Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Blind Man Flies From London to Sydney

In an amazing feat, Miles Hilton-Barber flew halfway around the world. Blind. The British pilot departed London on March and arrived in Sydney on Monday. The journey was a total of 13,500 miles.

"It's the fulfillment of an amazing dream," the 58-year-old adventurer said after touching down at Sydney's Bankstown airport. "I've been wanting to do this flight for about four years."

Hilton-Barber flies with a sighted co-pilot but relies on speech output from his navigation instruments to steer his course, directing the plane from a wireless keyboard.

"I've wanted to be a pilot since I was a kid. Now I'm totally blind and I've had the privilege of flying more than halfway around the world. The big deal is not me doing this, it's raising funds," he said.

Hilton-Barber, who has been blind for 25 years, hopes the trip will raise some two million US dollars for the charity Seeing is Believing, which works to cut the incidence of preventable blindness in developing countries.

Terah Shelton
Traveler. Writer. Ingenue

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Kenya: Africa's Newest Aviation Hub?

With the rehabilitation of 15 airstrips, the renovation of the Moi International Airport, and the expansion of the Kisumu Airport, Kenyan government is making bold strides to become the leading aviation hub in Africa.

Transport minister, Mr Chirau Ali Mwakwere, said that the move was in tandem with the ongoing harmonisation of aviation sector in the East Africa Community and Comesa region.

He said the Government would continue to provide the necessary infrastructure and put in place appropriate policies to enable the aviation industry to thrive.

"Kenya will be one of the leading countries in Africa in terms of aviation," he said.
He added: "This year, 10 more airstrips are planned for upgrading while 14 more will be inspected for rehabilitation."

Among airports earmarked for upgrading is Moi International Airport in Mombasa, which is currently under going renovation, and Kisumu Airport whose run way will be extended at estimated cost of Sh2.6 billion.

At the Kisumu Airport, the terminal building will be expanded and the runway increased to 3.2km, from the current 2.1km, to accommodate bigger aircraft. A new control tower will also be built.

Other facilities to be upgraded are lighting and security systems. Another airport in the sights of KAA for expansion is the Malindi Airport, which locals want to be upgraded to an international airport. The Wajir Airport terminal building has been constructed and the control tower rehabilitated for the airport to serve both military and civilian aircraft.

Quote Source and entire article here.

Terah Shelton
Traveler. Writer. Ingenue

U.S/EU Agreement Opens Transatlantic Skies

With one stroke of the pen, travel to Europe just got cheaper. In a landmark deal years in the making, the United States and the European Union signed an agreement to open up transatlantic markets, allowing airlines in the European Union to fly to any U.S city and vice versa. Which means, in March 2008, competition between airlines could equal lower fares for customers.

The "open skies" deal that removed World War II-era barriers to service appears initially weighted toward European carriers, some of whom have begun to recognize what they anticipate will be new business opportunities.

"Already, the European airline industry is feeling its effects in a positive way, with plans for new services and signs of a much more flexible and dynamic approach to airline investment among European carriers," Barrot said.

As a result, several overseas airlines have been active in pursuing new routes. European low-cost airline Ryanair is exploring the possibility of transatlantic service between Dublin, Frankfurt and Barcelona to New York, Dallas and San Francisco.

Virgin Atlantic plans to expand vigorously, possibly adding flights to the United States from Paris, Zurich and other cities within a couple of years. Ireland's Aer Lingus is also planning new routes.

For the quote source and the entire article, click here.

Terah Shelton
Traveler. Writer. Ingenue