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Unvaccinated Americans abroad will need a COVID-19 test within 24 hours of flying home from November, rather than the current 3 days, the White House said

Unvaccinated Americans abroad will need to prove they've bought a "viral test" for when they land in the US from November, the White House said. A health care worker tests a traveller at a COVID-19 testing station at LAX airport. Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images Unvaccinated Americans abroad will need a negative COVID-19 test within a day of their return flight from November. They will also need to buy a "viral test" to take when back in the US, the White House said. Currently, returning Americans need a test within 72 hours of flying, regardless of vaccination status. See more stories on Insider's business page. Unvaccinated Americans abroad will have to test negative for COVID-19 within a day of their return flight to the US, rather than within three days, under new rules coming in November, the White House press secretary said Monday.Jen Psaki said in a briefing that unvaccinated Americans flying home would need "proof of a negative test result taken within one day of their departure," as well as proof they have bought a "viral test" to take when they get to the US.The rules would "obviously apply to children as well," she said.Current Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) rules state that all air passengers coming to the United States, including US citizens and vaccinated people, must have a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of their flight, or proof that they've recovered from COVID-19 in the past three months.Everyone must be tested three to five days after their return flight, too. Unvaccinated people must also self-quarantine for seven full days even if they test negative - if they don't get tested, they must self-isolate for 10 days. Vaccinated people don't have to self-quarantine if they test negative.Some of the details of the upcoming November rules remain unclear, such as what kind of tests passengers would need to prove they have bought, and whether the new rules apply to partially vaccinated people. Psaki said there were ongoing "discussions" about how the new process would work.About 37% of the US population are unvaccinated, according to Our World in Data. A further 9% are partially vaccinated, according to the data.The CDC has advised against international travel for unvaccinated Americans since January.The announcement came as the White House said it expected to ease the travel ban for vaccinated travelers from Europe and the UK. The ban has been in place since March 14, 2020.Some airlines worldwide have already mandated vaccines for flyers. Alan Joyce, chief executive officer at Qantas, said on September 9 that the airline would only allow vaccinated people to board its flights.It's not yet clear whether the White House will introduce vaccine mandates for domestic flights.Dr. Anthony Fauci, President Biden's chief medical adviser, said Sunday that the Biden administration had "not yet gotten to the point of requiring vaccinations on domestic flights, but everything is on the table.""I would support that if you want to get on a plane and travel with other people then you should be vaccinated," he said. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderSep 24th, 2021Related News

State seeks 100 more airport screeners

The state is looking to hire 100 screeners at airports across Hawaii, officials said Thursday. The screeners will be responsible for verifying traveler documents as part of the state’s Safe Travels program, which requires passengers arriving in Hawaii to show proof of vaccination against Covid-19, or a negative Covid test taken within 72 hours prior to travel, in order to bypass quarantine. Officials said screeners are needed at Honolulu’s Daniel K. Inouye International Airport, the Hilo and….....»»

