Emotional Support Animals on a Plane

An emotional support animal (ESA) is a companion animal that a medical professional has determined provides benefit for an individual with a disability. This may include improving at least one symptom of the disability. Emotional support animals, typically dogs, but sometimes cats or other animals, may be used by people with a range of physical, psychiatric, or intellectual disabilities. In order to be prescribed an emotional support animal the person seeking such an animal must have a verifiable disability. To be afforded protection under United States federal law, a person must meet the federal definition of disability and must have a note from a physician or other medical professional stating that the person has that disability and that the emotional support animal provides a benefit for the individual with the disability. An animal does not need specific training to become an emotional support animal.

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The Air Carrier Access Act establishes a procedure for modifying pet policies on aircraft to permit a person with a disability to travel with a prescribed emotional support animal, so long as they have appropriate documentation and the animal is not a danger to others and does not interfere with others (through unwanted attention, barking, inappropriate toileting, etc.

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CNBC

Want to travel with an emotional support dog, duck or miniature horse? Starting next month, United Airlines will want passengers to show they can behave.

The airline is setting more stringent requirements for emotional support animals, joining Delta Air Lines in cracking down on a sharp increase in such animals in the cabin. Delta complained that some of the animals soiled cabins or bit travelers.

United said the number of customers bringing emotional support animals on board has risen 75 percent over the past year.

“The Department of Transportation’s rules regarding emotional support animals are not working as they were intended to, prompting us to change our approach in order to ensure a safe and pleasant travel experience for all of our customers,” United said.

Late last month, a Brooklyn artist tried to bring a peacock on board a cross-country United flight, but was turned away by the airline because of the bird’s weight and size.

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“As a reminder, animals currently prohibited from traveling in the cabin include hedgehogs, ferrets, insects, rodents, snakes, spiders, reptiles, sugar gliders, non-household birds, exotic animals and animals not properly cleaned or carry a foul odor,” said United.

The animals below are not on the prohibited list.

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Last 2 images above courtesy of Markozen photoshop.

 

Slippery Slope

Panic broke out on a passenger jet when it skidded off the runway at a Turkish airport and plunged down the side of a cliff overlooking the sea.

The Pegasus Airlines Boeing 737-800 with 168 passengers and crew had flown from Ankara and landed at Trabzon on the Black Sea coast late on Saturday.

Everyone on board was evacuated safely, provincial governor Yucel Yavuz said. No injuries were reported.

The cause of the accident is being investigated, officials said.

State-run Anadolu news agency said there was panic on board as the plane went out of control.

Pictures show the jet lying nose down on a muddy slope just metres from the water’s edge.

“We tilted to the side. The front was down while the plane’s rear was up. There was panic, people shouting, screaming,” passenger Fatma Gordu was quoted as saying.

Mr Yavuz said the airport was closed for several hours while investigations took place.

In a statement Pegasus Airlines said the plane “had a runway excursion incident” as it landed at Trabzon.

I would have died from a heart attack. Unless I would have had 6 alcohol drinks in me, then I would have enjoyed it.

Pegasus Airlines aircraft pictured after it skidded off the runway at Trabzon airport by the Black Sea, Turkey, January 14, 2018Image copyrightREUTERS
Image caption It is not yet clear why the plane careered off the runway
BBC

Strange Unique Airports

Engineers tasked with building an airport are faced with countless challenges: The ideal location needs ample space, endless flat ground, favorable winds and great visibility. But spots in the real world are rarely ideal, and engineers are forced to work with what they have, making sure that the end product is the safest possible structure for pilots. A survey of airports around the world turns up a mixed bag, ranging from dangerous and rugged landing strips to mega-size facilities that operate like small cities. Here, PM explores the world’s most remarkable airports and why they stand out.

 

Kansai International Airport

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(PHOTOGRAPH BY TDK)

Osaka, Japan

Background:
Land is a scarce resource in Japan, so engineers headed roughly 3 miles offshore into Osaka Bay to build this colossal structure. Work on the manmade island started in 1987, and by 1994 jumbo jets were touching down. Travelers can get from the airport to the main island of Honshu via car, railroad or even a high-speed ferry.

