Monday, January 31, 2011

Australia - Smart Transport Systems

Smart transport systems or intelligent transport systems encompass a range of wireless and wired communications-based information technologies that can be integrated into transportation infrastructure and vehicles.
Current intelligent transport systems technologies use dedicated short-range communications to transfer data over short distances between in-vehicle mobile radio units and roadside units. Arrangements to facilitate the use of intelligent transport systems have been developed internationally in the 5850-5925MHz band (the 5.9GHz band).
Smart infrastructure is also looked at in the context of the National Broadband Network, the aim of which is to provide the basic telecommunication infrastructure for a range of sectors, including transport. In late 2009 the government took the initiative to canvass new ideas for smart infrastructure policies, while in early 2010 the Australian Communications and Media Authority launched its regulatory plan for dedicated short-range communications

Friday, January 28, 2011

Volcanic eruption disrupts transport in Japan

The eruption of a volcano on the southern Japanese island of Kyushu disrupted transport Friday and forced residents to evacuate their homes, news reports said.
Shinmoedake, a mountain in the Kirishima volcanic range on the border between Kagoshima and Miyazaki prefectures, spewed heavy clouds of smoke and ash up to 3,000 metres into the air, the weather agency said.
The eruption, which started Wednesday, forced a local airport to close a runway temporarily. Some local train services were cancelled and sections of an expressway remained closed off.
Rocks and ash fell, covering a wide swathe of the region, including farmland and residential areas.
Japanese media reported that local farmers were worried about the damage to their crops in the region, which had already been hit by the outbreaks of the bird flu virus.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Azerbaijan to continue improving transport

Azerbaijan is to continue investment in upgrading its transport system, President Ilham Aliyev said at the opening of a new road junction yesterday.
"The investment program for 2011 will be ratified in the coming days. This program envisages sufficient funds to develop the transport sector, which will help us modernize, improve and raise to the highest standards Azerbaijan's entire transportation system, both now and in the coming years," the president said.
He was speaking at the opening of a new road junction on the highway from Heydar Aliyev Airport to the settlement of Zagulba on the Absheron Peninsula.
"This bridge is no worse than bridges built in cities in the most developed countries of the world and may even be better, since the latest technology was used here," the president said.

Monday, January 24, 2011

TransCanada to Transport U.S. Crude Oil to Market

TransCanada Corporation (TransCanada) (TSX:TRP) (NYSE:TRP) today announced it has concluded a successful open season for the Bakken Marketlink Project which will deliver U.S. crude oil from Baker, Montana to Cushing, Oklahoma. Bakken Marketlink will transport U.S. crude oil production to market using pipeline facilities that form part of the Keystone XL system. The project has secured a total of 65,000 barrels per day (Bbl/d) of firm, term contracts. The Bakken formation is one of the fastest growing crude oil plays in the United States.

"These agreements are a clear indication of producer support for the first direct link between the prolific Bakken crude oil producing region in the Williston Basin and key U.S. markets near Cushing, Oklahoma and the U.S. Gulf Coast, the largest refining market in North America," said Russ Girling, TransCanada's president and chief executive officer. "This project will provide U.S. producers with an alternative and competitive way of bringing their crude oil to market and supports American workers who produce the oil and American companies who will refine it."

Keystone XL's proximity to the key Bakken crude oil producing regions within the Williston Basin uniquely positions TransCanada to provide an effective market access alternative for U.S. Bakken crude oil production to reach Cushing, Oklahoma and the U.S. Gulf Coast.

Crude oil forecasts for the U.S. Bakken region continue to grow with production expected to increase by approximately 200,000 - 300,000 bpd by 2015. The Bakken Marketlink Project will help to relieve pipeline capacity constraints in the Williston Basin and will support forecasted growth in U.S. domestic crude oil production.

Keystone XL has extensive support south of the border and will reduce America's dependence on crude oil from Venezuela and the Middle East by up to 40 per cent. The expansion will also create 20,000 jobs for American workers and inject $20 billion into the U.S. economy.

The project is expected to be in service in the first quarter of 2013, subject to the receipt of necessary regulatory approvals.

