over the airplane seats. Built into the arms are ultraviolet lights, which the GermFalcon shines on the plane's seats while it rolls down the aisle. The UVC light is designed to kill 99.9% of all surface germs.
April 2, 2014 | By Julie Makinen
BEIJING - A British submarine joined the search Wednesday for the missing Malaysia Airlines jet as Malaysian police said their investigation of the 227 passengers found no personal or psychological problems or motivation to hijack or sabotage the aircraft. Authorities are continuing to investigate the pilot, copilot and 10 other crew members for clues to how and why Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 vanished March 8 en route to Beijing, police Inspector-General Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar told Bernama, the Malaysian state news agency.
May 30, 2013 | By Hugo Martin
Betting on the continued growth of international travel, Singapore Airlines ordered 60 new jets in a deal worth $17 billion, the airline announced. The airline has split its order, calling for 30 Boeing planes and 30 Airbus jets, with delivery of the aircraft beginning in 2016. Quiz: What can't you take onboard a jetliner? The order is the latest example of an industry investing big in the future. In 2011, American Airlines ordered 460 new planes and confirmed the order several months later after its parent company AMR Corp.
March 31, 2014 | By Julie Makinen
BEIJING - Crews continued searching for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 in the Indian Ocean west of Australia on Tuesday as authorities emphasized ramped-up efforts to determine what happened to the airliner that went missing March 8. Officials said an Australian military ship towing a pinger locator - which can scan the sea for the sounds of a beacon attached to the plane's flight data recorder - left port for the search zone Monday night. It was expected to arrive in the search area about 1,250 miles west of Perth, Australia, on Thursday.
April 25, 2013
Re "Change allowing knives on planes is delayed," Business, April 23 On many airlines, metal knives are given to premium passengers during meal service. Back when I was traveling on business, those knives were stainless steel, with three-inch blades and serrated cutting edges. They were potentially more deadly than my Swiss Army pocketknife. I once had two-inch gaming darts confiscated at an airport. Then I got on the plane and was issued a knife for my meal. Talk about the death of common sense in this country.
September 22, 2011 | By Jim Forsyth, Reuters
Southwest Airlines is investigating mysterious markings that began appearing on the bellies of its jets earlier this year and have been described as “similar to Arabic writing,” an airline spokeswoman said Thursday. However, law enforcement officials have said that the markings do not present a threat. “The markings have no affiliation to any known group or activity,” said Southwest spokeswoman Brandy King. “The markings at this time are being considered vandalism, and Southwest is conducting an internal investigation to determine who is responsible.” She said the markings have been appearing on the airline's signature 737 jets the past several months and vary in appearance.
April 22, 2013 | By Hugo Martin
The Transportation Security Administration will temporarily delay a policy change that would have allowed passengers to carry small folding knives onto planes. In a letter to TSA employees, TSA chief John Pistole said he decided to maintain, at least temporarily, the ban on knives on planes after a meeting Monday with an aviation security panel. The changes were scheduled to take effect Thursday. Pisotle's letter did not say when he might reconsider easing the knife ban. TSA officials declined to comment.
July 2, 2011 | By Eryn Brown, Los Angeles Times
Next time you get snowed in at the airport, you might want to blame the planes. A new report has found that planes flying through certain kinds of clouds can seed ice crystals and create additional snowfall. Conditions that allow this seeding effect occur up to 6% of the time at six airports assessed in the study, which was published in the journal Science. The extra snowfall is associated with odd-looking gashes and gaping holes seen in certain clouds — called "hole-punch" and "canal" clouds — that are formed by airplanes flying through them.
December 20, 2013 | By Chris Erskine
Throw cellphones from the plane? Well, at least get them out of our hearing range, passengers say. A poll of nearly 5,000 flyers found they would strongly favor putting phone booths in planes to protect privacy if the FCC ultimately decides to allow in-flight cell use. The booths were proposed in an online poll by Airfarewatchdog , a fare-tracking website. It asked users: Do you think airlines should install in-flight phone booths to keep things from getting too loud on-board?
October 4, 2013 | By Hugo Martin
If you were looking forward to the day airlines eased the restrictions on the use of portable electronic devices on planes, you will have to wait a bit longer. A panel of representatives from the aviation and electronics industries submitted a plan Monday to the Federal Aviation Administration for lifting the limits on when you can power up electronic readers, tablets and other gadgets during commercial flights. But the FAA says it can't begin to work on adopting the recommendations because key FAA staff have been furloughed by the partial government shutdown.  "The FAA staff that would advise the Administrator on this report, as well as work on the potential execution or implementation of the guidance, are furloughed, with remaining staff, including the Administrator, focusing their time during the shutdown on issues related to life and safety," the agency said in a statement.
March 31, 2014 | By Barbara Demick, This post has been updated. See the note below for details.