Category: topSource: bizjournalsSep 23rd, 2021Related News

10 hotels in South Florida with gorgeous rooftop pools and lively bars

These are the best hotels with rooftop pools and restaurants in South Florida, including Miami, Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale, and more. When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more. Tripadvisor South Florida's warm, tropical climate makes it a top vacation destination. From West Palm Beach to Miami, South Florida hotels have incredible rooftops to soak up the sun. Some hotel rooftop bars, restaurants, and pools are open to the public in addition to guests. Table of Contents: Masthead StickySouth Florida is known for its dazzling beaches but also its lively nightlife. And because the region stays warm when the sun goes down, many hotels have in-demand rooftops with outdoor restaurants, bars, and pools that draw visitors day and night.Few things top an afternoon laying out by a pool perched in the sky, enjoying happy hour with views of the Atlantic Ocean in the background, or watching a sunset while savoring a delicious meal. Living in South Florida has given me the opportunity to frequent some of the best hotels, and the following list of hotels all have incredible rooftops that make it easy to savor all the best parts of visiting the Sunshine State.Browse all the best hotels with rooftop pools and restaurants below, or jump directly to a specific area here:The best hotel rooftops in South FloridaFAQ: South Florida hotelsHow we selected the best South Florida hotels with rooftopsMore of the best hotels in FloridaThese are the best hotel rooftops with pools and restaurants in South Florida, sorted by price from low to high. Courtyard Fort Lauderdale Downtown The Easton rooftop combines a pool, restaurant, bar, and nightclub. Marriott Book Courtyard Fort Lauderdale DowntownCategory: Budget Town: Fort Lauderdale Typical starting/peak prices: $152/$365Best for: Friends, solo travelers, Marriott loyalists On-site amenities: 24-hour fitness center, library, business center, pet-friendly rooms, pool, restaurant, barPros: The rooms are well priced, and the rooftop bar is a hot nightlife destination with a DJ and bottle service on the weekends. Cons: On the flip side, the rooftop bar can get crowded, and noise can carry into the guest rooms late into the night.The Courtyard Fort Lauderdale Downtown recently opened in March 2021, nestled in the hip Fort Lauderdale Arts District, just a few miles from Fort Lauderdale Beach and Las Olas Boulevard, the main dining and entertainment strip. Rooms start under $200, which is well priced for a new hotel in such a great location. Most of the 137 guest rooms and suites have views of the Fort Lauderdale city skyline and are outfitted with modern wallpaper, soft carpeting, orange leather armchairs, and sofa beds in some rooms. The hotel is also home to The Easton, a ninth-story rooftop with a restaurant, bar, pool, and plush outdoor seating.  The Easton fills up quickly, especially during weekday Golden Happy Hour, and on the weekends, the rooftop transforms into a nightclub from 10 p.m. to 3 a.m. with visitors lining up for live music and bottle service. COVID-19 procedures are available here. Canopy by Hilton West Palm Beach Downtown Ban.ter Treehouse, the 13th-floor rooftop bar and restaurant has seating spread around a sparkling infinity pool. Tripadvisor Book Canopy by Hilton West Palm Beach DowntownCategory: Mid-rangeTown: West Palm Beach Typical starting/peak prices: $174/$423 Best for: Friends, Hilton loyalists, travelers with pets  On-site amenities: Pet-friendly rooms, complimentary evening wine and beer tastings, complimentary bicycle rentals, restaurant, bar, poolPros: The hotel is close to the airport in a great central location for exploring trendy downtown West Palm Beach. Cons: While the views on the rooftop are great, the seating is limited.Canopy by Hilton West Palm Beach opened in 2020 and is the only Hilton Canopy in Florida, a new boutique lifestyle concept from the brand. Canopy hotels pride themselves on creating a locally-driven by connecting guests to events, music, and restaurants in the surrounding area. The 150 room hotel is less than three miles from Palm Beach International Airport and about a mile from the beach. Rooms are brand new and have been outfitted with gray bedding, oversized artwork, and a dedicated workspace. Standard rooms are spacious at almost 400 square feet, and Deluxe Rooms have city and ocean views. Ban.ter, the lobby restaurant, serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and Ban.ter Treehouse, the 13th-floor rooftop bar and restaurant serves small plates and cocktails. The indoor/outdoor flow of the latter rooftop restaurant is lush with lots of plants and palm trees and seating is a mix of bartop and four-person tables spread around a sparkling infinity pool. On weekends, a poolside