For today’s Flyer Fact Friday, we take a look at more airline technology – a supersonic jet that would cut travel time from NYC to LA to less than two and half hours (right now it takes about five). Aside from the cost for technology and development, the other barrier to this time-saving wonder plane is the sonic boom.
A sonic boom sounds like a very loud clap of thunder, and “follows the plane the entire time it’s exceeding the speed of sound,” according to Steve Hargreaves’s article on CNN Money. Companies like Lockheed Martin and Aerion are working with NASA to break the boom, so for now any supersonic flights are banned over the US and other countries. Until they figure out how to lower the sonic boom, these flights would be limited to flight paths over water.
These supersonic flights would initially cater to the wealthy and would be more costly than standard aircraft (time is money after all), but some experts estimate this technology could be catering to the masses in the next two or three decades.
We don’t have supersonic jets at GSP yet, but who knows what the future may hold. You can read Steve’s full article here, and stay tuned to the WINGSPAN blog for more tech, history, and construction updates.
The relationship between Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport and BMW all started in 1989 when the German automaker was hunting globally for a place to build a plant outside of Germany. Anderson County was originally considered, but when BMW chairman von Kuhnheim and his team flew into Greenville-Spartanburg and saw the open land around the airport, they shifted their focus. A key requirement for the future plant was a space that would allow B-747 aircraft to taxi directly between a runway and the manufacturing plant.
But first, a case had to be made to key players for the Upstate location to be chosen over another bid in Omaha, Nebraska. It was a high stakes competition with a potentially huge economic impact, including up to four thousand jobs. In the end, the close proximity to the airport and strategic placement by the Atlantic Ocean were too hard to pass up.
Local officials had to guarantee available property adjacent to the airport, Airport Commission chairman Roger Milliken said that selling even three hundred acres to BMW would not be enough room for the plant because the property would be locked in by I-85, the airport and a residential area, which would prevent any plant expansion and would also limit the airport’s growth.
Moving fast and with the help of local development companies, state legislation, and with the cooperation of local property owners and realtors, Governor Carroll Campbell and all those involved were able to secure options on more than twelve hundred acres of airport-adjacent property, and the decision was left in BMW’s hands.
Part of the last step of the deal was the lengthening of the GSP runway to facilitate BMW cargo flights (but that’s a story for another day). And thus an incredibly positive relationship was born between GSP and BMW, and BMW and the Upstate.
Next time you’re passing by the Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport and see the BMW plant, you can share your newfound historical knowledge!
Stay tuned for upcoming construction updates and Flyer Fact Fridays here on the WINGSPAN blog.
Frequent flyers will tell you that jetlag stinks. Flying to a remote location or back-to-back trips across multiple time zones can leave even the well-traveled feeling sluggish when they should be awake, or ready to take on the day when they should be sleeping. Your biological clock can really get thrown off balance, so we have picked our top six of the Daily Meal’s top ten jet lag remedies:
1. Adjust your sleeping habits before your trip. For those embarking on a long flight to a distant time zone, a few days before your trip, consider adjusting your bedtime by an hour each night to be closer to your time zone’s destination. Traveling west? Stay up later! Traveling east? Move that bedtime earlier.
2. Hydrate. Hydrate. Hydrate. You get dehydrated when you fly due in part to the lack of humidity in the cabin, so drink water before, during and after your flight. In fact, experts recommend 16 ounces of water before you fly, and 8 ounces of water for each hour you are in the air. Cheers!
3. Eat light. Foods that are high in fat and/or high in carbs can make it harder to sleep, so consider eating lighter fare than normal before you fly.
4. Move around! A brisk walk after you land or once you get settled in your hotel room is a great way to get re-energized, plus the natural sunlight is great for a boost of energy (plus you can take in the local sights).
5. Take a (short) nap. If moving around doesn’t work and the hydrating isn’t cutting it, you can always grab a quick nap to feel better. Just be sure to keep that afternoon snooze is 30 minutes or less so your nighttime sleep isn’t disrupted.
6. Minimize sleep distractions. Earplugs were number one on our list of travel accessories to always pack, so grab a pair of plugs and a sleeping mask if you are having trouble settling into sleep after traveling. You should also leave the television off and check that lights from outside wont wake you up once you’re settled in.
You can find all ten tips to avoid jet lag in this Daily Meal article, and stay tuned to the WINGSPAN blog for more travel tips, traveling trivia, and the latest in technology in our Flyer Fact Fridays!
There are countless destinations all over the globe that make for life-changing vacations, but for today’s Flyer Fact Friday, we take a look at those at the top of our list right here in the US. Fox News published a list of 20 Places Every American Should See, so we picked our top five!
