TSA reports record number of guns detected at..

By FeaturedNo Comments

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) in the US reported a record number of guns caught at airport checkpoints in 2019 – more than ever before in the agency’s history.

A total of 4,432 firearms were discovered in carry-on bags or on passengers at checkpoints across the country, approximately a 5% increase nationally in firearm discoveries from the total of 4,239 detected in 2018.

The TSA reported that firearms were caught at 278 airport checkpoints nationwide. The top five airports where TSA officers detected guns at checkpoints in 2019 were: Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International with 323; Dallas/Fort Worth International with 217; Denver International with 140; George Bush Intercontinental with 138; and Phoenix Sky Harbor International with 132.

Eighty-seven percent of firearms detected at checkpoints last year were loaded.

“The continued increase in the number of firearms that travellers bring to airport checkpoints is deeply troubling,” said TSA Administrator David Pekoske. “There is a proper way to travel safely with a firearm. First and foremost, it should be unloaded. Then it should be packed in a hard-sided locked case, taken to the airline check-in counter to be declared, and checked.”

Travellers who bring firearms to the checkpoint are subject to criminal charges from law enforcement and civil penalties from TSA and even if a traveller has a concealed weapon permit – firearms are not permitted to be carried onto an aircraft. Firearm possession laws vary by state and locality and TSA advises travellers to familiarise themselves with state and local firearm laws, while airlines may also have additional requirements.

Travellers with proper firearm permits can travel legally with their firearms in their checked bags if they follow the guidelines. For example, firearms must be unloaded and packed in a locked hard-sided case, ammunition must be in its original box and can be packed inside the hard-side case next to the firearm.

The case should be taken to the airline check-in counter. Firearms are transported with checked baggage and placed in the cargo hold of the aircraft.

Take a look at our graphic to see the number of weapons identified 2008 to 2019:



Allegiant boosts connections to underserved c..

By FeaturedNo Comments

Low-fare leisure carrier Allegiant has announced its largest ever service expansion, driven primarily by new routes connecting underserved cities to popular destinations.

The airline has announced 44 new nonstop routes, and most of the routes are non-competitive, with no other airline providing service between those airports, Allegiant suggested.

“There is a lot of leisure demand for cities that are regional destinations, and this route expansion will address some of that need,” said Drew Wells, Allegiant vice president of planning and revenue. “Also, this growth is about Allegiant being true to our mission as a company. We’re increasing the number of low-cost, affordable travel options for people who may otherwise be priced out of air travel.”

The new services including 14 routes to three new cities: Chicago, Boston and Houston.

New seasonal routes to Boston Logan International Airport include services from Grand Rapids, Michigan from 7 May; Asheville, North Carolina and Knoxville, Tennessee from 8 May, as well as Destin/Ft. Walton Beach, Florida on 14 May.

The new seasonal routes from Houston’s William P. Hobby Airport include services from Knoxville, Tennessee beginning 21 May; Asheville, North Carolina from 22 May; Savannah, Georgia from 28 May and Destin/Fort Walton Beach, Florida from 5 June.

Chicago Midway International Airport will gain six new seasonal routes, with the first (to Allentown, Pennsylvania) beginning 14 May.

Louisville Muhammad Ali International Airport (SDF) is one of the airports gaining a new additional service through Allegiant, with the airline adding a seasonal service to Charleston International Airport from 22 May.

The new route will mark the airport’s 33rd nonstop destination (a record for the airport), as well as Allegiant’s eleventh route from SDF.

Dan Mann, executive director of the Louisville Regional Airport Authority said: “Announcing new, nonstop service to Charleston International Airport from Louisville is a great way for us to kick-off a new year.”

Mann added that the airline’s continued investment “speaks to the community’s strong desire for additional leisure travel options.”

“Thanks to a booming economy, a great convention scene and a thriving tourism industry, our city is attracting more than 16 million tourists a year, and news like this will help us build on that,” commented Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer. “Direct flights like this help local businesses, make us more attractive for businesses looking to locate here and provide great new options for people wanting to travel to and from our city.”

Swedavia sees passenger numbers decrease in 2..

By UncategorizedNo Comments

Passenger numbers at Swedavia’s airports have dropped 4% compared to 2018 figures, in a year that has seen flygskam or ‘flight-shaming’ growing in Sweden.

More than 40 million passengers flew to or from the operator’s ten airports in 2019, a 4% decrease compared to the record figures seen in 2018 of more than 42 million passengers.

