What used to be Kai Tak International Airport in Hong Kong is now a state-of-the-art cruise terminal, but before the airport closed its runway for good in 1998, it was infamous for being one of the most difficult airports to fly into.
Sitting in the middle of Kowloon City with a runway sticking out into the sea, pilots of all experience levels cringed at the mere thought of trying to land at the airport. There’s also a prominent hill in Hong Kong called Lion Rock that prevents pilots from landing at a straight-on approach; therefore the pilots had to do a special turn over the city to land correctly.
Daryl Chapman, a British aviation photographer who has lived in Hong Kong since 1987, used to spend hours photographing planes as they descended into the city. Chapman specifically remembers when planes would land in challenging conditions. Some pilots would try to approach the runway and then power up and disappear back into the clouds.
As terrifying as landing in Kai Tak might have seemed, pilots still think fondly of the airport. Russell Davie, Cathay Pacific Airways’ general manager of operations and pilot, says he spent many hours walking around Kowloon City watching the airplanes fly low over the buildings.
Take a look at some of these crazy pictures of planes landing in Kai Tak by clicking on this link!
As we continue to improve GSP, we want our flyers to know that we are keeping long-term sustainability in mind. These little changes that are being made are environmentally friendly and cost-effective!
When construction is complete, GSP will have solar hot water. This means that instead of using a traditional water heater, the sun’s energy will be used to heat water for hand washing in restrooms and concessions. We will also start to collect rain water so we can become less reliant on the city water system. Harvesting rainwater is beneficial because it’s clean, it conserves water, and it is relatively inexpensive.
A day lighting system will be put in place by increasing the size and number of windows to allow more natural lighting. More natural light means less artificial light and a reduction in our energy usage. Another energy-efficient solution we are integrating is the use of an automation system for our lighting. Automatic lighting systems shut off if no movement is detected and, just like our large windows, will greatly cut back on the amount of energy that is used in our terminal.
Also, GSP is sourcing products and materials found in our region, and hiring local contractors as much as possible. This will help to support local businesses and cut back on shipping costs.
We are proud to say that GSP is thinking green and working towards a more environmentally-friendly airport!
- The Terminal
Grabbing a bite to eat at the airport can be hard when you have less-than-stellar options and a long layover. Moodie Report’s third annual Airport Food & Beverage Awards were announced and the winners sound tantalizing. There were more than 209 entries from all over the world with winners in 15 categories. Next time you book your flight from GSP, make sure to plan your trip accordingly so you can eat at one of these award-winning airport food stops.
Best airport coffee shop: Joe & The Juice, Copenhagen Airport
Best airport “food to go”: Napa Farms Market, San Francisco International Airport
Best airport food and beverage sense of place: Napa Farms Market, San Francisco International Airport
Best airport bar: The Red Lion, London Gatwick Airport North Terminal
Best airport wine bar: Cru Wine Bar, Denver International Airport
Best airport casual dining restaurant: Giraffe, London Heathrow Airport Terminal 5
Best airport chef-led dining: Le Sommelier Bar & Bistro (based on chef Francis Cardenau’s restaurant in downtown Copenhagen), Copenhagen Airport
Best airport food court: Concourse F food court, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport
To see the entire list of winners, visit http://www.moodiereport.com/document.php?c_id=6&doc_id=36854
A TSA Pre✓™ application center is now open in Greenville! TSA Pre✓™ is an expedited screening program that allows travelers to leave on their shoes, light outerwear and belt, keep their laptop in its case, and keep 3-1-1 compliant liquids/gels in a carry-on all while going through those pesky security lines. How does this work, you might ask?
If you are a U.S. citizen and lawful resident, you are able to go through a pre-enrollment process online at www.TSA.gov/tsa-precheck and visit GSP, or any application center, to provide biographic information, fingerprints, valid ID and citizenship/immigration documentation and an application fee of $85 for a five year membership. Once your application is approved, you will receive a Known Traveler Number (KTN) and will have the opportunity to utilize the Pre✓™ lanes at security checkpoints at over 115 participating airports on nine major U.S. airlines including: Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta, Hawaiian Airlines, JetBlue, Southwest, United, US Airways, and Virgin America.
According to our President & CEO Dave Edwards, “The opening of the local TSA Pre✓™ application center will further enhance the customer service experience at GSP International Airport. In addition to the convenience offered by this new program, passengers can look forward to the added convenience of a consolidated screening checkpoint made possible with the completion of WINGSPAN, the airport’s $115 million terminal renovation program now under way.”
Additional program information and how to enroll can be found http://www.tsa.gov/tsa-precheck, and applicants with questions can contact the Universal Enrollment Call Center at 1-855-347-8371 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m.-10 p.m. ET.
Here is the location of our local application center:
UES Enrollment Center
30 Orchard Park Drive, Ste. 21
Greenville, SC 29615-3500
Hours: Monday- Friday: 9 a.m.-noon and 1-5 p.m.
This is a really good deal for five years of less hassle in security lines!