Planning a vacation this year? Here are just a few ideas you might consider:
1. Big Sur: Highway 1 is one of the most celebrated drives you could ever take, so consider flying into San Francisco, rent a convertible and take in some of the most breathtaking views in the world while you enjoy all the stops along the way. You can end your drive in San Diego for your return flight home, but be sure to not miss the zoo while you are there!
2. National Mall: Any history buff would be remiss to not enjoy our nation’s capital at least one time in their life. The National Mall is less than two miles long and offers the iconic Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials, plus the Washington Monument, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, the new Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial. Free museums like the Smithsonian could take an entire day to explore, and there is no shorter of amazing food in DC!
3. Times Square: Take a bite out of the Big Apple and explore Broadway between Manhattan’s 42nd and 47th streets and see why New York is called the “city that never sleeps.” At Times Square, score discount same-day Broadway tickets, snap some photos and be sure to make an itinerary for the rest of your trip because there is so much in NYC to see.
4. Grand Canyon: For one of the most awe-inspiring sites you could experience, travel to the Grand Canyon – you can bus, hike, raft, or ride a mule to see one of the seven natural wonders of the world. The South Rim is the most accessible park of the park, but if you are looking for a quieter experience, check out the North Rim in the summertime.
5. Chicago’s architecture: Did you know the Windy City is the birthplace of the skyscraper? The City may be renowned for amazing food, deep history and countless attractions, but the star of the show is the architecture. Head downtown and enjoy one of the architecture cruises for a unique vantage point of the City, and explore the magnificent mile on foot!
If you have traveled through GSP in the past few weeks, things may seem quiet, but there’s been a whole lot of demolition happening! As you can see in these photos, crews are continuing to demolish the terminal core for the construction of new airline ticketing counters, the Grand Hall and centralized security checkpoint – look at the progress we’re making:
Even if you were in our terminal to pick up or drop off a passenger, you might have noticed the large construction wall between baggage claim and the ticketing counters. Want to know what’s behind that wall? Here is a sneak peak:
Want to learn more about all the great developments happening at GSP? Stay tuned to the WINGSPAN blog for more construction updates and Flyer Fact Fridays.
Our Flyer Fact Fridays often focus on the latest in airline technology – we have talked about all kinds of trending concepts, from flying cars to virtual reality headrests. Today, we bring you the Windowless Fuselage from the Centre for Process Innovation, or CPI, an aircraft that gives every passenger a bird’s-eye view.
This concept craft would be built with thinner, stronger walls, and the walls inside the cabin would be lined with OLED displays. The backs of each seat would also feature these displays, ensuring that every passenger has a whole new travel experience. Screens would be linked to cameras on the outside of the aircraft to display in real-time the surroundings of the aircraft to passengers – this would give each passenger a panoramic view of the outside!
Different displays could also be selected by individual passengers to enjoy, whether it’s an ambient forest scene or a vibrant cityscape, or even simple mood lighting. Passengers could access in-flight services like food and drink service, or watch in-flight entertainment or access information about their destination.
Not only is the entertainment factor cool, the way this craft is constructed makes it lighter weight, leading to lower fuel usage and lower CO2 output. Read an article about this technology here or get all the details on CPI’s Windowless Fuselage page.
This technology is a few years away, so for now you can enjoy your window seat!
Stay tuned for construction updates and Flyer Fact Fridays here on the WINGSPAN blog.
Missing your flight is not a fun experience. If this happens to you, we’ve found a great article on About.com with six steps you can take to remedy the situation. Before you do any of these things – take a deep breath and don’t be afraid to ask for help – GSP, like many airports, has a customer service counter with friendly staff to help get you where you need to be.
In case you miss your flight, here are some steps you can take to help fix the situation:
1. Get to the airport as quickly as possible: Generally there are other flights to your destination later that day so get to the airport and go to the airline’s ticketing counter.
2. Ask about the “flat tire rule”: at the airline ticketing counter, ask about the “flat tire rule” or the “two hours rule.” Some airlines will help customers who miss their flight because of circumstances outside their control, but note that most low-cost carriers don’t offer this policy and you may have to pay a fee for missing your flight). It never hurts to ask nicely (note that this policy usually only applies to domestic flights – for international flights, you will generally end up paying same-day fare for the next flight out).
3. Plan on paying the change fee: Most airlines will let you change your flight for a “change fee” ($50-$200), so be sure to check in as soon as you get to the airport to get on the next available flight. It is rare that you are able to secure same-day, one-way fare on another airline for less than the change fee, plus you will lose the money you already spent on your existing reservation.