Swedavia reported that the decrease was primarily in domestic travel with the number of domestic passengers totalling 12.4 million (a 9% decrease compared to 2018). The number of international passengers decreased to a lesser extent by 2% to nearly 28 million. However international traffic increased at a number of the airports and notably at Göteborg Landvetter Airport.

Stockholm Arlanda Airport had more than 25.6 million passengers in 2019, a 4% decrease compared to the previous year. International travel decreased 4% and domestic travel decreased 8%.

At Göteborg Landvetter Airport passenger figures decreased by a total of 2% compared to 2018 to nearly 6.7 million, though international traffic continued to grow to nearly 5.5 million passengers.

Bromma Stockholm saw passenger figures totalling 2,352,517 (a decrease of 6%), while Luleå saw a 3% decrease to 1,162,314.

Ronneby saw a 9% decrease (with 204,678 passengers) while Malmö recorded passenger figures of 1,975,479, a decrease of 8%, and Åre Östersund also saw passenger figures drop 8% over the previous year, with numbers totalling 473,497.

Umeå saw 960,351 passengers – a decrease of 7% – while Visby recorded passenger numbers of 446,764 (a decrease of 5%). Kiruna Airport saw 267,941 passengers, a decrease of 3% over the year before.

In December nearly 2.9 million passengers flew to or from Swedavia’s airports, a decrease of 4% compared to the same period in 2018, which the airport operator said is in line with the trend for the year. International traffic decreased 2% during the month, while domestic traffic decreased 7% compared to December 2018.

Reporting the passenger figures for the year across the airports, Swedavia commented: “For many years, Swedavia has carried out ambitious sustainability work. All ten of its airports shall have zero emissions of fossil carbon dioxide from their own operations by 2020.

“Swedavia also works actively to promote the industry’s transition to bio fuel and has the goal that five per cent of all fuel used to refuel aircraft at Swedish airports shall be fossil-free by 2025. Since 2016, Swedavia buys bio jet fuel equivalent to the amount the company uses on flights for business purposes, about 450 tonnes of fuel a year.”

London City Airport celebrates record passeng..

By UncategorizedNo Comments

London City Airport has recorded its busiest year in its history as over five million passengers travelled through the airport in 2019.

A total of 5,100,025 passengers flew in to and out of the airport in 2019, an increase of 6.3% year-on-year which the airport suggests has been driven by the launch of new routes, as well as additional flights and larger aircraft on existing routes.

“2019 was a very successful year for London City Airport, with increased demand from passengers and airlines, the launch of new routes and expansion of others, and continued high scores for passenger satisfaction,” commented Richard Hill, Chief Commercial Officer. “It demonstrates that the combination of speed, convenience, excellent customer service and connectivity to and from the heart of London continues to be a recipe for success.”

“That is why we are investing half-a-billion pounds in the transformative City Airport Development Programme to increase capacity and improve our facilities for passengers and airlines. This will ensure we can play a greater role in supporting London as an international destination for business and leisure, while also creating more opportunities for people in East London,” he continued.

Expanding on plans for the year ahead, Richard Hill added: “We are working on becoming the most sustainable airport in the UK and our Carbon Neutral accreditation announced last month is a significant milestone in that journey.”

“With progress on so many fronts, and new routes to San Sebastián and Dundee already announced, 2020 is shaping up to be another successful year for London City Airport.”

The growth in passenger numbers was primarily driven by new markets and seasonal leisure-oriented routes, with the airport suggesting this highlights the increased relevance in the leisure market – including tourists using the airport to visit the capital and the rest of the UK. Based on Civil Aviation Authority data, leisure passengers account for 55% of people travelling to and from the airport – which would amount to 2,828,374 passengers in 2019.

Reporting on the growth on domestic routes, the airport found passenger numbers were up on routes to Belfast (by 14.7%, 210,936), Glasgow (10.2%, 252,980) and Edinburgh (3.3% to 511,116) while the addition of a new Dundee route in 2020 strengthens this growth.

The launch of LOT Polish Airline’s routes to Budapest, Vilnius and Warsaw brought an additional 194,000 passengers through the airport. Meanwhile, BA CityFlyer, the British Airways subsidiary and the airport’s largest airline partner, boosted growth with an additional 195,000 passengers generated through additional aircraft and improved load factors as well as the launch of its Munich route and increased operations to Rome (FCO), Zurich and Edinburgh.

