Video: Broadway Casts of 'Lion King,' 'Aladdin' Sing Through LaGuardia Flight Delay

Thursday, June 04, 2015

The casts of "The Lion King" and "Aladdin" staged an a cappella sing-off at LaGuardia Airport Sunday night when storms delayed numerous flights.
Read More



Need Some Change? Check the Airport

Tuesday, April 07, 2015

The TSA says travelers left nearly $675,000 in loose change at the nation's airports — including $44,550 at JFK.



What Listeners Loved This Week

Friday, January 16, 2015

The Campbell's Soup Company has a kitchen type for you. NASA had dirt huts built for a lunar colony. Portlanders love their airport carpet. These are the week's most popular stories.



Storm Hits Thanksgiving Travelers

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

More than 550 flights have been canceled nationwide so far today — the bulk of them in the Northeast.


The Brian Lehrer Show

How to Deal with Our Frustrating Airports

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Businessweek recently ranked the "most frustrating airports" and LaGuardia, JFK and Newark were in the top five. Here are some hacks to make holiday travel less painful.

Comments [17]

Innovation Hub

11.29.14 - Unwrapping the Future

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Forget apps to help you with last-minute shopping. This season, we look at how innovations are reshaping our holidays — altering approaches to travel, family gatherings, food, and more. Guests include: Nancy Koehn, historian at Harvard Business School; Courtney Reagan, CNBC’s retail reporter, and Howard Anderson from Harvard Business School; John Kasarda, professor at the University of North Carolina and author of "Aerotropolis: The Way We’ll Live Next."


Innovation Hub

11.29.14 - Unwrapping the Future

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Forget apps to help you with last-minute shopping. This season, we look at how innovations are reshaping our holidays — altering approaches to travel, family gatherings, food, and more. Guests include: Nancy Koehn, historian at Harvard Business School; Courtney Reagan, CNBC’s retail reporter, and Howard Anderson from Harvard Business School; John Kasarda, professor at the University of North Carolina and author of "Aerotropolis: The Way We’ll Live Next."



Newark Airport Begins Ebola Screenings

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Newark Liberty Airport is one of the five airports in the United States to screen incoming passengers for fevers and other possible symptoms of Ebola.



Senator Seeks Clarification of Carry-On Rules After Musician Booted From Plane

Sunday, July 27, 2014

The government should clarify federal rules about bringing musical instruments on to commercial flights as carry-on luggage, U.S. Sen. Jack Reed said.

Read More

Comments [35]


All U.S. Flights to Tel Aviv Canceled Over Missile Fear

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

One plane was diverted mid-flight, after reports that a rocket landed near Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion Airport.

Comments [2]

99% Invisible

120- Skyjacking

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The term “hijacking” goes back to prohibition days, when gangsters would rob moonshine trucks saying, “Hold your hands high, Jack!” However, in the early days of commercial air travel, the idea that someone would hijack a plane was scarcely even … Continue reading



Security Increased at JFK, LGA, EWR After Los Angeles Airport Shooting

Friday, November 01, 2013

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey says it has increased its airport patrols as a precaution in the wake of the Los Angeles airport shooting.


The Takeaway

The People Behind the Speakers

Monday, July 29, 2013

Imagine there was a voice that could guide you though everyday activities. While this is still an impossibility, Jack Fox and Carolyn Hopkins—the voices of the subway, airport system, and many other automated announcement mechanisms—are the next closest things. They join us to discuss what it's like to have their voices in over 100 airports and transit centers in cities around the world.


Transportation Nation

Plane Scare as Landing Gear Malfunctions on LGA Runway

Monday, July 22, 2013


Officials say the plane skidded on its nose down the 7,000-foot runway before coming to a halt on a grassy area.

Read More


Transportation Nation

CHART: Which Airports Have the Longest Customs Lines?

Wednesday, July 10, 2013


International travel is up, and so are the wait times at airports to pass through customs. (See chart below)

Read More

Comments [1]

Transportation Nation

Interview: John Mica Argues for Airport Expansion Over "Shortsighted" Airline Objections

Tuesday, April 30, 2013


The former chair of the House Transportation Committee supports expanding the airport in his home district, but opposition is coming from an unexpected corner: airlines. Congressman John Mica (R-Fla.) speaks with WMFE's Matthew Peddie about an airport as an engine of regional growth.

