Name change

Birmingham International Airport is contemplating a name change.

The Alabama airport may be renamed for civil rights leader Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth, founder of the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights.

Shuttlesworth is pictured with Dartmouth College professor Susannah Heschel.

Birmingham Airport Authority members plan to formally vote on the change next month, according to The Birmingham News.

If approved, the name change would not be the first for the airport.

Known as Birmingham Municipal Airport when it opened in 1931,
it became Birmingham International Airport in 1993.

(Photo from Susannah Heschel)

O'Hare's new club

United Airlines opened a new Red Carpet Club at Chicago O'Hare International Airport yesterday.

The club is adjacent to gate B18 in Terminal 1.

It is the first lounge the airline has opened since 2000.

(Photo courtesy of United Airlines)


It's 4:20 somewhere

Potheads want the government to legalize marijuana use in airport smoking lounges.

Denver-based Safer Alternative for Enjoyable Recreation (SAFER)-insert joke about the Mile High City here-claim marijuana will help fliers relax.

Get the full scoop here.


Price cut

Ottawa International Airport will cut terminal fees effective July 1.

The Ottawa International Airport Authority will reduce fees by 5% because of skyrocketing fuel costs and weakened economies in Canada and the USA, Canadian carrier WestJet Airlines says in a statement.

Obviously, the airline is pleased with the decision and would like other Canadian airports to follow suit.


Perfect pairs

The Bureau of Transportation Statistics put together the top domestic city pairs based on enplaned passengers between April 2007 and March 2008.

I’m pleased to see Washington, DC is well represented. I'm just surprised New York-Los Angeles wasn't in the top ten. Or San Francisco-New York.

(Graphic courtesy of the Bureau of Transportation Statistics)


I spy

While looking for a story to write, I came across a SFW Web cam for aviation nerds.

Spy on Edmonton International Airport. Its "Live Cam" is refreshed every two minutes.

Views of the Canadian airport include the north runway, south runway and south departures.

Caps be gone

Flight caps at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport will be removed after the airport’s newest runway opens in November. A post about the new runway is forthcoming.

Between 56 and 70 more arrivals will be added throughout the day-roughly four to five extra arrivals per hour-when the runway opens, FAA Acting Administrator Robert Sturgell says in a statement.

Hourly domestic arrivals and departures at O’Hare were capped at 88 each between 7 am and 8 pm in 2004 as a temporary step to reduce congestion at the then most-delayed hub in the USA.

Originally scheduled to end in April 2005, the caps were continually extended while additional measures to address congestion and delays at the airport were considered.

There might be some headaches. Some airlines are unhappy with the news. And this just in: the cost of fuel is rising.


Airport sugar daddy under microscope

Fingers crossed that the bookkeepers in charge of FAA’s Airport Improvement Program (AIP) are more judicious than the folks at Baltimore-Washington International Airport.

Starting today, the US DOT’s Office of Inspector General will audit the AIP to check for improper payments.

The objective is “to evaluate whether FAA had adequate internal controls to prevent and detect improper payments to AIP grant recipients,” the office says in a statement.

The audit will test a statistical sample of AIP payments made between June 2007 and May 2008. Reviews will occur this week at FAA headquarters in DC, regional offices, airport district offices and AIP grantee locations.

The US Office of Management and Budget, “estimates that 3.5% of payments made government-wide were improper,” the office notes.


New lighting, smaller bill

Albany International Airport will be testing ways to save on its electricity bill.

Energy-efficient fixtures-light-emitting diodes (LED)-will be installed in the parking garage this fall.

The fixtures are expected to save between $10,000 and $15,000 annually per floor, reports The Albany Times Union.

Electricity usage is expected to drop 75%.



Singapore Airlines Cargo snapped up a sexy delivery last week, Formula One Cars.

The airline received the green light from the Canadian Transportation Agency to operate two Boeing 747-400Fs on behalf of Formula One Management in time for the Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal.

The race cars were flown to Montreal-Mirabel International Airport from London Stansted Airport on June 1. The cars returned to London on June 9.

Photo of the McLaren Mercedes MP4-23 from Formula One.


Hunger pains, gains

Hungry people at an airport. Sounds like a winning business plan.

Check out the concessions at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.

The airport received $7.6 million from food vendors and $4.3 million from news and gift vendors.


Airports vs. emissions

European airports tackle pollution and more.

Check out the opposition to a third runway at London Heathrow Airport. Will anyone in the Detroit area follow suit?

Photo by Alessia Pierdomenico/Reuters.