BEIJING - The search and rescue teams working off the west coast of Australia seeking the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 discovered what oceanographers have been warning: Even the most far-flung stretches of ocean are full of garbage. For the first time since the search focused on the southern Indian Ocean 10 days ago, the skies were clear enough and the waves calm, allowing ships to retrieve the "suspicious items" spotted by planes and on satellite imagery. But examined on board, none of it proved to be debris from the missing plane, just the ordinary garbage swirling around in the ocean.
March 30, 2014 | By Hugo Martín
If you're against letting airline passengers talk on cellphones, you've gained a powerful ally. The Global Business Travel Assn., a trade group for the world's business travelers, submitted its opposition last week to a plan by the Federal Communications Commission to lift a ban on voice calls on planes. The group, which represents about 6,000 travel managers, called onboard calls "detrimental to business travelers. " The association even quoted folk singer Pete Seeger, who borrowed heavily from the book of Ecclesiastes when he wrote "there is a time to keep silence and a time to speak.
March 29, 2014 | By Barbara Demick
BEIJING - Stepping up its role in the hunt for the elusive Malaysia Airlines flight 370, China reported Saturday that one of its Ilyushin IL-76 aircraft Saturday reported seeing "three suspicious objects" in the south Indian Ocean that could be wreckage from Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. The official New China News Agency, which has a reporter on the search plane, described the objects as red, white and orange and wrote that a marker had been dropped...
March 28, 2014 | By Hugo Martín
Even before the disappearance of its Boeing 777, Malaysia Airlines faced financial turbulence and stiff competition from low-cost carriers in Asia. Still, airline experts say Malaysia's flagship carrier could survive the economic blow of the disaster by responding with new management and a safety campaign, among other changes. "The airline needs to show it is committed to safety, security and reliability," said Henry H. Harteveldt, a travel industry analyst for advisory firm Hudson Crossing.
March 25, 2014 | By W.J. Hennigan, Ralph Vartabedian and Don Lee
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia - Calm seas returned Wednesday to aid the search for the missing Flight 370, but public protests and the first legal filing on behalf of a passenger hinted at a stormy forecast for Malaysia and its state-supported airline. Executives of Malaysia Airlines said Tuesday that they would pay at least $5,000 to each of the families of the 227 passengers aboard the Boeing 777 that disappeared March 8, but the gesture appeared to provide little comfort to distraught relatives, about 100 of whom marched to the Malaysian Embassy in Beijing, where some clashed with police.
March 22, 2014 | By Don Lee
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia - Spurred by additional satellite leads, Australian officials on Sunday ramped up a multinational effort to comb a vast stretch of the south Indian Ocean for traces of missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. The Australian Maritime Safety Authority said eight military and civilian aircraft carrying 20 volunteer spotters - double the number used Saturday - would look for objects that were shown floating about 1,500 miles off...
May 19, 2013 | By Hugo Martin, This post has been updated. See the note below for details.
The pressure continues to mount on the Transportation Security Administration to prohibit passengers from bringing small pocket knives into the cabins of commercial planes. Opponents of allowing knives on planes unveiled a survey last week that found 90% of likely voters don't want the TSA to lift the ban that has been in place since 9/11. “You'd be hard-pressed to find another issue in today's discourse that so many people agree on,” said Laura Glading, president of the Assn.
October 5, 2001
Police officers on planes aren't a good idea. IDs can be forged, cover letters the same. The airlines aren't going to call each police agency that an officer may belong to and verify the ID and permission of the chief for that officer to fly with a gun. As a retired deputy sheriff who has had jail experience, I can tell you the outside gate opens for no inmate with a hostage, period. I've never seen an escape tried in L.A. County this way because every inmate knows this rule. The same should be the rule with airplanes.
March 19, 2014 | By Don Lee
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia - Investigators have found that some data were deleted from the flight simulator taken from the home of the pilot of the missing Malaysia Airlines plane, adding to the mystery surrounding the disappearance of the Boeing 777. Malaysian officials said Wednesday that experts were working to recover the deleted data log in the homemade simulator that was fashioned by Capt. Zaharie Ahmad Shah. Authorities did not describe the significance of deleting the data, and experts said it may not reflect anything unusual.
March 17, 2014 | By W.J. Hennigan and Barbara Demick
The U.S. military pulled its warship out of the search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 on Monday and will rely instead on sophisticated submarine-hunting aircraft, a sign of just how complex the international search for the missing Boeing 777 has become in its second week. At least 26 nations have deployed ships, aircraft and satellites in one of the largest international coalitions ever mustered in a search and rescue operation. Search teams are concentrating on wide bands in both the northern and southern hemispheres west of Malaysia, crossing the territories of a dozen Asian nations as well as the sparsely traveled waters of the southern Indian Ocean.
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