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Pilots, air traffic controllers shift to text messaging communications

Chantilly, Virginia – Airline pilots and air traffic controllers are on schedule to switch to text communications at most of the nation's busiest airports by the end of the year, a milestone that holds the potential to reduce delays, prevent errors and save billions of dollars in fuel cost, says the Federal Aviation Administration. Controllers and pilots will still use their radios for quick exchanges like clearance for takeoff and in emergencies and situations where time is critical. But the nation's air traffic system is gradually shifting to text messages for a majority of flying instructions. That's a big advantage, say government and industry officials, because up until now longer and more complicated instructions like a route change for pilots of planes waiting to take off are communicated verbally, with each word …

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IATA warns more unruly passengers flying worldwide

Air rage is on the rise. More unruly passengers – from the verbally abusive to the physically threatening, are plaguing flights all over the world and airlines need to impose more stringent rules to combat them, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) warned. Airlines reported 10,854 unruly passenger incidents worldwide last year. This equates to one incident for every 1,205 flights, an increase from the 9,316 incidents reported in 2014, or one incident for every 1,282 flights. Most involved verbal abuse, failure to follow lawful crew instructions and other forms of anti-social behavior. A significant proportion, 11%, of reports indicated physical aggression towards passengers or crew or damage to the aircraft. Alcohol or drug intoxication was identified as a factor in 23% of cases, though in the vast majority of instances these were consumed before …

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Uber to move freight, eyes trucking for the long haul

San Francisco – With its recent acquisition of self-driving truck startup Otto, Uber Technologies, Inc. is plotting its entry into the long-haul trucking business, aiming to establish itself as a freight hauler and a technology partner for the industry. Otto plans to expand its fleet of trucks from six to about 15 and is forging partnerships with independent truckers, Otto co-founder Lior Ron told Reuters in an interview. Starting next year, Otto-branded trucks and others equipped with Otto technology will begin hauling freight bound for warehouses and stores, he said. Uber has already started pitching services to shippers, truck fleets and independent drivers, and the services go well beyond Otto's initially stated goal of outfitting trucks with self-driving technology. It also plans to compete with the brokers who connect truck fleets and …

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Newest cruise ship ‘Genting Dream’ sails from shipyard to home port

Hong Kong/Papenburg, Germany – Genting Hong Kong, a global leisure, entertainment and hospitality company, announced the official river conveyance of Genting Dream, the newest ship for the Dream Cruises line, that began on Sunday, September 18 in Papenburg, Germany. The river conveyance marks the official start of Genting Dream’s journey from her birthplace at the Meyer Werft shipyard to her first home in Guangzhou, China where she will begin service on November 13, 2016. From the covered shipyard of Meyer Werft where the first steel cuts were made to begin construction of Genting Dream in February, 2015, the ship will travel the river Ems en route to its first destination in Eemshaven, Netherlands to undergo initial testing and thenfurther to Bremerhaven, Germany for additional sea trials. After Genting Dream’s official handover ceremony …

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Air transport sector at climate juncture as ICAO meet opens

Montreal – After years of delays and failures, the airline industry began on Wednesday complex negotiations to implement a scheme to reduce its carbon footprint. Although the aviation sector was exempted from the December, 2015 Paris accord on reducing greenhouse gas emissions linked to global warming, aviation officials are mindful of the need to curb the sector’s growing CO2 emissions. Climate change topped the agenda at the opening of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)’s triennial meeting on Tuesday. ‘’The global aviation network currently manages some 10 million passengers and 100,000 flights daily, with international aviation contributing 1.3 percent a year to global man-made CO2 emissions,’’ ICAO president Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu said. ICAO delegates are expected to adopt by consensus a climate scheme called the Carbon Offset and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation, or …

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South Korean court considering sale of Hanjin Shipping

By Kyunghee Park The South Korean court overseeing  Hanjin Shipping Co.’s receivership is considering a sale process for the entire container line, a month after the debt-laden company’s filing roiled supply chains worldwide. The Seoul Central District Court has called for a meeting of officials who are evaluating the container line, Choi Ung-young, a judge and a spokesman for the court, said in an interview Wednesday. The court thinks it’s important to start the process sooner rather than later, but the sale plan will depend on market conditions, he said. The proposed sale of the entire company comes after an analyst said A.P. Moeller-Maersk A/S’s container line could be interested in buying Hanjin Shipping and smaller rival Hyundai Merchant Marine Co., which is under creditor-led restructuring. The Seoul court had established a committee …

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Smuggling eyed in petroleum price decline in Mindanao

Davao City — The Department of Energy (DOE) is asking retailers and suppliers of petroleum products in the region to explain the monitored drop in oil prices by as much as P3 per liter. In a statement, the DOE said that the effect of the phenomenon to the price of gasoline “may breach provisions under existing law.” According to the DOE, “bote-bote,” or the practice of reselling petroleum products in glass bottles as well as the smuggling of oil products from other countries may be the culprit. “Currently, the DOE-MFO has already been coordinating with local government units (LGUs) concerned and the Bureau of Fire to eliminate the ‘bote-bote’ and discourage consumers from patronizing such activity as this may endanger public safety and health,” the agency said. “On the alleged smuggling of oil products, …

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Airbus starts final assembly of A330neo jet in Toulouse

Airbus announced it had commenced the final assembly of its first A330neo, an A330-900, at its Final Assembly Line in Toulouse with the joining of the wings to the center fuselage at station 40. As the newest member of the world’s most popular A330 wide-body family the A330neo builds on the family’s proven economics, versatility and reliability, set to reduce fuel consumption by a further 14 percent per seat. Both the A330-800 and A330-900 feature a new A350-inspired wing with Sharklet wingtip devices for state-of-the-art aerodynamics, incorporating latest-generation Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 engines, and the new AirSpace by Airbus cabin for the latest experience in cabin comfort. “We have started with a very tight development schedule and are today right on time,” says Odile Jubécourt, Airbus Head of the A330neo programme. “I am …

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Parties agree to build common station for LRT 1, MRT-3, MRT-7

The Department of Transportation (DOTr) has  at last broken the seven-year deadlock on the Common Station meant to connect the three urban transit lines: LRT Line 1, MRT-3, and the proposed MRT-7 from North Avenue to San Jose del Monte, Bulacan. The DOTr managed to gain the consensus of shareholders to identify a single location of the Common Station to be built between SM North EDSA and Trinoma. The common concourse will provide access to both malls and major roads such as EDSA while allowing train commuters to conveniently transfer from one line to another. An agreement between the DOTr, Light Rail Transit Authority (LRTA), SM Prime Holdings, Inc. (SMPHI), Universal LRT Corp. (ULC) and Light Rail Manila Consortium (LRMC), North Triangle Depot Commercial Corporation represented by Ayala Land, Inc. (ALI), Department …

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SGX looking to expand global shipping presence

By Jonathan Saul London – The crisis in global shipping and a tax exodus by big Greek vessel owners have helped finally seal the fate of London's Baltic Exchange after at least three approaches to buy it over the last six years of its near-three centuries history. Some 95 percent of shareholders voted on Monday in favor of a takeover deal from Singapore Exchange (SGX), valued at 87 million pounds ($112.87 million), trumping more than one effort from the London Metal Exchange to snap it up. "For Baltic shareholders it does release value, and with many of them being shipbrokers in a very brutal market, that is going to be a welcome windfall," said Tim Huxley, director of Hong Kong based ship owner Mandarin Shipping. "Under the wing of SGX, the Baltic can probably …

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