DJ plays high-energy music. COVID-19 procedures are available here. Kimpton Angler's South Beach The hotel is just two blocks from the beach. Tripadvisor Book Kimpton Angler's South BeachCategory: Boutique Town: South Beach, Miami Typical starting/peak prices: $228/$483Best for: Couples, families, IHG Kimpton reward members, travelers with pets   On-site amenities: Evening wine hours, complimentary morning coffee, Orange Theory fitness classes, in-room spa treatments, pool, restaurant, bar, beach accessPros: The Kimpton Angler is just two blocks from the beach and accommodations are large, with options for two and three-story lofts and bungalows.Cons: There's no fitness center, but the hotel has a partnership with OrangeTheory fitness, and classes are included in your stay. Also, there's a charge for Wi-Fi if you're not an IHG Kimpton rewards member.Kimpton hotels are known for their well-designed boutique properties, the Kimpton Angler's South Beach is no exception. Located on the south end of Miami Beach, it's also minutes from the nightlife on Ocean DriveThere's a cohesive nautical theme carried throughout, with sand-colored loveseats, wicker lamps, and navy patterned lounge chairs and curtains in the 132 guest rooms and suites. Standard rooms are 400 square feet with King or Queen sized beds, ample closet space, and oversized walk-in showers with separate tubs. Most rooms also have balconies that overlook either Washington Ave or the hotel's courtyard Mermaid Pool. The sixth-floor rooftop pool and sun deck is a standout feature, with chic black and white lounge chairs framed by panoramic views of the Miami skyline. Large potted plants add privacy to lounge areas, and the pool deck is quiet enough for those who want to catch up on reading. After a dip, order drinks like the photogenic watermelon margarita from the Minnow Bar. COVID-19 procedures are available here. Conrad Miami The sleek pool terrace is one of multiple rooftop lounge areas at the Conrad Miami. Tripadvisor Book Conrad MiamiCategory: LuxuryTown: Brickell, MiamiTypical starting/peak prices: $275/$574Best for: Couples, Hilton loyalists   On-site amenities: Spa, hot tub, rooftop tennis courts, restaurant, pool, barPros: In addition to the great views, the hotel is in a walkable neighborhood and the customer service is top-notch. Cons: Part of the hotel is commercial real estate, and floors 4-15 are business offices, which may take away from the luxury hotel feel. Also, the lobby is located on the 25th floor, which can be confusing.Conrad Miami is in the heart of Brickell, Miami's business district near upscale, art, and dining. This hotel has multiple great outdoor spaces, but chief among them is Nativo Kitchen and Bar on the 25th floor with views of Virginia Key Beach, Key Biscayne, and Biscayne Bay.There is also the 13th-floor rooftop pool with sleek cabanas and the adjacent Sky Pool Bar, serving a casual menu of burgers and chicken wings, local and imported beers, and frozen cocktails.  When not sunning yourself on one of these terraces, retreat to guest rooms with a clean, minimalist style and light wood furniture, gold fixtures, and baby blue accent chairs. Standard rooms have a separate bathtub and shower, complimentary bathrobes, and 50-inch televisions, and all rooms come with wide windows that offer city or ocean views.COVID-19 procedures are available here. The Dalmar, Tribute Portfolio A saltwater pool is flanked by a sleek bar. Tripadvisor Book The Dalmar, Tribute PortfolioCategory: Luxury Town: Fort Lauderdale Typical starting/peak prices: $284/$455 Best for: FriendsOn-site amenities: Yoga classes, restaurants, pool, bar, coffee shopPros: The rooftop restaurant, Sparrow, is great for adults-only celebrations and has exceptional views of Fort Lauderdale. Cons: Past guests have noted that food and drink prices are steep. The Dalmar is located in downtown Fort Lauderdale, only two miles from Fort Lauderdale beach. From framed art by the Lobby Bar restaurant to the living plant wall adorning Rose's Coffee shop near the hotel's entrance, fun design features prominently.There are two great rooftop venues on the 6th floor of the hotel. Sparrow is an indoor/outdoor restaurant and bar, and after 9 p.m., the venue turns into a 21+ lounge. There's a strict dress code (no athletic gear or beachwear) and a DJ that spins late into the night.The other rooftop venue is the saltwater pool reserved for hotel guests, but the poolside bar and grill, Sip and Dip, is open to everyone from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.Inside, guest rooms have midcentury flair with pastel furniture, pleated curtains, and brass lamps. The rooms also have premium Sferra sheets, spacious bathrooms with rainfall showers, and tablets for ordering in-room services. Most rooms have floor-to-ceiling views of either Fort Lauderdale or the Intracoastal and select rooms have balconies. COVID-19 