What we’re reading: Unmanned control towers, Expedia rewards program, Embraer waits for Boeing

by Stephanus Surjaputra on March 29, 2011

Some Michigan airports leave towers unmanned overnight

While it is rare that major airports like Reagan National’s control tower is unmanned, there are smaller airports that have no controllers during certain hours.

Some Michigan airports that handle passenger flights close their control towers overnight, leaving pilots to land by announcing their location and looking out for other airplanes.

Flint, Grand Rapids and Traverse City, for instance, all have unstaffed towers during the midnight shifts. Flint sometimes has passenger service that lands after the control tower is normally unstaffed.

New Expedia rewards program lets travelers earn points toward free travel when booking on Expedia.com

Expedia.com announced a new Expedia Rewards program designed for loyal customers.

Expedia Rewards allows members to earn points on the hotels, flights, packages and activities they book on Expedia.com. The program provides Expedia customers a platform to earn one to four points per dollar spent, regardless of which airline or hotel they book on Expedia.com. Travelers can redeem those points for flights on more than 140 airlines, or on hotel coupons at more than 70,000 hotels, with the option of mixing and matching airlines and choosing between a wide range of national brand and independent hotels. All of this is possible with no blackout dates or restrictions.

Embraer waits for Boeing’s move before defining new aircraft strategy

Embraer is waiting for Boeing before it decides whether to start designing an aircraft for the 130-seat market.

Boeing’s ultimate decision will directly influence Embraer’s strategy in the 130-seat market, says [Embraer CEO Frederico] Curado. “We are waiting to understand where Boeing is going”, before taking a decision to engage in the development of a five-abreast aircraft, he explains.

(Photo: mrhayata/Flickr Creative Commons)

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  • Scott

    There are airports around the world with passeger service and no tower. Basically all planes fly visual flight rules — the best one I’ve hit is Ayers Rock airport (Australia). The schedule 737 flies by the field to make sure it’s clear, calls out its position on the assigned frequency, and lands. Just like thousands of little planes do every day at tiny general aviation fields.

    If the relatively unexperienced pilots of small planes can do it safely, I hope the pros can!

    Of course the down side is limits on landing in bad weather (it can somewhat be controlled from another place but I don’t know all the rules)

  • Matthew in NYC

    I hope Embraer doesn’t bring out a 5 abreast aircraft. That middle seat in coach is the pits.

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