It’s finally the weekend and you’re on a flight from GSP to Miami for some rest and relaxation. In your carry-on are all of your valuables: Nikon camera, iPod speakers, iPad/Tablet, etc. If it’s electronic or expensive, it’s there. You also assume that it will be safe in the overhead bin above your seat, but not so fast! According to CNN, evidence suggests your valuables might not be as safe as you originally thought.
According to Absolute Software, a company providing tracking and recovery solutions for electronics, 24% of travel related thefts reported last year took place mid-flight. But don’t fret! GSP is here to save the day and give you advice on how to keep your carry-on safe from mid-flight thieves.
First of all, buying a lock will not prevent a thief from stealing your bag, but it will prevent the thief from dipping—and so will simply zipping or buckling your bag. Thieves are all about convenience; if your bag is too complicated, the culprit will get frustrated and move on. Another piece of advice: we would suggest putting your carry-on under the seat in front of you. Stealing a bag from between a pair of legs and a seat is extremely difficult. Finally, be sure to label all of your belongings. If they somehow find their way back to the airport’s lost and found you will be grateful for those labels.
Experience Greer, a publication of the Greer Chamber of Commerce, recently published a great in-depth article on the WINGSPAN renovations. Did you know that GSP International Airport opened for service on October 15, 1962?
To learn about this and more fun facts about your hometown airport be sure to read the article today!
- The Terminal
In honor of Valentine’s Day, we thought it would be fun to celebrate by sharing one of the best proposal stories we’ve ever heard. When it comes time to pop the big question, many men use creative tactics to surprise their fiancé. However, the story below might be one of the craziest and most creative proposals yet!
Pilot Ryan Thompson had the brilliant idea of pranking his girlfriend, Carlie, into thinking that their romantic Valentine’s Day flight was taking a turn for the worse. During a sightseeing flight over the city of Chicago in a small plane, Ryan told Carlie that the aircraft controls were not responding. He asked her to remain calm and to help him by reading the emergency checklist card. But the checklist was part of something Ryan had been planning for months.
Included in the instructions were: “Pilot in command. Determine if he is a good mate. Note: he will always love and honor you.” Meanwhile, Ryan reached for a ring in his pocket. The last command on the checklist card reads, “Will you marry me?”
Carlie’s look of horror was soon replaced with a big smile as she says yes, they kissed and then landed safely.
See a video of the proposal HERE.
- The Terminal
If you ever find yourself in the French city of Toulouse, you might have the chance to see one of the strangest-looking aircrafts in the world.
Popularly known as the “Beluga,” because of its strong resemblance to the white Arctic whale, the Airbus A300-600ST (ST stands for Super Transporter) is unique not only in appearance, but also for the important role it performs in European aviation.
Currently, there are five Belugas, all operated by Airbus. Each of these are Airbus A300-600 jets at their core, which have been modified to carry large cargo. The top section of the aircraft was cut to add on a wider section, giving it the characteristic hump. The cockpit was lowered, making it possible for the cargo to be loaded and unloaded through the front of the aircraft, rather than the back. The result of this design creates an incredibly spacious cargo hold.
The Beluga’s maximum payload is 47 tons, which is surprisingly small when compared to many other cargo aircrafts. However, its large cargo space in volume makes it suitable for transporting oversized, but not particularly heavy cargo.
Airbus is looking at possible solutions that would allow the Beluga to accommodate heavier cargo. Tentatively called Beluga XL, this new aircraft would be based on the A330 airframe. It’s expected to have the ability to carry a heavier load, while still being able to land at airports with relatively short runways
- The Terminal
Airport Business Magazine recently published a great spread featuring WINGSPAN. One thing you may not know about WINGSPAN is that we held community focus groups before construction ever began to be sure we knew what was most important to you, our passengers.
Click here to read the article, so you can learn even more about this $115 million terminal expansion and improvement program!
- The Terminal
Dogs play an important role in the lives of their owners. From family pets to ranch hands and everything in-between, man’s best friend come to the aid of their handlers on a daily basis.
For many police officers and armed forces, dogs are more than just a loyal pet. They become a part of their unit and serve in a way that humans can’t. Their role has been especially prominent in protecting airports across the world by serving as an additional security measure for travelers.
Dogs in airport security K-9 units are typically trained German Shepherds, Labrador Retrievers, Hungarian Vizslas, or Belgian Malanois because of their keen noses and affinity for this type of work. These dogs are unique in that they are trained for detecing only explosives. Because of the dangerous nature of explosives, the handlers must immediately know what the dog has found so the proper course of action can be taken. K-9 teams assigned to the Explosive Detection Canine Unit attend the TSA National Explosive Detection Canine Handler Course located at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio,Texas.
Once certified, these dogs work around 27 hours per week, acting as a partner to their handling officer. When the dogs aren’t on patrol, they live with their handler. Because these are working animals with a very important job, their life isn’t like a typical family pet. The handler’s home is just a place for the dog to eat and sleep when not at work. It’s important that these dogs view work as the most exciting part of their day, so they are eager to leave home to do their job.
When it’s time for them to retire, the dogs live with their handler as a pet. This can be hard on a retired dog since they want to work, so many units will work to find small jobs to keep them happy and entertained.
Click HERE to meet GSP’s very own security dog.
- The Terminal