Why It’s Unique:
Kansai’s artificial island is 2.5 miles long and 1.6 miles wide—so large that it’s visible from space. Earthquakes, dangerous cyclones, an unstable seabed, and sabotage attempts from protestors are just some of the variables engineers were forced to account for. As impressive as the airport is, Stewart Schreckengast, a professor of aviation technology at Purdue University and a former aviation consultant with MITRE, cautions that climate change and rising sea levels pose a very real threat to the airport’s existence. “When this was built, [engineers] probably didn’t account for global warming,” he says. “In 50 years or so, this might be underwater.”

 

Gibraltar Airport

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Gibraltar

Background:
Between Morocco and Spain sits the tiny British territory of Gibraltar. Construction of the airport dates back to World War II, and it continues to serve as a base for the United Kingdom’s Royal Air Force, though commercial flights land on a daily basis.

Why It’s Unique:
Winston Churchill Avenue, Gibraltar’s busiest road, cuts directly across the runway. Railroad-style crossing gates hold cars back every time a plane lands or departs. “There’s essentially a mountain on one side of the island and a town on the other,” Schreckengast says. “The runway goes from side to side on the island because it’s the only flat space there, so it’s the best they can do. It’s a fairly safe operation as far as keeping people away,” he says, “It just happens to be the best place to land, so sometimes it’s a road and sometimes it’s a runway.”

 

Madeira International Airport

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Portugal

Background:

Madeira is a small island far off the coast of Portugal, which makes an airport that is capable of landing commercial-size aircraft vital to its development. This airport’s original runway was only about 5000 feet long, posing a huge risk to even the most experienced pilots and limiting imports and tourism.

Why It’s Unique:
Engineers extended the runway to more than 9000 feet by building a massive girder bridge atop about 200 pillars. The bridge, which itself is over 3000 feet long and 590 feet wide, is strong enough to handle the weight of 747s and similar jets. In 2004, the International Association for Bridge and Structural Engineering selected the expansion project for its Outstanding Structure Award, noting that the design and construction was both “sensitive to environmental and aesthetic considerations.”

Don Mueang International

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Bangkok, Thailand

Background:
From a distance Don Mueang International looks like any other midsize airport. However, smack-dab in the middle of the two runways is an 18-hole golf course.

Why It’s Unique:
Schreckengast, who has worked on consulting projects at this airport, says one of the major problems is that the only taxiways were located at the end of the runways. “We recommended that they build an additional taxiway in the middle, from side to side, and they said ‘absolutely not, that will take out a green and one fairway.'” The airport and the course were originally an all-military operation, but have since opened up to commercial traffic. Security threats, however, have limited the public’s access to the greens.

 

Ice Runway

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Antarctica

Background:
The Ice Runway is one of three major airstrips used to haul supplies and researchers to Antarctica’s McMurdo Station. As its name implies, there are no paved runways here—just long stretches of ice and snow that are meticulously groomed.

Why It’s Unique:
There is no shortage of space on the Ice Runway, so super-size aircraft like the C-130 Hercules and the C-17 Globemaster III can land with relative ease. The real challenge is making sure that the weight of the aircraft and cargo doesn’t bust the ice or get the plane stuck in soft snow. As the ice of the runway begins to break up, planes are redirected to Pegasus Field or Williams Field, the two other airstrips servicing the continent.

 

Congonhas Airport

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(PHOTOGRAPH BY MARIORDO)

Sao Paulo, Brazil

Background:
Most major cities have an airport, but rarely are they built just 5 miles from the city center, especially in metropolises like Sao Paulo. Congonhas’ close proximity to downtown can be attributed in part to the fact that it was completed in 1936, with the city experiencing rapid development in the following decades.

Why It’s Unique:
While having an airport only 5 miles from the city center may be a convenience for commuters, it places a strain on both pilots and air traffic control crews. “It becomes a challenge in terms of safety to just get the plane in there,” Schreckengast says. “Then you throw on noise restrictions and these terribly awkward arrival and departure routes that are needed to minimize your noise-print and it becomes quite challenging for pilots.” Fortunately, Sao Paulo’s many high-rise buildings are far enough away from the airport that they aren’t an immediate obstacle for pilots landing or taking off.

 

Area 51 flights? Top-secret government airline seeks flight attendant

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Janet 737 airliners at McCarran

Are you a Las Vegas-based flight attendant looking for work and able to keep a secret(s)? Do you feel positively about working for an airline that sort of doesn’t exist? Happen to have a Top-Secret clearance with the U.S. government, or think you could snag one?