The airport also highlighted that extra passengers were generated from additional flights by Dutch flag-carrier KLM, the launch of Air Antwerp’s new service with a KLM codeshare, and Flybe’s deployment of larger aircraft on some Edinburgh and Belfast flights.

Top routes at London City Airport in 2019

The most popular route remains Amsterdam – with a total of 664,621 passengers travelling between the Dutch capital and London City Airport in 2019, representing a 6.9% increase on the previous year. Edinburgh (with 511,116 passengers) and Dublin (460,132) continue to the be second and third most popular routes respectively.

London city airport 2019 most popular routes

Canadian Airports Council elects new chair

By UncategorizedNo Comments

The Canadian Airports Council (CAC) has announced that Joyce Carter, the president and CEO of Halifax International Airport Authority (HIAA), has been elected as the new chair – becoming the first woman to assume the role in the association’s history.

Carter has served as CAC’s Vice Chair since 2018. She joined HIAA in 1999 and was named President and CEO in 2014. She is also a member of Women in Aviation International and Women in Aerospace Canada – Atlantic.

“I’m looking forward to my new role with the CAC, the voice of Canada’s airport’s, working with government and other industry stakeholders to provide travellers with safe, comfortable air access that connects Canada with the world,” said Joyce Carter. “Canada’s airports are an economic success story both nationally and regionally, with airport operations sustaining nearly 200,000 direct jobs across Canada.”

“The partnership and collaboration between airports in Canada and the U.S. has never been stronger,” Carter continued. “The multinational nature of ACI-NA means Canadian airports can continue to work closely with colleagues in the U.S. to improve cross border processes, while learning from innovation and best practices being developed at airports around the world.”

Carter succeeds Sam Samaddar, Airport Director of the Kelowna International Airport, who is to assume a new leadership position as Vice Chair of Airports Council International – North America, which the CAC is a division of.

Meanwhile, RJ Streenstra, the President and CEO of the Fort McMurray Airport Authority has been elected as the new Vice Chair. He has previously served as Vice Chair of the CAC Small Airport Caucus.

Project to rehabilitate Aden International Ai..

By UncategorizedNo Comments

The first phase of a project to rehabilitate and upgrade Aden International Airport in Yemen has been launched by the Saudi Development and Reconstruction Program for Yemen (SDRPY).

Aden Airport will undergo a full modernisation and expansion under the project and is set to become a non-stop hub for international and domestic flights.

“Laying down the first building blocks of development and strategic projects for Aden International Airport will contribute significantly to raising the standards of the airport and the quality of services available to the travellers and airlines,” said Captain Saleh Salim bin Nahid, President of the General Authority for Civil Aviation and Meteorology.

SDRPY Projects and Studies Director Eng. Hassan Alattas explained: “The objective of this project is to bring Aden Airport up to International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) standards as quickly as possible, connect Aden directly to the countries in the region, and increase the airport’s capacity to handle much greater numbers of flights and passengers.”

The site of the airport first served as the location of the Royal Air Force Khormaksar from 1917 to 1967, growing to become Yemen’s second largest airport by 1996, handling over a million passengers a year through its main terminal.

With the outbreak of conflict in 2015, the airport was forced to close and has only seen sporadic and limited service since 2015. The airport currently operates six regional flights per week at “very high cost”.

The project will proceed in three phases with the first focusing on providing electricity, safety measures and transportation including a study and redesign of the external main gates and roads of the complex. Passenger transport buses will be provided.

Phase two will consist of constructing and connecting vital service systems, such as telecommunications, navigation and air traffic control. The runway and taxi areas will be rehabilitated along with the gates and tunnels connecting gates to the aircraft.

The final phase will focus on aligning the airport facilities and operations with ICAO standards in all areas, including safety, electricity supply, interior and exterior infrastructure, air traffic control and navigation.

“This will represent a new era in the airport’s history because this facility has never functioned consistently to international standards before,” Alattas said, adding that the goal is to “maximise the benefits of the new air transport hub.”

The SDRPY called the groundbreaking a “historic occasion” for Aden and Yemen, with the potential for regional economic development key.

Gunnison-Crested Butte Regional Airport desig..

By UncategorizedNo Comments

Gunnison-Crested Butte Regional Airport has developed concept designs for terminal improvements, with suggestions for improving the first impressions of the terminal, as well as opening up more space.

Included in the agenda for the Gunnison County Board of Commissioners work session meeting in December, the concepts form part of a discussion around the airport terminal project.