Read More

Comments [1]

Transportation Nation

SFO Airport Now Has City's Most Valuable Art Collection Outside Museums

Monday, January 28, 2013

Under CC license from Flickr user Thom Watson

Terminal 2 at the San Francisco International Airport (SFO) has been praised for its modern architectural design, which takes into account the needs of post 9/11 travelers. For instance, T2 has comfortable Recompose Area where passengers can put back their shoes and belts after passing through security check.

Most of the shops and restaurants are also located within the reach from the gates, so that passengers can easily see their flight status. But there is something else that makes Terminal 2 special: its art collection. KALW's Artjoms Konojovs went to the airport, but not to catch a flight. Give a listen:


You may not think of an airport as a place to see art or take an audio tour to learn more about its paintings and sculptures. People mostly come here for one reason: to travel.  But the City of San Francisco spent nearly two-and-a-half million dollars on artwork in Terminal 2. It's part of a city ordinance passed in 1969, which mandated that 2 percent of any construction costs be allocated to art enrichment or public art. As a result, SFO now has the most valuable public artwork collection in the city outside its fine art museums.

Above either side entrance to SFO’s Terminal 2 stretch huge artworks of hand-painted glass: bird wings to the left and airplane wings on the right. They are large, impressive, and, if you call a number posted next to the front door, they are explained.

“This artwork ‘Air Over Under’ plays with our experience of flight," says a recorded voice on the phone. "Seattle-based artist Nori Sato said that once we leave our standard point of reference – the ground, it can be hard to figure out where we are.”

Then, the artist picks up where that narrator left off. “Depending on where we are in the air,” says Sato on the recording, “we can be above the clouds, below the clouds, in no clouds, in the middle of clouds, and the image was constructed with that in mind.” It's like a museum audio tour, but in an airport and on your cell phone.

Susan Pontious, director of the Civic Art Collection and Public Art Program for the city Arts Commission, runs the art program at the SFO in terms of the permanent acquisitions.

Inside the terminal, two objects hang from the ceiling on either side of the terminal entrance, right in the middle of the check-in area. Both look like they are made from different sized pieces of plastic.

“These two pieces are called “Topograph” and are inspired by topography of the Bay Area – and they also kind of remind me of clouds,” says Pontious.

The artist very carefully considered suspension mechanism as part of her aesthetic.

“They always remind me of these upside down rain clouds which is very appropriate on a day like today,” says Pontious.

Before the security gates is a small lounge where people can wait for arriving passengers. Most of the walls are covered by artwork from Marc Adams: big red tapestries with bright flowers that were inspired by the Bay Area gardens. It creates a cozy living room-like atmosphere.

“It is a technique and craft that you don't see that much anymore. I think this is one of the reasons they are valuable to us. And they are just flat out beautiful,” adds Pontious.

Near the lounge are a series of doors used by airport personnel to access the gates. We pass through into the Recompose Area, where people put their shoes and belts back on after the security check. The area is bright and airy, and home to an installation called “Every Beating Second”.

“The inspiration for the artist was that this is a place where you maybe took a little bit of a time to look around you and maybe notice some things.”

“Every Beating Second” consists of three nets hanging down from the ceiling. Each is a mixture of pink, purple and blue. Looking closer, travelers who pause to look up can see the nets moving a little bit, as if hovering in a breeze.

If you find yourself waiting for a flight at SFO, take a moment and look around. You can enjoy one of San Francisco's newest, most sophisticated, and expensive art galleries. It's arrived at Terminal 2.

Read More


Transportation Nation

NY's Airports So Old, Millionaire Is Putting Up Private Fortune to Lobby for Renovations

Monday, January 14, 2013

LaGuardia Airport (photo by Alex Goldmark)

Real Estate mogul Joe Sitt knows how to court the jet set. He's the head of Thor Equities, one of the city's biggest landlords for high end retail and offices. And as he sees it, New York's aging airports are holding the region back. "The experience [in our airports] is pitiful," Sitt said.

And he's putting up $1 million of his personal money to change it.

His campaign to overhaul New York area airports launched last week isn't an expensive personal quest for a better travel experience. It's an unusual lobbying campaign in the public (and also self) interest.