If so, the perfect job just opened up.

Janet, a classified airline that runs commuter flights to some of the most secretive and closely guarded government facilities in the U.S., appears to be hiring a flight attendant. The job posting appeared recently on the website for AECOM, which operates a small fleet of aircraft out of a discreet but heavily guarded terminal at McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas.

Very little is known about Janet, which is so secretive that the U.S. government does not admit that it exists. The planes use the call sign “Janet,” which some suggest stands for “Just Another Non-Existent Terminal.”

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The airline operates a fleet of white Boeing 737-600s, with a prominent red stripe down the middle of the fuselage. It also likely operates a smaller fleet of commuter-sized turboprops, also white but with a blue stripe. Passengers flying into or out of Las Vegas often can see such planes parked out on the ramp in the middle of the day — if they know what to look for.

Where exactly they fly to, other than Las Vegas, has been the subject of debate and speculation. The jets have long been assumed (and have been seen on rare occasion) to be flying workers to and from an airstrip inside Area 51, as well as to several military bases and secret locations throughout the western U.S.

But while the destinations may be classified, the prerequisites for the carrier can be seen on the job posting.

Among other items, the posting says applicants “must be level-headed and clear thinking while handling unusual incidents and situations (severe weather conditions, including turbulence, delays due to weather or mechanicals, hijackings or bomb threats).”

Another prerequisite: “Active Top Secret Clearance Highly Desired.”

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The fleet is operated for the United States Air Force to transport military and contractor employees. It mainly serves the Nevada National Security Site (most notably Area 51 and the Tonopah Test Range), from their terminal at Las Vegas’ McCarran International Airport.

Due to the airline’s secretive nature, little is known about its organization. It is operated for the USAF by infrastructure and defense contractor AECOM through AECOM’s acquisition in 2014 of URS Corporation, which acquired EG&G Technical Services in 2002, as derived from URS’s history of providing this service to the Air Force and job openings published by URS. For example, in 2010, URS announced it would be hiring Boeing 737 flight attendants to be based in Las Vegas, requiring applicants to undergo a Single Scope Background Investigation in order to be able to obtain a Top Secret security clearance. More recently, AECOM has posted similar openings.

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In the photo below Area 51 is inside the red circle.

Red Flag 13-3 F-22 Tanker

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Private Company to Launch Bold New Search for Malaysian Flight 370

Private Company to Launch Bold New Search for MH370

An American-based company has reached a rather unique agreement with the Malaysian government to revive the search for infamous lost airliner MH370 using a remarkably sophisticated approach.

The ambitious expedition, put together by a group known as Ocean Unlimited, is expected to be announced next week and could begin in just a few days.

What makes this new search particularly promising is the incredible technology to be used by the group.

Oceans Unlimited plans to deploy a whopping eight unmanned submarines to scour a patch of the Indian Ocean believed to be where MH370 may rest.

Each of the UAV subs will communicate with an unmanned companion boat floating above them which will relay data back to a massive main vessel, allowing the search to fan out to an enormous area.

Even more reason to optimistic is that the batteries for the subs allow them to operate for two-and-a-half days at a time.

Incredibly, the previous multinational search that was ended last year only deployed one UAV submarine and it was far less advanced than the devices to be used by Oceans Unlimited.

And, adding another intriguing layer to this development, the agreement between the Malaysian government and Oceans Unlimited makes the search something of a gamble for the group.

That’s because the deal struck between the two parties says that Oceans Unlimited will not get any money from the Malaysian government for their work unless they find MH370.

Although the exact parameters of the ‘no find, no fee’ agreement have yet to be announced, it is believed that the group will receive somewhere between $20 and $70 million dollars should they be successful within 90 days.

And so in the next three months, we’ll either see the story of MH370 solved once and for all or some brave individuals will have lost a considerable sum of money to create the next chapter in the mystery.

Not to be left out of the equation.

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This is fake.

Operation Christmas Drop

For the last sixty four years the US Air Force has been playing Santa Claus to some 20,000 people inhabiting dozens of tiny Micronesian islands spread across a vast area in the western Pacific Ocean. Each year in December, these islanders receive all sorts of gifts and useful supplies packed in approximately a hundred crates and dropped gently to earth on green military parachutes. Known as Operation Christmas Drop, this effort on the part of the United States Air Force has been called the “longest running humanitarian mission in the world.”

