GAO: Military aircraft missing readiness target
NEWPORT NEWS, Va. — Key U.S. military aircraft have for years been missing goals for their readiness to fly missions, the U.S. Government Accountability Office reports.The agency said the Navy’s F/A-18E and F Super Hornet fighter jets, its E-2C Hawkeye early warning aircraft and C-2A cargo planes did not meet annual goals for the total time they can fly and perform their mission at any time between fiscal years 2011 and 2019.The Air Force’s F-22 Raptors also missed their annual goals for all of those years.The Navy’s E-2D Advanced Hawkeye, which is to replace the E-2C, missed its goal in each ...
Daily Press (Newport News, Va.)
Alaska signs deal for more 737 Maxes now that the plane is cleared to fly
SEATTLE — Days after the Federal Aviation Administration cleared Boeing’s 737 Max to fly passengers again, Alaska Airlines became the first carrier to expand its fleet of the aircraft.Alaska announced Monday it will lease 13 Maxes from Los Angeles-based Air Lease Corp (ALC).Alaska already has 32 Maxes on order directly from Boeing, five of which are expected to be flying by summer 2021. Alaska will begin flying the 737-9 Max in March.Following so soon after the plane was ungrounded, the transaction indicates that airlines willing to take new jets in the middle of a historic aviation downturn c...
The Seattle Times
Public transit, battered by pandemic, triumphs at ballot box
Far fewer people are riding buses and trains during the COVID-19 pandemic, but in this month’s election voters still approved more than a dozen proposals to increase spending on public transit.From California to Virginia, voters supported sales or property tax hikes and bond issues to pay for maintenance, improvements or expansion of mass transit systems that have been hit hard in the last nine months.“Transit ridership is down in most cities. At the same time, it’s still moving millions of people a day, and a lot of those people are essential workforce — nurses, grocery store workers, people ...
Chicago adding COVID-19 testing facilities at O'Hare and Midway airports next month
The Chicago Department of Aviation is planning to add COVID-19 testing facilities at O’Hare and Midway airports by next month for travelers and employees.The city announced a request for proposal Friday for drive-up and walk-up facilities, with both the rapid and PCR tests offered. The tests are not free but should be covered by insurance.“We believe it will be the most comprehensive testing system of any airports in the U.S.,” said Chicago Department of Aviation spokesman Matt McGrath.At O’Hare International Airport, the plan calls for a drive-up testing site in a remote parking lot on the no...
Minnesota seeks ambulances for help with COVID-19 surge
MINNEAPOLIS — Minnesota is receiving 25 staffed ambulances from the federal government to help hospitals transfer patients so medical centers are better prepared for a surge of those critically ill with COVID-19.The state made the request of the Federal Emergency Management Agency after ambulance operators said current trends could soon exhaust their ability to transfer patients between health care facilities, according to the Minnesota Department of Health.These “inter-facility” transports are up 493% compared with three weeks ago and rising rapidly.Hospitals will need more ambulances to tran...
Star Tribune (Minneapolis)
Delta extends middle seat blocking policy
Delta Air Lines will extend its policy of blocking middle seats through March 30, the carrier announced Wednesday.Most other major airlines have stopped blocking middle seats, while Southwest Airlines, the second-largest carrier in Atlanta, plans to on Dec. 1. Alaska Airlines has pledged to block middle seats through Jan. 6.That makes Atlanta-based Delta the only U.S. airline blocking middle seats into the spring.Airlines say vertical airflow in the airplane cabin with HEPA filtration, along with mask requirements, help reduce the risk of the spread of COVID-19 among passengers. Southwest Airl...
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Why US airlines are eager to fly Boeing's upgraded 737 Max
SEATTLE — Though Boeing’s 737 Max will return to service at a bleak moment in the airline industry when the pandemic has dried up demand, some carriers want the plane flying again as soon as possible.The first to fly will be American Airlines, which has scheduled a Max round-trip flight from Miami to New York’s La Guardia airport for Dec. 29.According to an internal memo sent Sunday to Alaska Airlines pilots, the Seattle-based carrier plans to take its first 737-9 Max delivery early next year and start flying it in service by the end of March.United Airlines expects to schedule flights on the ...
The Seattle Times
Soldiers camp out at Va. airport waiting for flights home. This holiday season, officials are worried
NEWPORT NEWS, Va. — It’s a Peninsula tradition — several hundred soldiers camping out, sometimes for days, at the Newport News airport, waiting for flight home for the holidays — and it’s got people around the facility worried.“I’m concerned there won’t be enough flights,” said Diane Fry, director of the USO office at Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport, as she pauses to talk about how volunteers traditionally pitch in with meals, treats, entertainment and visits for soldiers as they wait.Mike Giardino, the airport’s executive director, is even blunter:“We just don’t have enough se...
Daily Press (Newport News, Va.)
Whitmer to revoke Enbridge oil pipeline easement in Straits of Mackinac
Canadian oil transportation giant Enbridge may soon lose its permission to operate a controversial, aging, oil and gas pipeline on the Straits of Mackinac lake bottom.Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Michigan Department of Natural Resources Director Dan Eichinger on Friday notified Enbridge that a 1953 easement allowing it to operate dual pipelines in the Straits of Mackinac to transport petroleum and other products is being revoked and terminated.Whitmer and Eichinger also filed a lawsuit asking the Ingham County Circuit Court to recognize the validity of this action, citing violation of th...
Detroit Free Press
Postal worker admits fabricating Trump-pushed claims of voter fraud in Pa., House panel says
A postal worker in Pennsylvania has admitted to making up explosive accusations about mail-in voting irregularities in the 2020 election that were picked up by supporters of President Donald Trump as supposed evidence of fraud, according to congressional investigators.Richard Hopkins, a U.S. Postal Service employee in Erie, Pa., first alleged last week that his supervisor had instructed staff to backdate mail-in ballots cast after Election Day in order to get them counted — which would be illegal.The claims were seized on by the Trump campaign and congressional Republicans as proof that Trump ...
New York Daily News