4. Document everything: Keep records of everything that happens at the ticket counter and the policy the ticket agent applies to your situation – if you want to file a travel complaint, the records will be very useful.
5. Stay calm and be polite: You might be stressed and flustered, but like most situations, you will catch more flies with honey! Ticket counter agents have an important job to do and seasoned passengers will tell you that polite and understanding is the way to go!
Read the full article here, and stay tuned for construction updates and Flyer Fact Fridays here on the WINGSPAN blog.
Did you know that 33% of the world’s airports are in the United States? As the aviation industry continues to evolve, airports need to evolve as well and will be spending an estimated $14.3 billion per year between now and 2017 to upgrade facilities. Skanska USA posted a great infographic on their blog that succinctly summarizes the three biggest trends in airport renovation:
1. Efficiency – Larger aircraft and more passengers mean an airport needs more terminal space, larger waiting areas, wider corridors, bigger tarmacs and more efficient processes and facilities to keep up with passenger demands!
This growing need is why one of the first projects completed under WINGSPAN was our one-stop Rental Car Customer Center.
2. Flexibility – Centralized security checkpoints allow for a flexible space that maximizes travel and checkpoint efficiency without compromising security. You will see these single point security checkpoints for all terminals more and more in renovated and newly constructed airports – they help passengers move through security more quickly and allow for cost savings for the TSA.
For anyone who has recently been to GSP, a centralized security checkpoint is exactly what crews are building behind the big temporary wall in the center of our terminal!
3. Customer Experience – Did you know that food and retail are the second-biggest source of revenue at large airports? Customers are also craving authentic local experiences and fare, so you may see fewer chains and more local restaurants in airports over the next few years.
Sound familiar? It should! Just this fall, GSP opened Thomas Creek Grill and RJ Rockers Flight Room with the help of two amazing local breweries. Once the centralized security checkpoint is completed and the core opens, passengers will be able to move between concourses and try brews and food from both restaurants!
Stay tuned for the latest in construction updates and Flyer Fact Fridays!
Pocket knives, brass knuckles, frying pans, blender blades, blasting caps, snow globes and bleach – all items that are confiscated every day in TSA security checkpoint lines in airports across the country. Did you ever wonder what happens to this stuff after you leave it in security?
First of all, the TSA doesn’t like to use the phrase “confiscated items,” but instead uses the term “surrendered items” because unless the article in question breaks the law, you have some options other than leaving it at security. If you drove to the airport, you can take the item back to your car, or place it in your checked baggage as long as it is permitted (see the full list of prohibited items here, broken down by carry-on and checked luggage). Many airports also have post offices onsite so you could mail the item to yourself or a friend.
If you surrender your item, then its journey begins. Innocuous liquids are thrown out, hazardous or flammable materials are stored onsite at the airport until a contractor destroys them, and weapons are turned over to local law enforcement. The remaining items are often kept in lost and found for a short time before being donated to the State Surplus Distribution Center. The state of South Carolina collects items from five airports in the state, as well as certain airports in North Carolina, Georgia and Florida. This vast warehouse is located in West Columbia, SC.
Follow the trails of some interesting surrendered items (like rum and sickles) and the agent who collects them in Andrea Sachs’s Washington Post article, or get a local look at the SC Warehouse in Kelly Yamanouchi’s AJC article.
Stay tuned to the WINGSPAN blog for the latest construction updates and more!
- The Terminal
The Greenville Spartanburg Airport District (“District”) is requesting ‘Expressions of Interest’ from professional artists who would like to compete for a commission of an art installation here at GSP. The inclusion of new artwork will be an important part of the renovated terminal – if you are interested you can read the full ‘GSP Art Program” report here.
This artwork will help create a meaningful and authentic connection to residents and visitors alike, so the following three potential themes have been identified:
Where we live – integration of water and landscape
The Greenville-Spartanburg region, and in particular the airport, has made a commitment to landscape and water that is unique and distinctive. It is appropriate that this commitment is celebrated in one of the key themes that we have selected for the GSP art program.
Where we’ve come from – textile capital of the world
Historically the region achieved global recognition and stature as a center of textile manufacture, and it is therefore appropriate that this history forms another one of the key themes for the GSP art program.
Where we’re going to – technology and mobility
This theme is about the future of the region, and its pre-eminence as a North American center of technological innovation with specific reference to the automobile industry. This future state forms our third key theme for the GSP art program.
There are a total of twelve potential sites where this artwork will be displayed. Read the full report here, and share with your favorite local artist.