A 2011 report by the Regional Plan Association found that NY area airports need to expand and upgrade air traffic technology if they are to keep up with forecasts of air travel growth. Average flight delays at NY area airports are already twice the national average. A 2008 study (pdf) by the Partnership of New York City estimated that if New York's airports aren't modernized, it could cost $79 billion in losses to the regional economy between 2008 and 2025.

"What's one of our business fears? Businesses moving out of the city," said Sitt, the landlord of about 40 buildings, many in tourist hot spots like 5th Ave and Meatpacking. "I love New York City. It is creative. Every tech company should want to be here. But from an infrastructure, transportation, airport [perspective], no offense, versus San Francisco, we fail. They put us to shame out there."

His group the Global Gateway Alliance will lobby all levels of government to invest more in infrastructure for air travel.  "I think government needs some prodding. This needed somebody to carry the torch," Sitt said.

It's not the first time business leaders and planners have called for investment -- the RPA launched the Better Airports Alliance in 2011 -- but Sitt's $1 million of seed money makes the new effort more serious from the start. "It's really the first time we've had a comprehensive, well funded effort to focus on the great need for airport improvement," said Kathy Wylde of the Partnership for New York City, who has joined the board of the Global Gateway Alliance. Lobbying, she said will pressure all levels of government and could include public messages like TV commercials.

The agency that runs NY airports concedes upgrades are needed.  “We recognize that some of our facilities are aging and in need of capital infrastructure investment to ensure the continued economic growth of the region," said Port Authority Executive Director Patrick Foye. "The Port Authority and our airline partners invested over $1 billion in 2012 on infrastructure projects at our region’s airports, which includes construction of high speed exit taxiways, terminal improvements, and runway rehabilitation. Additionally, the Port Authority is in the process of establishing a public/private partnership to invest $3.6 billion on a new Central Terminal Building at La Guardia.”


Read More


Transportation Nation

Local Restaurants Hope for Rebirth at LAX

Thursday, January 10, 2013

The Bradley International Terminal at LAX under construction. (Shereen Marisol Meraji/KPCC)

(Corey Moore - Los Angeles, KPCC) If you’ve flown American Airlines out of LAX's Terminal 4, then you may have wolfed down a meal at Chili’s. Staffers says the airport Chili’s – with its cheesesteak sandwiches, combo Fajitas and baby back ribs – is the most popular of its U.S. franchises.

But in a few months, Chili’s won’t be in Terminal 4. Neither will Burger King. And eventually, the old Starbucks will go away.

Chili’s will soon be replaced by Campanile. It's one of 15 local eateries that will be opening in the Bradley Terminal and Terminal 4. It will be a rebirth of sorts for the historic Los Angeles restaurant known for its prime rib and sautéed halibut. Last October, Campanile closed the doors at its home of more than 20 years, on La Brea Avenue near Hancock Park.

RELATED: Campanile regulars reminisce as restaurant prepares for move

Renowned chef Mark Peel owns the business. He says he started planning to relocate to LAX more than two years ago. Peel says first the epicenter for food moved away from his location on La Brea, and then hard times hit.

“Business softened up during the recession," he says. "There are certain standards we maintain, and we can’t maintain them if we’re not making money, so it became essential that we try something else.”

Peel looks forward to a turnaround at LAX, even though his new place will be only a quarter the size of his old one.

“Campanile is projected to do $8 million a year (at LAX). I want to beat that," Peel says. His goal is to make $10 million a year.

Kimberly Ritter-Martinez is an economist with the LA Economic Development Corporation. She believes that more travelers are looking for higher quality food at the airport – and local options.

“Los Angeles did a very good job of developing the L.A. brand," she says. "So bringing in local businesses, [these] are very attractive offerings.”

Airport authorities say that’s why they sought out iconic Southland businesses such as Campanile, Real Food Daily, La Provence and Cole’s. They’re among the six opening in Terminal 4. Nine more are coming to the Bradley Terminal.

Officials say all of the incoming restaurants are working to keep their prices at the same level as if they were operating outside of the airport.

Peel says that some of the staff from the restaurants that are closing will end up working at Campanile and other new establishments.

