The New York Times, among others, reported last week that whilst airport security is there to protect you, but it may also give you the sniffles — or worse. “To all the places and surfaces we’ve been warned are teeming with germs or bacteria — your pets, the subway seat, airplane cabins, the A.T.M. — add the airport security tray”.
The plastic trays — used at airport checkpoints around the globe and touched by millions of passengers as they drop shoes, laptops, luggage and other items into them to clear X-ray scanners — have been found to harbour a variety of germs, including the ones responsible for the common cold, according to researchers. Scientists from the University of Nottingham and the Finnish National Institute for Health and Welfare swabbed frequently touched surfaces at Helsinki Airport in Finland during and after peak hours in the winter of 2016 and picked up traces of rhinovirus, the source of the common cold, and of the influenza A virus. Travellers will be touching their handkerchiefs whilst digging out their coppers and keys to put in the tray.
TAP chief to answer questions before parliament
The Diario report that national carriers TAP’s chief executive, Antonoaldo Neves, will now be required to respond to Members’ questions in Parliament after a summer of complaints and cancellations. The same gentleman created controversy (reported here), when he unilaterally declared that he would not accept any changes to the wind limit at Madeira airport. At the centre of the controversy is the public service to the autonomous regions, at a time when the regional government of Madeira announced that it would proceed with a lawsuit against the carrier due to increased problems with their flights to the island.
In July, TAP said that “there have been several constraints to the origin of the irregularities” and underlined “meteorological factors that have been worse this year”. These include, among others, the approximately 70 cancellations of TAP flights to Madeira between January and July, which, according to the President of the Government of Madeira, Miguel Albuquerque, affected approximately 10,000 passengers. “Last year, between January and May, 22 flights were cancelled for weather reasons. In the same period this year, 139 were cancelled for the same reason.
TAP “excess zeal”
The Journal report that a TAP plane that ended up taking off an hour and a half late from Madeira airport this morning. The aircraft, which should have taken off at 7:05 am for Porto, was delayed due to problems with one of the passengers. According to a witness inside the plane, “the man has only asked for details about the delay in departure, which is notorious”. “He questioned one of the crew members who, quite disproportionately, asked the commander of the plane that the passenger be removed”. The Public Security Police (PSP) was even called on board to remove the passenger from the plane.
The same newspaper reported later that the man who was removed from the plane this morning is a police force agent and will sue the airline and the crew. He is described as being discontented with the attitude of the crew.
Madeira Walks: Updates and Changes
Discovery Walking Guides have released an update to their popular walking Guides to the island. Although these updates affect only a few of their 81 walking routes contained in volumes one and two of Madeira Walks minor changes can be critical. As usual resident author/researchers on Madeira, Shirley and Mike Whitehead, provided DWG with the details, which I have taken the liberty of replicating here:Madeira Walks Vols 1 and 2 changes and updates September 2018