Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Tibet Building World's Highest Altitude Airport

Tibet will start construction on the world's highest-altitude airport next year. The airport will be built at an altitude of 4,436 meters above sea level.

It is going to be in Nagqu prefecture, and will be 102 meters higher than Bamda Airport in Tibet's Qamdo prefecture, which is currently the worlds’ highest. The airport will cover an area of up to 267 hectares. The airport is expected to cost $285 million with a three-year construction period.

Regional aviation authorities will add more flights next year to connect major cities in Tibet and also link the plateau region with other major cities nationwide.

Contact a Professional Travel Agent to book your next trip to China.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

FAA's New Rules to Help With Pilot Fatigue

The FAA has updated airline pilots work rules, some of which go back to the 1960's. The new rules came out after a crash at Buffalo nearly three years ago, and an investigation that found the two pilots were exhausted and shouldn't have been flying.

The new rules reflect the need for rest and how night shifts and traveling through time zones can increase errors. Carriers have two years to adapt to the new rules.

The new rules limit the maximum time a pilot can be scheduled to be on duty, including wait time before flights and administrative duties, to between nine and 14 hours. The total depends on the time of day pilots begin their first flight and the number of time zones crossed. The maximum amount of time pilots can be scheduled to fly is limited to eight or nine hours, and pilots would get a minimum of 10 hours to rest between duty periods, a two-hour increase over the old rules. The minimum amount of time off between work weeks will be increased 25 percent, and there will be new limits on how many hours per month pilots can fly. Pilots flying overnight would be allowed fewer hours than pilots flying during the day.

It is interesting that cargo pilots are not included in the new rulings. The FAA said forcing cargo carriers to reduce the number of hours their pilots can fly would be too costly when compared with the safety benefits. Those companies that contract for military charters are included in the new rules. The rule will require pilots to sign a statement before each flight stating that they are rested and fit for duty.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Italy's New High-Speed Train Coming Next Year

Europe's first privately owned high-speed rail operator has introduced its Italo AGV train, which will compete early next year against the Italian state-owned network.

Nuovo Trasporto Viaggiatori(NTV)has ordered 25 trains from France's Alstom of the latest AGV generation, which has set a speed record of 575 kph and will run at up to 300 kph between Rome and Milan. Services will later be extended to take in Naples and Salerno in the south, as well as Turin and Venice in the north.

The 11-carriage trains offer three classes, with constant Wi-Fi throughout provided by satellite transmission. One carriage is a dedicated 39-seat cinema. All carriages also offer satellite TV through Internet provided by 21 Net, an Anglo-Belgian company.

“This is the most modern train in Europe. We are the first to use this train,” said Luca di Montezemolo, chairman of NTV, at the unveiling ceremony at Nola.

Contact a Professional Travel Agent today to book your next Europe vacation!

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

World's Oldest Commissioned Warship to Get $25M Restoration

HMS Victory, the world's oldest commissioned warship will undergo a restoration to restore the iconic battleship. It will be the most extensive restoration to HMS Victory in more than 200 years, when she underwent repairs following the Battle of Trafalgar.

BAE Systems has been contracted to carry out the works for five years with an option to extend the work for a further five years. HMS Victory was commissioned in 1778 and during three decades of service she saw some of the most legendary clashes. She's the only surviving warship from the American War of Independence, the French Revolutionary War and the Napoleonic wars. But it’s the Battle of Trafalgar in the Napoleonic Wars for which she is most well-known. As Lord Nelson's flagship, HMS Victory served at the front of the battle on the Spanish coast.

Only 20% remains of the original ship that is currently located in Portsmouth, England. The structure of the 246-year-old warship still marvels modern day experts. The outside of the hull will be re-planked, repairs will be made to the masts and work will be carried out on the interior. Much of the restoration will be done by hand using traditional specialist skills, particularly when it comes to carving and shaping the wood. They hope to be able to train new apprentices so that the art of repairing these types of ships is not lost.

This historic beauty can be seen at the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard,open everyday throughout the year, except on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day.