procedures are available here. The Ben, Autograph Collection Spruzzo serves coastal Italian cuisine on the rooftop. Tripadvisor Book The Ben, Autograph CollectionCategory: Luxury Town: West Palm Beach Typical starting/peak prices: $286/$483Best for: Couples, Marriott loyalists, travelers with pets  On-site amenities: Rooftop fire pit, hotel library, in-room dining, pet-friendly rooms, restaurant, poolPros: In addition to the great downtown location and views of the waterfront, Spruzzo, the hotel's Italian rooftop restaurant, has a delicious menu and extensive imported wines. Cons: Spruzzo doesn't take reservations, but instead operates on a first-come, first-served policy. One of the newest additions to downtown West Palm Beach is the waterfront hotel, The Ben. The Marriott-owned luxury boutique hotel commands a great location within walking distance of Clematis Street, West Palm Beach's lively district filled with restaurants and bars, and Rosemary Square, an upscale shopping and dining destination. Guest rooms are polished, with sleek wood floors, leather pleated headboards, and luxe Turkish linens. A standard Interior Double Queen is a comfortable 343 square feet, and many guest rooms have views of Palm Harbor Marina or Palm Beach Island. The hotel's 7th-floor rooftop restaurant and bar, Spruzzo, is quite popular, especially on weekends, serving coastal Italian cuisine. It's quickly become a local hangout for young professionals. During the day, hotel guests may reserve one of the cabanas next to the heated saltwater pool, and at night, enjoy watching the sunset over the Palm Beach Intracoastal from the fire pit with a cocktail in hand. COVID-19 procedures are available here. Moxy Miami South Beach There are six different hotel restaurants including a swanky rooftop lounge. Marriott Book Moxy Miami South BeachCategory: BoutiqueTown: South Beach, MiamiTypical starting/peak prices: $289/$489Best for: Friends, Marriott loyalists Onsite amenities: 6 dining and drinking venues, pet-friendly rooms, complimentary beach chairs, complimentary rooftop fitness classes, complimentary morning coffee, poolPros: The Upside rooftop level has incredible views of the South Beach oceanfront along with plenty of seating. Each guestroom also have two beach chairs on South Beach included. Cons: Although there's plenty of places to sunbathe, The Upside rooftop only has a shallow wading pool.Newly opened Moxy Miami South Beach is the first resort-style property for the Moxy brand.Only two blocks from the bustling nightlife of South Beach, the hotel gets lively, especially on the weekends and caters to a young crowd. The purposeful design features lots of Instagrammable details like neon wall signs and fun pool floats.Standard guestrooms are a cozy 224 square feet but maximize the space with retro details like rotary phones and custom artwork by local Miami artists. Walk-in rain showers and Egyptian cotton linens add a sumptuous touch.There are six different hotel restaurants including a lobby bar, Bar Moxy, and Serena, an elevated Mexican restaurant in a lush garden setting adjacent to the hotel's main 72-foot pool. The hotel's 8th story rooftop, The Upside is reserved for hotel guests and has a shallow pool, lounge chairs, and plenty of daybeds. The Upside has great views of South Beach, and a DJ spins house and hip-hop tunes throughout the afternoon and evening. The hotel also offers complimentary bikes (helmets included) to explore the neighborhood. COVID-19 procedures are available here. The Betsy South Beach The oceanfront deck offers a front-row view of the Atlantic Ocean. Tripadvisor Book The Betsy South BeachCategory: BoutiqueTown: South Beach, MiamiTypical starting/peak prices: $289/$609Best for: Couples, travelers with pets On-site amenities: Spa, library, fitness center, restaurants, bars, arts and cultural programming, beach access, poolPros: With only 130 rooms, the hotel offers a peaceful, intimate South Beach stay and all the arts programming is a boon for culture enthusiasts. Cons: Restaurant menu items are expensive and come with an automatic 20% gratuity fee, but that's on par with most hotels on Ocean Drive.The Betsy Hotel is a landmark hotel on South Beach located on Miami's main strip, Ocean Drive, but is tucked away from the noise of the nightclubs and late-night revelry. Arts programming features heavily here, drawing a sophisticated crowd of well-heeled creative types who book posh, albeit sometimes small, rooms with walnut floors, velvet armchairs, and cream-colored curtains that frame floor-to-ceiling windows. The 250-square-foot standard Classic King is cozy but comes with a marble bathroom, a large walk-in shower, luxe Sferra linens, and is pet-friendly, welcoming dogs under 40 pounds. There are two pools: a courtyard pool and a fourth-floor rooftop infinity pool with chaise lounges and 360-degree views of Miami. The bar serves poolside drinks, and