New Passenger Rights Effective August 23, 2011 - Sweeping pro-consumer passenger-rights rules go into effect Aug. 23 that require airlines to refund baggage fees for lost checked luggage and pay more for involuntarily bumping passengers on overbooked flights.  Read More>

Essential Air Service One Sticking Point In FAA Funding Bill

Star-Tribune - On some days, the pilots with Great Lakes Airlines fire up a twin-engine Beechcraft 1900 at the Ely, Nev., airport and depart for Las Vegas without a single passenger on board. And the federal government pays them to do it.  Read More>

Airlines Watch Capacity Amid Economic Uncertainty

Bloomberg - U.S. airlines may have to cut back on flying as the slowing economy erodes their ability to boost fares while they struggle with higher costs for jet fuel.  Read More>

Ash Cloud Dispersing

Public Sector Travel - Flights in the UK and most of Northern Europe should return to normal today after the ash cloud from the eruption of the Icelandic volcano Grímsvötn cleared most of the region’s airspace.  Read More>

AF447 - Black Boxes Point To Pilot Error

WSJ - The pilots of an Air France jet that crashed into the Atlantic Ocean two years ago apparently became distracted with faulty airspeed indicators and failed to properly deal with other vital systems, including adjusting engine thrust, according to people familiar with preliminary findings from the plane's recorders.  Read More?

Another Summer Another Volcano Eruption

Another Icelandic volcano erupted yesterday, threatening flight to/from Europe.  While the ash cloud is not currently a factor at normal cruising altitudes, based on prevaling winds aloft the resulting ash cloud is expected to possibly affect Irish, Western French, and Spanish airspace in the coming days.  Below is a link to ash cloud maps for various altitudes and times based on observations.  It is a list of charts so just pick the first one for the latest observations.  Until the ash cloud nears land, and especially major airports, the maps for FL 200 to FL 350 would be applicable.

London MET office

TSA Aims For Smarter Screening

Aviation Daily - Transportation Security Administration (TSA) chief John Pistole says the next decade of security screening will focus on operational assessments “to stay ahead of tomorrow’s threats.”  Read More>

Napolitano Calls For Streamlined Airport Security

Vegas Inc - Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano today asked representatives of the world’s tourism industry for suggestions to streamline airport security bottlenecks that discourage people from traveling.  Read More>

Airlines Uneasy Over Their Cost For NextGen

WSJ Marketwatch - It’s an upgrade that could save the airlines hundred of millions of dollars a year.  But the U.S. plan to achieve that, estimated to cost $40 billion, is stuck on the ground.  Read More>

Tensions Rise In AF447 Investigation

[While this is a little narrower in scope than my usual picks, it shows the stakes everyone has in crash investigations-JimG]

Aviation Week - A row has erupted between Air France and Airbus as pressure grows to explain the 2009 AF447 Rio-Paris plane crash using data recovered from black boxes.  Read More>

Can Pond Scum Save The Airlines?

Fox - If nothing else, maybe pond scum can save the airline industry.  Read More>

When A Flight Number Isn't Just A Number

CNN - Most airlines assign flight numbers randomly, but every so often, a bit of whimsy makes its way into the schedule.  Read More>

A Word From Our Sponsors

I'll be making my annual sabbatical to Alaska next week so won't be able to post articles as frequently.  Please have patience, things will return to normal once I get back in 6-8 weeks.  Your editor - JimG

E-190 Subject to Premature Cracks

Bloomberg - Embraer SA's E-190 jets, flown by carriers including US Airways Group Inc. (LCC), need more frequent inspections after tests turned up cracks that may indicate a structural flaw, Brazil’s aviation authority said.  Read More>

U.S. - Columbia Sign Open-Skies Agreement

Bloomberg - The U.S. and Colombia signed a new Open Skies air transport agreement that will increase the number of passenger and cargo flights between the two countries and boost competition in the aviation market.  Read More>

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