Operation Christmas Drop has its roots to the Christmas of 1952, when the crew of an Air Force B-29 aircraft, flying a mission to the south of Guam, saw some of the islanders waving at them. In the spirit of the season, the crew gathered some items they had on the plane, placed them in a container, attached a parachute and dropped the bundle to the islanders below.

 

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An airman of the US Air Force pushes a bundle from a C-130 Hercules during Operation Christmas Drop over Guam on Dec. 5, 2016. Photo credit: U.S. Air Force/Senior Airman Delano Scott

 

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A witness to the first drop on the island recalls, “We saw these things come out of the back of the airplane and I was yelling: ‘There are toys coming down’”. The effort grew from there into a major annual training exercise.

All the gifts are donated by residents, civic organizations, military personnel and businesses of Guam, which are collected by private organization and the US Air Force, and then sorted and packed into boxes. The items sent to the Micronesian include fishing nets, construction materials, powdered milk, canned goods, rice, coolers, clothing, shoes, toys, school supplies and so on.

The Air Force uses old parachutes that have outlived their military usefulness, but are still strong enough to support bundles weighing up to 500 pounds. The parachute is said to be the most important item on the bundle. Islanders use it for a variety of applications, from roofing their houses to covering their canoes.

Some of these islands are so remote that they receive supplies from passing ships only once or twice per year.

“Christmas Drop is the most important day of the year for these people,” said Bruce Best, a communications specialist at the University of Guam who has been volunteering his time to help Operation Christmas Drop for the last 34 year.

“The yearly success of this drop is a testament to the generosity of the civilian and military population of Guam,” said U.S. Air Force sergeant and Operation Christmas Drop committee president. “We continue to do this to help improve the quality of life of the islanders. We may take it for granted that we can go to a mall to purchase our daily needs, but these folks do not have the same privilege from where they live.”

In recent years, the US Air Force has received assistance from members of the Royal Australian Air Force and Japan Air Self-Defense Force in the collection and distribution of the Christmas Drop crates. According to organizational data, by 2006, the Christmas drop operations have delivered more than 800,000 pounds of supplies.

 

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A bundle exits the ramp of a C-130H aircraft during an airdrop mission over the Federated States of Micronesia during Operation Christmas Drop 2013.

 

A pallet containing toys, holiday decorations and other donated items floats toward an island of the Western Pacific and Micronesia area, bringing holiday cheer Dec. 14 during Operation Christmas Drop. While Santa Claus must find a rooftop to land his reindeer on, America's Airmen and their four-propeller C-130 Hercules deliver the holiday items from the air and move on to their next target. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Brian Kimball)

 

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A resident of Mokil Atoll waves to the C-130 crew after receiving an air dropped aid package in 2012

 

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Loadmasters from the 36th Airlift Squadron, Yokota Air Base, Japan, prepare humanitarian aid bundles destined for remote islands within the Micronesian Islands, Dec. 11, 2012.

 

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Senior Airman Angel Torres, 36th Airlift Squadron C-130 Hercules loadmaster, pushes a low-cost, low-altitude bundle drop over the Federated States of Micronesia during Operation Christmas Drop 2016.

 

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Airmen from the Royal Australian Air Force deliver a low-cost, low-altitude bundle during Operation Christmas Drop 2015 to the island of Mogmog. Photo credit: U.S. Air Force/Staff Sgt. Katrina Brisbin

 

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A bundle exits the ramp of a C-130H aircraft during an airdrop mission over the Federated States of Micronesia during Operation Christmas Drop 2013.

 

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Tech. Sgt. Magen Harger, 36th Medical Support Squadron medical lab technician, pushes a box of supplies to islanders Dec. 11, 2014, over the Pacific Ocean.

 

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Packages make their way to the shore of Kayangel Island during Operation Christmas Drop 2013.

 

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Islanders watch a C-130 Hercules fly overhead during Operation Christmas Drop 2015 at Fais Island, Federated States of Micronesia, Dec. 8, 2015.

 

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Micronesian islanders receive supplies airdropped from a C-130 Hercules near Andersen Air Force Base, on December 16, 2013

Operation Christmas Drop is primarily conducted from Andersen Air Force Base on Guam and Yokota Air Base in Japan.

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