Friday, January 21, 2011

EasyJet shares dive as fuel costs, snow and anger at baggage fees threaten to double losses

Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou accused easyJet of blaming its woes on the weather today as the budget airline took a stock market hammering for announcing that first-half losses could double.
EasyJet's largest shareholder spoke out as the carrier said December's deep freeze, rising fuel prices and airline passengers' apparent frustration with baggage check-in fees had hit business.
Shares in the airline tumbled 16.2% to 382p after it warned of poor takings from add-on charges, weak demand in continental Europe and higher-than-expected losses from snow disruption and air traffic control strikes. Announcing a £31m loss from the December freeze and union walkouts in France and Spain, easyJet said first-half losses in the six months to 31 March would range from £140m to £160m, compared with £78.7m a year earlier.
However, European airlines traditionally struggle to make money over the winter and it was the comments on revenues, both in terms of demand and add-on fees, that shocked analysts. EasyJet's chief executive, Carolyn McCall, formerly head of the Guardian Media Group, said the airline's trading performance was "solid".
Nonetheless, analysts said the earnings statement clearly unsettled some investors including Haji-Ioannou, who said easyJet would now miss his personal pre-tax profit target of £480m and reiterated warnings over its growth strategy. "The business is too seasonal for its own good and it should not blame the weather every year," he said. EasyJet's house broker slashed the airline's full-year profit estimate by 19%.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

China-U.S. transport race hinges on resources

The Chinese government has committed $15 billion over the next 10 years to the electric vehicle (EV) industry alone, while the U.S. Department of Energy spends $4 billion a year on research and development for a wide variety of energy-related tech.
The figures paint a portrait of two countries with vastly different approaches to growing industries and jobs, according to an Accenture report released today, "The US and China: The Race to Disruptive Transport Technologies," (PDF) which parses out the advantages and disadvantages each country has right now in the realm of alternative vehicles and fuels.
China has been keen on taking proven innovative technology, then backing it financially and with government mandates to turn it into an industry. It's that money and governmental control which may give the country an advantage in building a global EV industry.
China also has rich deposits of lithium, a key ingredient in many EV batteries. Because of this, the country is already a leading global manufacturer of lithium ion batteries for electric and hybrid-electric cars.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Future Planes

Get ready for the next generation of passenger airplanes.

NASA has taken the wraps off three concept designs for quiet, energy efficient aircraft that could potentially be ready to fly as soon as 2025, joining these planes of the future (and these). The designs come from Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and The Boeing Company. In the final months of 2010, each of these companies won a contract from NASA to research and test their concepts during 2011.

According to NASA: "[E]ach design has to fly up to 85 percent of the speed of sound; cover a range of approximately 7,000 miles; and carry between 50,000 and 100,000 pounds of payload, either passengers or cargo. For the rest of this year, each team will be exploring, testing, simulating, keeping and discarding innovations and technologies to make their design a winner."

Apparently, NASA is aiming to develop a line of super-planes that larger, faster, quieter, and that burn fuel slower and cleaner than their present counterparts.

Check out the three concept planes (below), then have a look at our slideshow of more incredible planes from the future.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Traveling man's gun arrest appealed to high court

Missed flights only inconvenience most people. A late flight landed Utah gun owner Greg Revell in jail for 10 days after he got stranded in New Jersey with an unloaded firearm he had legally checked with his luggage in Salt Lake City.
The Supreme Court could decide Tuesday whether to consider letting Revell sue Port Authority of New York and New Jersey police for arresting him on illegal possession of a firearm in New Jersey and for not returning his gun and ammunition to him for more than three years.
Lower courts have thrown out his lawsuit.
Revell was flying from Salt Lake City to Allentown, Pa., on March 31, 2005, with connections in Minneapolis and Newark, N.J. He had checked his Utah-licensed gun and ammunition with his luggage in Salt Lake City and asked airport officials to deliver them both with his luggage in Allentown.
But the flight from Minneapolis to Newark was late, so Revell missed his connection to Allentown. The airline wanted to bus its passengers to Allentown, but Revell realized that his luggage had not made it onto the bus and got off. After finding his luggage had been given a final destination of Newark by mistake, Revell missed the bus. He collected his luggage, including his gun and ammunition, and decided to wait in a nearby hotel with his stuff until the next flight in the morning.
When Revell tried to check in for the morning flight, he again informed the airline officials about his gun and ammunition to have them checked through to Allentown. He was reported to the TSA, and then arrested by Port Authority police for having a gun in New Jersey without a New Jersey license.
He spent 10 days in several different jails before posting bail. Police dropped the charges a few months later. But his gun and ammunition were not returned to him until 2008.
Revell said he should not have been arrested because federal law allows licensed gun owners to take their weapons through any state as long as they are unloaded and not readily accessible to people. He said it was not his fault the airline stranded him in New Jersey by making him miss his flight and routing his luggage to the wrong destination.

