Universal Express, Inc. facilitates and manages the movement of baggage door to door for leisure and business travelers. Their CEO has founded the Coalition for Luggage Security, which seeks to ensure safer and more efficient air travel in the United States. The concept revolves around "assessing security charges per bag and providing incentives for passengers to ship bags in advance via competitive parcel services." You can read the details in the white paper titled "More Safety, Less Hassle for American Travelers: A private sector solution." (100k .pdf)
Monday, October 10, 2005
This from Speednews:
GAO REPORT: Commercial Aviation: Bankruptcy and Pension Problems Are Symptoms of Underlying Structural Issues
The US airline industry has lost over $30b. Delta, Northwest, United, and US Airways have filed for bankruptcy, the latter two terminating and transferring their pension plans to the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC). The net claim on PBGC from these terminations was $9.7b; plan participants lost $5.3b in benefits (in constant 2005 dollars).
Considerable debate has ensued over airlines' use of bankruptcy protection as a means to continue operations. Many in the industry have maintained that airlines' use of this approach is harmful to the industry. This debate has received even sharper focus with pension defaults. Critics argue that by not having to meet their pension obligations, airlines in bankruptcy have an advantage that may encourage other companies to take the same approach.
At the request of the Congress, the GAO has continued to assess the financial condition of the airline industry and focused on the problems of bankruptcy and pension terminations. This report details: (1) the role of
bankruptcy in the airline industry, (2) whether bankruptcies are harming the industry, and (3) the effect of airline pension underfunding on employees, airlines, and the PBGC.
DOT and PBGC agreed with this report's conclusions. GAO is making no recommendations.
Monday, October 03, 2005
Dr. Peter H. Diamandis, Founder of the X PRIZE, and Mr. Granger Whitelaw, two-time Indianapolis 500 champion team partner, in partnership with the X PRIZE Foundation and the Reno Air Racing Association, are launching the Rocket Racing League. Competitions will be run across the U.S, with finals taking place in New Mexico each year. The X-Racer rocket planes take off from a runway and fly a course that includes straight-aways, climbs, and banks, all in view of the spectators, rather like a motor car race, but a bit more exciting (to us, anyway).
This could be quite a series, if they can pull it off. Watch for more developments.