“They’ve rotated people off jobs, kept them on the payroll, partnered with Trade Tech downtown," he says. Those workers have entered a 9-week cooking school taught by L.A. Trade Tech instructors to put them in line for jobs at the new restaurants.

In the meantime, Peel is preparing for Campanile’s grand opening at LAX, sizing up his space, researching ingredients, and working up a list of suppliers.

He’s focused on reaching that annual $10 million dollar goal.

“Think about it as $30,000 a day – this is seven days a week and its going to be open 16 hours a day if not a little bit more," he says. "Breakfast, lunch and dinner. It’s absolutely doable.”

Construction begins this month. The plan is to have the new Campanile and the other new restaurants at LAX up and running by May.

Follow Corey Moore on Twitter.

Read More

Comments [1]

Transportation Nation

Northern Virginia Road Expansion: Betting on Dulles Airport as Freight Hub (Part 2)

Friday, December 21, 2012

There's already construction in the area, building new lanes, but planners are contemplating an entirely new highway. Pictured: Express Lane Construction on I-495 at Route I- 66 (Photo by Trevor Wrayton, VDOT)

This is the second of a two-part series on plans to expand Northern Virginia’s road network and freight capacity of Dulles International Airport. (Part 1)

To elected officials and Virginia transportation planners, Dulles International Airport is an untapped well of economic growth. However, maximizing its potential will necessitate major improvements of the surrounding road network.  That includes completion of a “north-south” corridor which is now in the conceptual stages.

On Dec. 12 the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority unveiled its intentions to pursue development of airport properties, including 400 acres on Dulles’ western side and sixteen acres around the future Rt. 606 stop of the Silver Line. The goal is to enhance the airport's industrial capacity as a freight hub.

“We are the only airport on the east coast with that kind of land available to us for development purposes. Cargo is down at Dulles right now, but it is down because of the economic uncertainty in Europe,” said Loudoun County Supervisor Ralph Buona (R-Ashburn). “The problem we have today is there is no easy access from the airport. The only access we have today is Rt. 28 and 28 is very limited.”

At their monthly board meeting, MWAA officials emphasized the importance of both expanding the Dulles Loop – Routes 606, 28, and 50 – and eventually connecting it to the north-south corridor.  Studies to expand all three roadways are underway.

MWAA CEO Jack Potter indicated the agency would take a cautious approach to development.

“We do not want to make an investment either at Rt. 606 or in the western lands to put a lot of infrastructure in there. We are not going to build something and hope that somebody comes,” he said during a presentation to the MWAA board.

Elected officials in Loudoun County who support the “north-south corridor” concept see Dulles as a key to future economic growth and the roads it will require as relief for traffic-weary commuters.

"Anybody who lives in Loudoun County knows that more road capacity is necessary,” said Supervisor Matt Letourneau (R-Dulles). “Keeping roads small doesn't prevent growth from happening.”

Environmental groups opposed to the construction of a multi-lane, divided highway west of Dulles Airport question whether the expansion of freight is the right goal.

“There are only so many pounds of freight that you can move on an airplane in an economical way. I think it is less than one-tenth of one percent of freight in Virginia comes by air. It is going to be an important economic activity but it is not the major way to move freight in the United States,” said Chris Miller, president of the Piedmont Environmental Council.

In his view, the Virginia Department of Transportation’s Northern Virginia master plan and MWAA’s development ideas amount to a move in the wrong direction, toward sprawl-inducing road expansions that could undermine the ongoing investment in the Silver Line rail project, scheduled for completion in 2018.

“I think the people who move west of Dulles Airport aren’t looking for another interstate highway with trucks on it to serve their neighborhood,” Miller said.

Miller uses the term “outer beltway” to describe the north-south corridor concept, a term that chafes supporters.

“If you want to unlock the potential of our economic engines – and Dulles is the biggest economic engine that we have in Northern Virginia – you’ve got to be able to tie it back to the other industries. If you look on the other side of the river, we have a large biotech industry in the I-270 corridor,” said Supervisor Buona.

“If you are able to create a [transportation] link between that industry and the IT and government contracting set, and that link connects to the airport, what you’ve done is create a corridor of commerce. You have not created an outer beltway,” he added.

Read More

Comments [1]