Monday, January 17, 2011

School buses add cameras to catch drivers endangering kids

School districts nationwide are trying out video cameras as a way to deter drivers from passing buses that are loading or unloading children.

Districts in Dallas County, Texas, Montgomery and Frederick counties in Maryland and Cobb County, Ga., are among the latest to test the cameras on some school buses in their fleets.

Michael Warner, associate director of fleet maintenance for the Cobb County School District, says an incident there in December 2009 prompted them to install cameras on two of their buses last spring.

“A bus was stopped, unloading students, and a car behind the bus stopped and a second car behind that car swerved, went around the right side of the bus and ran over a kindergarten girl and killed her,” Warner says.

Warner says the stop-arm cameras were added to a digital video system already on the buses. “The digital video system runs between $1,500 and $1,800, and we pay an extra $200 for the stop-arm camera,” he says.

Warner says the school district works with the local police department concerning violators, and the police have conducted stings where violators have been caught.

“A couple of months ago, they were able to catch five violators that they pulled over,” Warner says.

Montgomery County’s cameras were installed last summer. Lesli Maxwell, spokeswoman for Montgomery County Public Schools, says they are on 96 of about 1,200 buses.

“It’s very much a pilot program at this point,” she says. The cost, she says, is $500 per bus to install the equipment.

Although the cameras have captured video of drivers bypassing a stopped bus, Maxwell says no Maryland law allows that video footage to be used for ticketing drivers.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Safety regulations for lorries that transport workers

Under the Road Traffic Act, lorries cannot be used for private passenger transport. However, the Road Traffic Act provides an exception for owners and hirers of lorries to use their vehicles to transport their workers to and from their lodgings and places of work, or between their places of work, subject to the following requirements:

* The lorry must not travel faster than the posted road speed limit or the vehicle speed limit of 60 km/h, whichever is lower.

* The workers must be properly seated in a manner that would not cause them to fall off the vehicle.

* The lorry must not carry an excess number of workers based on the minimum deck space requirement of 0.372 square metres (or 4 square feet) per seated worker. If goods or equipment are also transported, the number of workers that may be carried is reduced according to the remaining floor area available.

* Lorry owners who wish to use their lorries to carry their workers must display a Maximum Passenger Capacity (MPC) label on the right side of the rear tailboard indicating the maximum number of workers that can be transported.

* If goods are also transported, they must be properly secured such that they will not endanger the workers carried or other road users.

* No part of the seated worker, when he is in a seating position shall be more than 1.1 metres from the carriage deck. This is to lower the risk of a worker falling off from the back of a lorry

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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