food may be brought up from the hotel's restaurant, LT Steak & Seafood. After a swim, catch a sunset from the rooftop's Skyline Deck, a patio overlooking the ocean with unobstructed water views.COVID-19 procedures are available here. East Miami An expansive rooftop pool deck has stellar views over the city and multiple areas to swim. Tripadvisor Book East MiamiCategory: Luxury Town: Brickell, MiamiTypical starting/peak prices: $305/$529Best for: Couples, business travelersOn-site amenities: 24-hour fitness center with classes, complimentary bicycles, restaurants, 4 pools, barsPros: Sugar, the bar on the 40th floor, has one of the best views of downtown Miami and some of the best cocktails I've had in Miami. Cons: The food and cocktails at Sugar are great, but even with a reservation, the wait is long and service can be slow. East Miami is centrally located in downtown Brickell and Sugar, the hotel's rooftop restaurant and bar on the 40th floor has arguably the best view of the entire Miami skyline.The restaurant is 21+ after 6 p.m. and there's a strict dress code (nightlife attire is enforced after sunset). Equally impressive are the four pools (a lap pool, spa pool, plunge pool, and hot tub) on the hotel's fifth-floor deck. So many offerings mean you won't have to worry about waiting for a sun lounger.Standard guest rooms start at 300 square feet, though there are also has large one, two, and three-bedroom residences. All 352 rooms come with a private balcony, floor-to-ceiling windows, and contemporary decor that includes cream-colored furniture, teal wallpaper, and orange throw pillows. COVID-19 procedures are available here. 1 Hotel South Beach Four distinct pool decks offer incredible views. 1 Hotel South Beach/TripAdvisor Book 1 Hotel South BeachCategory: Luxury Town: South Beach, MiamiTypical starting/peak prices: $425/$899Best for: Couples, friends, familiesOn-site amenities: Spa, fitness classes, salon, pet-friendly rooms, coffee and juice bar, beach club, restaurants, bars, multiple poolsPros: There are four different dazzling pool areas, one of which has stunning views from the hotel's 18th-story rooftop. Food, rooms, and customer service are all outstanding at this hotel. Cons: Prices can more than double during the winter high season, and the hotel's 18 story rooftop pool is restricted to adults 21+.Considered one of the best hotels on South Beach, 1 Hotel South Beach takes up an entire block and sits on 600 feet of Miami's prime beachfront. The hotel is pricey but worth the splurge for its sophisticated boho beach vibes, impeccable service, outstanding food, and airy rooms.The lobby makes a remarkable first impression with soaring ceilings and crisp seating around glass-topped wooden coffee tables, but it's the multiple pool decks that really dazzle.There are four different pools: the beachfront South pool, the third floor Cabana Pool, the enormous 30,000 square foot Center Pool, and the gorgeous 18th-story rooftop pool, Watr at the 1 Hotel Rooftop, which is Miami's largest rooftop pool and lounge. Inside, the 426 guest rooms are a celebration of nature and sustainability, sourcing most items from reclaimed materials. A coastal-inspired color palette and large windows make them feel airy and light alongside beachy accents featuring driftwood, tree stumps, and custom wood plank headboards. COVID-19 procedures are available here. FAQ: South Florida hotels When is the best time to visit South Florida?While South Florida experiences nearly year-round sunshine, the best time to visit is from February to May. During those months, temperatures are cooler, and crowds tend to taper off, although there is a spike of visitors during spring break.During the summer months, the temperature and humidity soar, and daily afternoon thunderstorms are common. Florida's hurricane season starts June 1 and lasts until the end of November with August and September being the most active hurricane months.Weather-wise, November through January is also a good time to visit. The temperatures hover around 75 degrees, although it's not uncommon to experience a few sub 50 degree days when a cold front comes through. But keep in mind that hotel prices tend to peak during the November to January holiday months. Do I have to book a room to visit a hotel rooftop?Many of the hotels included in this list have rooftop bars and restaurants open to the public that do not require an overnight hotel reservation, but most of the rooftop pools are reserved for hotel guests. Some hotels offer daytime cabana rentals or a day pass through Resort Pass that includes access to the hotel's pool, spa, or other amenities. Availability changes often, so always call ahead and ask. How do I get around South Florida?South Florida is a large area that encompasses three counties: Broward, Miami-Dade, and Monroe, though most locals consider southern cities in Palm Beach County like West Palm