Panama Canal 2008-06-23
Important news
Panama Canal plans double capacity !!
The Panama Canal Authority officially proposed a $5.25 billion expansion that will add a third set of locks and double capacity of the inter-ocean canal, pending approval by the Panamanian government and passage in a public referendum.
The expansion would be funded by toll increases that are likely to average 3 percent annually over the next 20 years, said Alberto Aleman Zubieta, the authority's administrator, in a conference call Tuesday with reporters. How those increases will be apportioned among customers is yet to be determined, he said.
The agency estimates that the expansion could be completed by 2014, the centennial of the opening of the canal. The new locks would be able to handle container ships with maximum capacity of 12,000 TEUs, Aleman said, up from about 5,000 TEUs.
The locks would be 1,400 feet long and 180 feet wide and will accommodate ships with drafts of up to 50 feet, Zubieta said. The existing locks are 1,000 feet long and 110 feet wide . The expansion is critical to handle rapidly growing cargo volume. Last year the canal handled 280 million tons, about 7 percent shy of its current capacity of 300 million. Projects under way at the existing locks would raise capacity to 330 million tons by 2009. The new locks would raise annual capacity to 600 million tons, Aleman said. The canal administrator said the agency has discussed the plan with ocean carriers and he is confident that they will agree to the increased tolls because of their need to develop new all-water services to handle growing trade volumes between Asia and the U.S. East Coast. The cost of construction would be financed in part through $2.3 billion in interim financing that would be paid back over eight years through toll revenue, he said.
The additional toll increases to finance the expansion project would come on top of a three-year series of toll hikes that began in 2005, raising the cost of transiting the canal by 69 percent.
 Fire in Istanbul Air port 2008-06-23
Dear Atlas Friends, HUGE FIRE AT ISTANBUL AIRPORT Mr Turgut Erkeskin of Genel Transport informs all Atlas members that a massive fire has engulfed part of Turkey's Istanbul Airport, forcing air traffic to be suspended.
The fire broke out on Wednesday in the cargo area of the international Ataturk airport. No injuries have been reported but ambulances were standing by.
The blaze broke out at 3:30 p.m. (1230 GMT) in the cargo area of Terminal A, a witness told NTV. Thick plumes of smoke billowed about 30 meters (100 feet) into the air, television footage showed. Kaya Heyse, a producer for CNN's sister network CNN Turk, said the smoke could be seen from all over Istanbul.
 Berlin International Aerospace Exhibition 2008-06-23
Berlin, 25 April 2006 – When the International Aerospace Exhibition takes place for the eighth time from 16 to 21 May 2006 at Berlin-Schönefeld Airport, its more than 1,000 exhibitors from over 40 countries and overall area of 250,000 square metres will make this the largest ILA ever in the 97-year history of this event. Following an absence of 64 years, in June 1992 the ILA returned to its original venue in Berlin/Brandenburg, resuming its place among the world’s major trade fairs in this industrial sector. Since then it has been held every two years on the southern section of Berlin-Schönefeld Airport. For one week the activities taking place on the site of the future Single Airport BBI will be attracting interest among exhibitors and trade visitors from all over the world, as well as delighting many members of the public, who will be able to see not only a spectacular programme of flying displays by aircraft of all sizes and categories but also to obtain wide-ranging information about all aspects of aviation and space flight.

Birthplace of aviation in Berlin/Brandenburg

The long history of the ILA began early in the last century when the first International Aviation Exhibition (ILA) was first held in 1909. However, the initial steps had already been taken in 1891, when Otto Lilienthal made mankind’s dreams of heavier-than-air flight a reality when he first launched his glider from the hill in Brandenburg known as the Windmühlenberg. Lilienthal‘s glider flights were the start of a period of rapid development in aviation and also represented the beginning of efforts to acquaint a wider public with the latest achievements in this area. It was the Frankfurt city authorities which made the breakthrough, by setting up the first International Aviation Exhibition in Germany. This first ILA lasted around 100 days, from 10 July to 17 October 1909, and was the world’s first independent aviation trade fair. It was followed a few weeks later by the Air Show at Le Bourget, which opened on 25 September 1909. In the summer of 1909, after just one year’s preparation, the organizers of the ILA were able to present a comprehensive review of the latest developments in airship construction and aviation technology in Germany to experts and a fascinated public alike.

The exhibits included airships from manufacturers such as Zeppelin, Parseval, Cluth and Ruthenberg, as well as balloons and several aircraft in the section entitled “Flying Machines and Models”. The star of the show was a Wright Brothers aero plane, which had been giving flying displays in Berlin and was brought to Frankfurt for a week. By the time it closed the first ILA had attracted 500 exhibitors and one and a half million visitors.

Following the first ILA, the various different flying associations joined together in 1910 to form the federation known as the Deutscher Fliegerbund, at the instigation of the aircraft designer August Euler. Shortly afterwards the Association of German Aircraft Industrialists was formed in Frankfurt am Main. In this way a direct link was established between the ILA and the organization that later became the Bundesverband der Deutschen Luft- und Raumfahrtindustrie e.V. (BDLI), which still exists today and represents the German aerospace industry. Ever since Lilienthal carried out his first experimental flights the Berlin-Brandenburg region has been closely linked with developments in aviation in Germany and on a wider, international scale. It is therefore not surprising that the events that followed on from the first ILA should have been held at the “birthplace of human flight”.

The “Yellow Dog”, a great commercial success

In 1912 the ALA (General Aviation Show) in Berlin presented German aircraft engineering capabilities in this historic setting, featuring all the best known aircraft manufacturers of the time. One of the highlights was August Euler’s biplane known as the “Gelber Hund” (Yellow Dog), to which a sign was attached shortly thereafter stating: “Eight sold in one day”.