world's biggest transport plane

The Antonov An-225 was designed for the Soviet space program as a replacement for the Myasishchev VM-T. Able to airlift the Energia rocket's boosters and the Buran space shuttle, its mission and objectives are almost identical to that of the United States' Shuttle Carrier Aircraft.
The An-225 first flew on 21 December 1988. The aircraft was on static display at the Paris Air Show in 1989 and it flew during the public days at the Farnborough air show in 1990. Two aircraft were ordered, but only one An-225 (tail number UR-82060) was finished. It can carry ultra-heavy and oversize freight, up to 250,000 kg (550,000 lb) internally, or 200,000 kg (440,000 lb) on the upper fuselage. Cargo on the upper fuselage can be 70 metres (230 ft) long.
A second An-225 was partially built during the late 1980s for the Soviet space program. The second An-225 included a rear cargo door and a redesigned tail with a single vertical stabilizer. It was planned to be more effective for cargo transportation. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 and the cancellation of the Buran space program, the lone operational An-225 was placed in storage in 1994.The six Ivchenko Progress engines were removed for use on An-124s, and the second uncompleted An-225 airframe was also stored. The first An-225 was later re-engined and put into service.
By 2000, the need for additional An-225 capacity had become apparent, so the decision was made in September 2006 to complete the second An-225. The second airframe was scheduled for completion around 2008, then delayed. By August 2009, the aircraft had not been completed and work had been abandoned.
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Mexico changes in energy, transport Cabinet posts

Mexican President Felipe Calderon shuffled his Cabinet on Friday, changing the two ministers in charge of energy, communications and transportation in order make the government "the infrastructure administration."

Calderon said he wants the fresh Cabinet secretaries to provide better roadways and more accessible telecommunications services to Mexicans. In its first four years, Calderon's administration has largely become known for its offensive against drug cartels.

Friday, January 07, 2011

U.S. airline costs outpace revenues

U.S. airline costs outpaced rising revenue, labor productivity and efficiencies in the third quarter despite an improving financial system, the Air Transport Association said Thursday.

ATA, the trade group representing the major U.S. airlines, said carriers' expenses - measured by the "composite cost index" - rose 5 percent, to 209.8, in the third quarter compared with 2009's third quarter, exceeding the 1.2 percent increase in the U.S. shopper Price Index.

The composite airline cost index remains about 110 percent higher than its level of 100 in 2000, ATA economists told.

"The third-quarter results highlight the continued importance of offsetting the rising costs of doing business through operational efficiencies, productivity gains and diversification of revenue streams," told ATA Chief Economist John Heimlich. "Thanks to a strengthening economy and the continuing efforts of airlines to adapt to a volatile environment, the raise in costs did not stand in the way of profitability this (third) quarter.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Coffee spill diverts United Airlines flight, Transport Canada says

A United Airlines flight from Chicago to Frankfurt, Germany, was diverted to Toronto this week after the pilot dumped a cup of coffee on the plane's communication's gear. The unwanted liquid triggered a series of emergency codes, including one for a hijacking, according to Transport Canada, the agency that regulates transportation in Canada.

"With the help of their company dispatch staff, the flight crew was confirmed the trouble to be a NAV(navigation)/communication issue and not a valid code 7500 (for a hijacking or unlawful interference)," Transport Canada said on its website.

Flight 940 at first was going to return to Chicago, but then diverted to Pearson International Airport in Toronto where it landed without incident around 10 p.m. Monday.

United had little to tell about the coffee spill that led to the diversion, and did not acknowledge that the caffeinated beverage had anything to do with it.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

AirTran Airways Introduces Sale For Travel To All Of Airline's Destinations

Concerns have been raised that warning signs like high cholesterol are being seen in the young, laying the foundation for future health troubles.

But the research of more than 500 people found those with high cholesterol at 15 could normalise it by their mid-30s.

The Australian study is published in Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine.

Participants in the Australian research had levels of cholesterol and other blood fats measured in 1985 when they were aged 9, 12 or 15.

Monday, January 03, 2011

NTSB slaps American

Federal officials have banned American Airlines from an investigation into Wednesday’s runway overrun at Jackson Hole Airport after airline workers inappropriately accessed flight recorder information from the 757.

While en route to the National Transportation Safety Board’s recorder laboratory in Washington, D.C., American Airlines personnel diverted the digital flight information recorder and the cockpit voice recorder to Tulsa, Oklahoma, the NTSB announced Friday.

“During this incident investigation, the security Board learned that the recorders were flown to Tulsa, Oklahoma, where American Airlines technicians downloaded information from the [digital flight data recorder]; the [cockpit voice recorder] was not accessed by American,” NTSB officials told in a statement Friday.