Beach as part of South Florida.Touring South Florida requires a car and some planning as traffic can get congested, especially during morning and evening rush hours. While the public transportation system is mostly reliable in downtown areas, renting a car is the best way to explore all of South Florida. If you're flying into Miami, Fort Lauderdale, or West Palm Beach and staying close to your hotel, you can use taxis or rideshare apps to get around. How do I find a hotel with a rooftop?Most hotels with a rooftop will list it on their hotel website, and third-party booking sites like Booking.com and Hotels.com will usually include a  rooftop in the hotel description or on the list of hotel amenities. Also, the third-party booking site Kayak has a search filter to only pull up properties with rooftops. Do hotel guests receive priority on rooftops?It depends on the property. Most of the hotels restrict the pool areas to hotel guests or guests with day passes. Rooftops with a combined pool and restaurant area do take outside reservations, so it's advised to make restaurant reservations when checking in. How we selected the best South Florida hotels with rooftops I'm a South Florida-based travel writer and have personally visited almost every hotel on this list. All of the hotel rooftops have an excellent bar or restaurant, a picturesque pool, and sensational city or ocean views.Every hotel is located in a popular neighborhood in West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale, or Miami. Some of the hotels have downtown locations close to shopping, museums, and restaurants. Others are beachfront or within walking distance to the beach.Besides the great rooftops, many of the properties include perks like a nightly hosted wine hour, complimentary bicycles, and pet-friendly guest rooms.All of the properties have excellent recent reviews on third-party travel sites like Tripadvisor or Booking.com.Because of the location and amenities of the properties, most of the hotels are in the luxury category, but booking during low season can lock in reasonable rates.We've indicated which hotels are ideal for couples, friends, families, or solo travelers, and have included a mix of all kinds of properties.Each hotel promotes COVID safe practices and has updated its COVID practices to include enhanced cleaning procedures. More of the best hotels in Florida Trip Advisor The best hotels in FloridaThe best beach hotels in FloridaThe best hotels in South BeachThe best hotels in MiamiThe best hotels in Key WestThe best hotels in Fort LauderdaleThe best hotels in Orlando and KissimmeeThe best hotels in Walt Disney WorldThe best hotels in Destin Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderSep 23rd, 2021Related News

NATO is still living with the consequences of a historic decision it made hours after 9/11

After 20 years of fighting in Afghanistan, NATO members face hard questions about their commitment to the alliance. NATO Secretary General Lord George Robertson speaks to reporters after a meeting of NATO's Permanent Council, in Brussels, October 8, 2001. OLIVIER HOSLET/BELGA/AFP via Getty Images NATO's collective-defense provision, Article 5, is the alliance's backbone. Article 5 has only been invoked once, after the September 11 attacks, which led the alliance into Afghanistan. After 20 years of fighting there, NATO members face hard questions about their commitment to the alliance. See more stories on Insider's business page. A few weeks after the September 11 attacks, NATO made a decision that would shape its future for the next two decades when it invoked its most important weapon: Article 5.Article 5, NATO's collective-defense provision, is the alliance's backbone. According to it, an attack against one NATO member is an attack against all.The article was included in the Washington Treaty, NATO's founding document, to deter the Soviet Union amid the emerging Cold War. The idea was, essentially, that if the Soviet Union attacked a European NATO member the US would intervene on its behalf.However, the US was wary of an automatic military commitment. So, despite pressure from European allies, the article did not specify the type of assistance the members would offer to the attacked party. This would play out in unforeseen ways in the future. President George W. Bush and Robertson at the White House, October 10, 2001. TIM SLOAN/AFP via Getty Images The article was never invoked during the Cold War. The first and so far only time it was invoked was not to defend a small NATO member from Soviet encroachment but the muscle of the alliance, the US itself, from Middle Eastern terrorists.The day after the September 11 attacks, most NATO countries called for the invocation of Article 5. This did not immediately happen since the origin of the attacks had yet to be determined to the satisfaction of some members.It took until October 2, 2001 - when then-NATO