With the designs, the airport hopes to improve public perception and first impressions of the terminal, using landscaping and a screen wall to frame the approach.

A further focus for the improvements will be reorganising passenger flow, with the design concepts presentation suggesting: “In order to accomplish this with limited impact to the existing Ticketing area, the security will need to both expand south & also stretch linearly east-west to allow for screening equipment depth, more queuing & recomposure space.”

Where the existing terminal currently has four points-of-entry, the new design would consolidate these into one main entrance, and one main exit, aiming to alleviate some of the confusion passengers may feel. The design will aim to guide passengers intuitively to the ticketing hall and security.

Holdroom capacity during delays has been identified as an issue, and so extending the roof structure on each end of the central volume will open up space on the second level, allowing holdrooms to be expanded as well as secure-side concessions and restrooms to be provided.

The airport also aims to refresh the airport interior, replacing finishes and furniture and selecting a simple palette throughout the terminal with highlighted areas. A new dormer will create a gathering space with lounge furniture and a heart, letting in natural light and views of the airfield and mountains.

Image: Gunnison-Crested Butte Regional Airport concept

Yerevan Zvartnots International Airport marks..

By UncategorizedNo Comments

The Yerevan Zvartnots International Airport in Armenia has rounded off 2019 with a new milestone as passenger numbers exceeded 3 million for the first time.

The airport reached the 3 million passenger mark on 30 December, celebrating with surprise gifts for passengers arriving from Moscow to Yerevan. Passenger numbers in 2018 was at 2,690,727.

The airport has recently gained new services with Russian airline Azimuth launching a new Yerevan-Sochi-Yerevan flight from 26 December to operate three times a week, and Smartavia Airlines launching Yerevan-Saint Petersburg-Yerevan and Yerevan-Moscow-Yerevan flights earlier in December.

Image: Joxovurd: [CC BY 4.0 (]

Ithaca Tompkins completes redevelopment proje..

By UncategorizedNo Comments

Ithaca Tompkins International Airport in Tompkins County, New York, has completed its $34.8 million redevelopment project, nearly doubling the size of the passenger terminal and adding new gates and passenger boarding bridges.

Funding for the project was granted in 2018 by Governor Andrew Cuomo. Airport director Mike Hall commented: “Three years ago, we were wondering where we would find financial support to fix post-9/11 security issues in our aging terminal. Then Governor Cuomo invested in a total makeover of the facility that raised it to world class standards and made it an international portal to our global market.”

“Thank you, Governor Cuomo, for ensuring that Ithaca Tompkins International Airport will remain a vital asset in our growing upstate economy!”

The modernisation and expansion also features enhanced security measures and passenger amenities with spacious waiting areas equipped with charging stations, additional seating, post-security food and beverage options, additional retail opportunities and an indoor children’s play area.

The airport has also gained a new canopy over the front entrance to protect travellers from inclement weather.

“We are beyond excited about our new terminal!” said Martha Robertson, Chair of the Tompkins County Legislature, thanking the airport team “for keeping the airport open and construction on track all throughout this challenging year.”

Robertson added: “We are also excited that the new terminal is being heated by a geothermal system supported by solar – truly the 21st century gateway to Tompkins County that demonstrates our commitment to a sustainable future.”

The airport is transitioning from regional to an international airport, with the renovation project also including a customs facility. In a December blog post the airport stated preparations are being made to receive general aviation international flights in the spring of 2020. Having a customs facility would allow the airport to be categorised as international and receive general aviation flights from locations such as Canada and beyond, and the ability to “eventually have its own international commercial air service in the future,” the airport said in a blog post.

City of Ithaca Mayor Svante Myrick also commented: “This much appreciated support from the State and the Governor has transformed the Tompkins County International Airport into a world class facility that is welcoming to visitors and local travellers alike. Tompkins County’s leadership has created an entrance into Ithaca and the surrounding area – and I’m grateful for all their hard work and investment.”

Favourite Festive Getaways

By UncategorizedNo Comments

Christmas is one of the busiest times of year for many regional airports as people jet off for the holidays. But what are the top destinations for people looking for some winter sun, or some Christmas spirit?, explored the most commonly considered Christmas trips by British people, using google search volumes, finding that Barcelona is the most commonly searched Christmas Getaway in Europe, with 450,000 searches per month.

Take a look at the infographic below to see other favourite festive getaways…

Christmas Getaways final infographic


Research source:
Infographic: Regional Gateway