Tag: Airlines

EPA Seeks to Regulate Deicing Fluid Runoff at Airports

A recent report from the Associated Press notes that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has proposed regulations would require airports to capture at least some of the deicing fluid after it is used to rid planes of ice and snow. The agency says those rules would reduce by 22 percent the discharge of chemicals, which lower oxygen levels in waterways and prevent fish and other aquatic creatures from breathing.

Not every airport lets the chemicals drain off the tarmac uncollected, but those that do range from some of the nation’s largest — including John F. Kennedy in New York and Chicago’s O’Hare — to small regional airports such as the Eastern Iowa Airport in Cedar Rapids.

Under the EPA’s proposed regulations, six of the nation’s 14 major airports that are the biggest users of deicing fluid — JKF, O’Hare, Cleveland-Hopkins International, Newark Liberty International in New Jersey, Boston Logan International and LaGuardia Airport in New York — would have to install deicing “pads” or other collection systems to contain 60 percent of fluid sprayed.  The airports would then have to make sure the collected liquid was treated to remove any toxins.

About 200 smaller airports would be required to collect 20 percent of the fluid by using technologies such as a glycol recovery vehicle, which is basically a vacuum that sucks up the chemical. Airports with less than 1,000 annual jet departures wouldn’t be affected.

Under existing rules, adopted in the 1990s, airports are required to minimize contamination of stormwater runoff and must monitor for pollutants, including deicing fluid. Some states have required additional measures when reports showed high levels of the chemicals.

Here’s some more travel news you can use:

  • According to the Associated Press, passengers will see big changes from American Airlines,  including increased flying in Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, Dallas-Fort Worth and Miami, but fewer flights in Raleigh/Durham, N.C. and St. Louis, where American is giving up major ground to Southwest Airlines.  AA will add 57 daily flights at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago, 6 new destinations from JFK International Airport in New York, 2 new daily American and Eagle flights at Los Angeles and 19 daily departures added at Dallas/Forth Worth.  American and Eagle also will add 23 flights at Miami.  In St. Louis, AA and its regional affiliates will reduce daily departures by 46 and discontinue service to 20 destinations.  After the reductions, AA and Eagle will provide 36 departures per day to 9 destinations.  In Raleigh/Durham, service to three destinations will be discontinued and a total of 9 departures will be eliminated. Raleigh/Durham will continue to provide service to 8 destinations with 44 departures per day.
  • The New York Times reports that British Airways, the largest carrier between Europe and the United States, is starting a business-class-only service from London to New York on Tuesday and may eliminate some shorter flights to restore earnings.  Trips like London to Paris, the route on which British Airways pioneered the first international air service in 1919, may be among the first to go because of the shrinking profit margins and the impact of the competing Eurostar high-speed rail service.
  • Capt. Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger, the  hero of US Airways’ splash landing in the Hudson, is winging his way to a management position with the airline.  Sullenberger will return to work with the new title of “management pilot” and a seat reserved on the airline’s flight operations safety management team.

Airlines Planning New Holiday Travel Surcharge

Justin Bachman from BusinessWeek.com’s Traveler’s Check blog, reports that, “a new $10 surcharge for three popular travel dates this winter could make visiting family more expensive. American Airlines imposed a $10 charge on domestic flights for Nov. 29 (the Sunday after Thanksgiving) and on Jan. 2-3, the weekend that many people will be returning home from Christmas and/or New Year’s holiday celebrations. United matched the new charge late Thursday, and on Friday Delta and US Airways said they would follow.

…The fee – while potentially annoying to millions of travelers – demonstrates that airlines see much firmer demand this winter as more people plan to travel this year. In 2008, amid government bailouts of the financial system and enormous losses for stocks, airlines were devastated by weak demand and fearful consumers.”

Here’s some more travel news you can use:

* The Baltimore Sun notes that “if college students with an itch to travel apply their smarts, they can save hundreds of dollars on airfare, whether they are going home for Thanksgiving or planning for spring break.”

* United Airlines announced this week that it would add two new routes from Denver, saying it will add two daily round-trip flights to Midland, Texas, and one to Louisville. United will be the sole nonstop option on both routes, which start Dec. 17th. The new routes, of course, come as United, Frontier and Southwest engage in an increasingly competitive effort to carve out a piece of the Denver market.