Secretary General Lord George Robertson announced that the attacks had indeed been directed from abroad - for Article 5 to be invoked.This was a watershed moment for the alliance. Failure to invoke Article 5 would have rendered NATO obsolete. Instead, the alliance, which had struggled to find its raison d'être following the collapse of the Soviet Union, was propelled into Afghanistan and the fight against terrorism.NATO's most important mission Members of France's 13th Paratrooper Dragoon Regiment during training at a military airport in eastern France, October 9, 2001. DAMIEN MEYER/AFP via Getty Images A number of NATO allies were involved in the war from the very beginning.The UK participated in the first airstrikes against Taliban and Al Qaeda targets. German and British special-operations units took part in the Battle of Tora Bora. A number of NATO countries contributed personnel, aircraft, and logistical support during 2002's Operation Anaconda, the successful mission to rout out Al Qaeda from Afghanistan's Shahi Kot valley.After dismantling the Taliban and Al Qaeda networks in Afghanistan, NATO's role there only grew.In 2003, at the request of the UN and the Afghan government, NATO took charge of the International Security Assistance Force. This was a landmark moment for the alliance.ISAF would be NATO's first deployment outside of Europe and North America. All NATO members would contribute personnel to ISAF - some contributed more per capita than the US.Eventually, the ISAF mandate would expand from securing Kabul to the whole country. This nominally transferred control of the war to NATO.The war exposes NATO's weaknesses A man with a sign reading "War is Murder-War is Terror" outside the German parliament as it debates sending troops to Afghanistan, November 16, 2001. Sean Gallup/Getty Images Assuming control of such a high-stakes mission provided significant operational and organizational experience to NATO. However, as the war's toll increased, weaknesses within the alliance were exposed.Participation in the war in Afghanistan had been a contentious issue in many European countries from the beginning.In some, like Spain, parliamentary approval had not been obtained to dispatch troops to Afghanistan. In others, like Germany and Italy, the deployed troops were limited by legal constraints, which in some cases prevented them from actually fighting the Taliban.Most NATO members had not fought a war in decades, so even limited combat casualties caused significant backlash at home. The 2004 Madrid train bombings and the 2005 London bombings - which brought Islamist terror to Europe in two of the continent's worst attacks in decades - further increased the war's unpopularity.As a result, many NATO members only contributed a few support troops and tried to sidle away from combat operations and troubled areas. France even withdrew its combat forces in 2012. The lack of specificity in Article 5 meant members could abide by their NATO commitment without totally participating in the war effort.In 2015, ISAF became the Resolute Support Mission. A non-combat mission, RSM significantly scaled down the number of NATO troops in Afghanistan as it focused on supporting and advising Afghan security forces.At its peak in 2019, the RSM fielded 17,000 troops, half of whom came from America's allies. Nevertheless, many countries' troop contributions were in the double or even single digits, highlighting NATO's participation problems.The few thousand non-US NATO troops still involved in Afghanistan in 2021 followed the US out of the country, evacuating Kabul in late August.A warning sign American bombs are dropped on an Al Qaeda position in Tora Bora, Afghanistan, December 15, 2001. Robert Nickelsberg/Getty Images The alliance emerges from Afghanistan with a mixed record.On the one hand, it undertook its largest mission ever and the first outside its normal area of operations, learning valuable lessons about organization and interoperability that will be useful for future deployments.On the other hand, the intractable problem at the alliance's core was exposed: the near-impossibility of getting all 30 members to agree on and commit to military and political priorities.To apply those lessons and stay relevant, the alliance will need to ensure that alignment.As NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg wrote on the 20th anniversary of the September 11 attacks, "Afghanistan will not be the last crisis for which North America and Europe need to act together through NATO."Constantine Atlamazoglou works on transatlantic and European security. He holds a Master's degree on security studies and European affairs from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderSep 23rd, 2021Related News

South African Airways is flying again after its government cut funding last year. Here"s a look at the collapse and revival of the 87-year-old national airline.

