Tag Archives: Delta Air Lines

FBI seeking Delta Air Lines laser attack suspect from Elmhurst


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre

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The FBI is seeking help to identify the perpetrator behind a laser attack, which caused flash blindness and disrupted the vision of a Delta Air Lines pilot on Tuesday.

As the plane was approaching LaGuardia Airport to land just before 8 p.m., a green beam that came from Queens Boulevard in Elmhurst entered the cockpit twice, the FBI said.

The injured pilot continued to experience pain in his right eye for a while after the attacks.

“Laser incidents are often viewed as harmless. This couldn’t be further from the truth,” FBI Assistant Director in Charge George Venizelos said. “Our paramount concern is the safety of aircraft passengers, and we are asking anyone who knows anything to contact us.”

There have been various laser attacks that caused injury in pilots recently.

On January 25, a beam that originated from Staten Island blinded a United Airlines pilot as the flight was approaching LaGuardia Airport.

In another incident on December 26, 2013, a JetBlue pilot experience blurry vision for more than a week after being blinded by a laser while approaching JFK Airport.

Laser beam strikes targeting in-bound planes have increased 39 percent in the city, the FBI said recently. The number of incidents jumped to 99 in 2013 from 71 in 2012.

Anyone with information is asked to call the FBI at 212-384-1000. A $10,000 reward is available for information that leads to the arrest of anyone involved in these incidents. Tipsters may remain anonymous.

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JFK Airport’s Worldport terminal lands on endangered list


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of Anthony Stramaglia/Save the Worldport

John F. Kennedy International Airport’s Worldport terminal has flown into new territory — a list naming it one of America’s most endangered historic locations.

On June 19, the flying saucer shaped-terminal was chosen for the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s latest list of America’s 11 most endangered historic places. The site has been slated for demolition by 2015.

The terminal, owned by the Port Authority and leased by Delta Air Lines, made the leap to the list through the dedication of “Save the Worldport,” a preservationist group co-founded in 2011 by New Jersey residents Kalev Savi and Anthony Stramaglia.

Although Savi is from New Jersey, he felt a connection to the site after growing up in an airline family. He got his first impression of the terminal at a very young age.

“I just remember approaching this enormous glass sculpture, I thought I was going into a flying saucer,” said Savi.

“It was the symbol of a new era.”

Savi started a Facebook group after being made aware of the Port Authority’s plan to demolish the terminal in order to create a parking lot for airplanes. He met Stramaglia through the group. The two have been trying to come up with renovation plans for the terminal.

“What this list really does is give legitimacy to our cause,” said Savi. “It really is a validation.”

The National Trust has listed 242 sites to date, and only a handful of those locations have been lost. “Save the Worldport” hopes the extra attention for the terminal will inspire architects, engineers and other organizations to save the site.

“We listed it because we feel it’s a significant part of aviation history, design history,” said Roberta Lane, the National Trust’s senior New York field officer and attorney. “The threat is obviously very real. We wanted to raise awareness of this threat and of this place.”

Yet the threat came closer to being realized when a bulldozer started tearing up the roadway leading to the terminal earlier this week.

“The old Pan Am Worldport terminal at JFK served this region for more than a half century, but is obsolete for 21st century aviation purposes,” said Delta and the Port Authority in a joint statement. “Unfortunately, JFK is a land-constrained airport and the choice we face is between job creation today in Queens and preservation of a facility that is no longer functional.”

The preservationist group will work together with the National Trust to continue meeting with the Port Authority about various repurposing ideas. Those include turning the terminal into a longterm rest facility for delayed visitors and bringing the retro, cool feeling back to travel.

 

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Delta Air Lines to expand presence at LaGuardia Airport


| ecamhi@queenscourier.com

Delta Air Lines will be expanding its presence at LaGuardia Airport as a result of a deal with US Airways. The deal will also beget a $117 million renovation project at LaGuardia, which Delta says will greatly expand and enhance service for travelers while creating new jobs for Queens and New York area residents.

Under the agreement, which the Department of Transportation (DOT) approved last month, Delta will give up 42 of its slot pairs in Washington, D.C.’s Reagan National Airport to US Airways and will pick up 132 of the other carrier’s slot pairs at LaGuardia (a slot pair is defined as one takeoff and one landing).

Delta says the deal will increase passenger capacity at LaGuardia by about four million seats annually and help solidify a hub operation for Delta at LaGuardia.

It will also reduce congestion by replacing turboprop aircraft currently operated by US Airways with larger Delta jets that can hold more passengers.

“We want to thank the DOT and the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) for their final approval of the slot transaction, which will enhance competition, create new jobs, reduce air space congestion in New York City and greatly increase travel choices for our customers in New York,” said Richard Anderson, Delta’s chief executive officer. “Our expanded presence at LaGuardia will double our available destinations, offering customers more frequent and convenient service at New York’s preferred airport for business travel.”

Anderson continued, “We also look forward to bringing substantial new construction and service jobs to New York as facilities are expanded and modernized to create a Delta hub operation.”

The $117 million construction project, commencing later this year, should take about two years to complete. Delta will take over and renovate the current US Airways Terminal, and bridge it with Delta’s existing terminal. A new 600-foot connector will be built to join them. Delta’s hourly Shuttle from the Marine Air Terminal won’t be affected by the project.

Congressmember Joseph Crowley, who has led efforts in support of this deal since 2009, said it “will bring many benefits to Queens and New York, including the creation of thousands of new jobs, increased economic activity in and around LaGuardia, improved air service and reduced noise pollution.”

The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey, which operates LaGuardia, has expressed its support as well. According to Executive Director Christopher O. Ward, “this change could help to reduce the chronic delay and congestion problems that plague New York’s airspace.”

Additional stipulations of the deal include the DOT-imposed provision that both airlines divest 24 slot pairs in total to smaller airlines to enable fair competition. Delta will also pay US Airways $66.5 million in cash.

Delta’s expanded LaGuardia schedule is set to roll out next year.