Aviation

Missing plane search enters ‘yet another phase’

The search for the missing Malaysia Airlines plane has entered “yet another phase” as officials search the deep waters of the southern Indian Ocean for the jetliner that vanished over a month, officials said Tuesday.

Malaysia’s Acting Minister of Transport Hishammuddin Hussein said in a news conference that officials were continuing to look for remnants of the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, despite the fact that it has been almost five weeks since the jet was last seen by air traffic controllers.

“It has been 39 days since MH370 went missing,” Hishammuddin said. “We have now entered a new phase for the search operations expanding into deep ocean search with deployment of the Bluefin - 21 Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AVU). As stated by the Joint Agency Coordinating Center in Perth earlier today, there are 9 military aircraft, 2 civil aircrafts and 11 ships which haven assigned to search for MH370.”

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Man attempts to open plane door mid-flight

A passenger on a California-bound Southwest Airlines flight has been arrested for attempting to open a Boeing 737 door during the middle of a flight, the Christian Science-Monitor reports.

The airplane was diverted to Omaha, Nebraska and the passenger was arrested on charges of interfering with a flight crew. The passenger who was taken into custody was 23-year-old Sacramento, Calif. resident Joshua Carl Suggs, according to the report.

The plane then continued onto its intended destination, which was Sacramento.

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Second airport approved for Sydney, Australia

Australian officials have approved construction of a second airport in its capital city, Sydney, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The airport is intended to alleviate traffic at Sydney’s existing Kingsford-Smith Airport and boost the city’s economy by creating jobs, according to the report.

Kingsford-Smith Airport is currently the 31st busiest airport in the world, according to Airports Council International (ACI).

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Airline tweets pornographic image

US Airways is apologizing for tweeting a sexually graphic image in response to a complaint from a passenger on Monday.

The tweet, which has since been deleted, depicted a naked woman using a model airplane as a sex toy.

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Teen arrested for tweeting airline threat

A Dutch teenager has been arrested for tweeting a terrorist threat to American Airlines, according to multiple reports.
 
The teenager, a 14-year-old girl, tweeted Sunday "Hello my name’s Ibrahim and I’m from Afghanistan. I’m part of Al Qaida and on June 1st I’m gonna do something really big bye.”

American Airlines responded to the tweet by saying it was contacting law enforcement officials.

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Senate readies transportation funding proposal

Lawmakers in the Senate are preparing to make a “major” announcement about transportation funding on Thursday as lawmakers race to beat a deadline for a bankruptcy in the pool of money that is used to pay for road transit projects.  

The announcement will come from the top lawmakers on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.

The lawmakers “will make a major announcement regarding the reauthorization of the transportation bill, entitled Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21)” on Thursday morning, the panel announced.

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Unions want 'thorough investigation' of Norwegian airline

A pair of unions for U.S. airline employees are calling for a "thorough investigation" of Norwegian Airlines bid to gain access to airports in the U.S. and European Union.

Norwegian Air is attempting to gain access to airports that are covered under the U.S. and European Union’s “Open Skies” agreement by registering its airplanes in Ireland, which is a member of the EU.

The Scandinavian company says it will be able to offer transatlantic flights for as low as $150 each way if its effort is approved by the Department of Transportation.

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FAA sex assault tracking requirement offered as amendment

Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) is attaching her proposal to require the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to keep track of sexual assaults that are committed on airplanes to a bill about airfare advertising that is scheduled to be marked up on Wednesday.

Norton said her measure, which has been dubbed the Protecting Airline Passengers from Sexual Assaults Act, would help close a loophole in sexual assault reporting that occurs because in-flight sexual assaults are often not investigated properly due to murky jurisdiction rules.

Norton said the airline advertising bill that is scheduled to be marked up on Wednesday by the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee “provides an opportunity to move this vital legislation to require the FAA to keep real-time statistics and documentation on sexual assaults on airplanes.

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