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British Airways Interview. Brett Snyder alias the Cranky Flier, has interviewed Simon Talling-Smith, the Executive VP of the Americas for British Airways, on the day his airline announced its first A380 routes from London to Los Angeles followed by London to Hong Kong. The discussion also covered the American/US Airways merger.

British Aviation Company Flying Higher on Overseas Trade. Privately owned Southampton airline training company CTC Aviation, which trains pilots for airlines in the UK and around the world, has been bucking the gloom in the air travel industry by reporting nearly £28 million worth of sales last year. Overseas business rose 52% thanks to a boom in demand for pilots to work for airlines in emerging markets such as Africa and India.

The UK Government and Industry to Commit £2 Billion for Aerospace. In order to cement Britain’s place as the world’s second-largest aerospace sector after the United States, the UK government has announced an Aerospace Industrial Strategy that will see £2 billion ($3 billion) invested over the next seven years equally between government and industry. The funding will go into research and development for wings, engines, aerostructures and advanced systems – aviation areas where the UK remains strong. Aviation policy wonks can read the policy paper here.

UK Passenger Numbers Still Below 2007 Levels. The Civil Aviation Authority has reported that UK airports handled 1.4 million (0.6%) more passengers in 2012 than 2011 while London airports grew by 1.3 million and regional airports by 0.1 million. However, overall passenger numbers are still 8% below the peak reached in 2007. Nevertheless, the growth continues the recovery started in 2011 following three consecutive years of falling passenger numbers at UK airports.

Charter Passengers Cause the Most Delays. Interestingly enough, between 33% to 50% of charter passengers carry prohibited items with 33% needing to be re-examined according to a one-year in-depth study by Kirschenbaum Consulting held at a regional European airport. These figures compare with only 10% to 15% of scheduled passengers carrying prohibited items and only 10% of regular flyers needing to be re-examined by security employees.

Tips for Flying Into a Non-towered Airport. With the sequester in the USA having the FAA consider the closure of 170 air traffic control towers, the National Business Aviation Association has released a “tips and tricks” page on its website. In addition, AVweb also has a podcast interview with National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) representative John Bratcher to find out more about how long this might last and how it could affect GA operations.

Airpark Database. If you are thinking of living in an airpark, General Aviation News has suggested checking out the airpark database on the Living With Your Plane website. The site tracks more than 600 airparks worldwide and the directory has a collection of sample floorplans and other useful resources. - Charles Lindbergh as a Pan Am passengerThe Day Lindbergh Got Lost. Finally, Air Facts Journal has an article by Arnold Reiner who, back in 1968, was the relief copilot on Pan Am’s Boeing 707 Rome to New York morning flight when he got the chance to meet passenger Charles Lindbergh, who told him a story about getting lost over Mexico. Apparently, Lindbergh saw a rail line and decided to follow it to a station figuring he could read off the name of the town from the station sign. As he swooped in low, all he could see was a sign that said “CABALLEROS.” In other words, he located the men’s room entrance (we can assume Lindbergh eventually figured out where he was!).

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