The airline has served South Africa since before the country became truly independent from the UK and has a history largely molded by its country's laws. SAA relaunches flights after a year of inactivity Reuters South African Airways relaunched operations with a flight from Johannesburg to Cape Town after a year of inactivity. Though not involved in the relaunch, the airline has likely secured a new investor, Takatso Consortium. SAA said it's optimistic about its revival, but it's not without its skeptics. See more stories on Insider's business page. South African Airways was on the brink of disappearance after years of financial struggles, but it may have received a lifeline.On Thursday, the carrier relaunched operations on a flight from Johannesburg to Cape Town using money it received from the South African government. After getting in millions from the state, the long-suffering carrier was denied further funding last year, and, as FlightGlobal reported, business rescuers entrusted with the difficult task of rescuing the 87-year-old airline had given it two options: liquidation or a wind-down and sale process.However, SAA has likely secured a private investor, Takatso Consortium, in June 2021, which agreed to funnel up to $243 million into the crippled airline over the next three years. Takatso Consortium CEO Gidon Novick said the relaunch is independent of the negotiations between the consortium and the carrier.Take a look at South African Airways' collapse and rebirth. The airline itself dates back to 1934 when South Africa's Union Airways was nationalized to form the new South African Airways. The state-owned airline would become the flag carrier of South Africa, which was still part of the British Empire at the time. A South African Airways Junkers aircraft. The Print Collector/Print Collector/Getty Source: South African Airways Initial operations for South African included regional flights within Africa. Intra-African and domestic flights were operated by aircraft including the Junkers Ju 52, Douglas DC-3, and Junkers Ju 86. A Douglas DC-3 painted in South African Airways former colors. Simon_g / Shutterstock.com Source: South African Airways Once World War II ended, South African expanded beyond the shores of its home continent with a multi-stop flight to the heart of the British Empire. The route was known as the "Springbok" service, after the national animal of South Africa. An Avro York aircraft similar to the one used by South African Airways. The Montifraulo Collection/Getty Source: South African Airways The 34-hour, three-day service initially flown by an Avro York aircraft, stopped in Nairobi, Kenya; Khartoum, Sudan; Cairo, Egypt; and Castel Benito, Libya, before arriving in Bournemouth, England. An Avro York aircraft similar to the one used by South African Airways. The Montifraulo Collection/Getty Source: South African Airways Springbok would also become the radio callsign for South African Airways flights. A Douglas DC-3 painted in South African Airways former colors. Simon_g / Shutterstock.com More modern aircraft from Western manufacturers including the Lockheed Constellation L-749 and Douglas DC-4 were later added, helping fuel international expansion. A Douglas DC-4 painted in South African Airways former colors. Simon_g / Shutterstock.com Source: South African Airways The airline added flight attendants on its services in 1946 and later added in-flight movies to some of its flights in the same decade. A Douglas DC-3 painted in South African Airways former colors. Simon_g / Shutterstock.com Source: South African Airways South Africa entered the jet age in 1953 with a British Overseas Airways Corporation de Havilland Comet operated by South African Airways that flew from Johannesburg to London. A BOAC de Havilland Comet aircraft. PA Images/Getty Source: South African Airways Intercontinental expansion continued with South African Airways later growing its route network to Australia in 1957 with "Wallaby" service. A Douglas DC-4 painted in South African Airways former colors. Simon_g / Shutterstock.com Source: South African Airways The 1960s then saw further expansion to South America, with flights to Rio de Janeiro, and then North America, with flights to New York, using the Boeing 707. A South African Airways Boeing 707 aircraft. Antony Matheus Linsen/Fairfax Media/Getty Source: South African Airways South African hit a milestone in the 1970s with its first Boeing 747 aircraft, an aircraft that had begun flying passengers only at the beginning of the decade. The quad engine aircraft quickly became a status symbol for the world's airlines. A South African Airways Boeing 747 aircraft. Rolls Press/Popperfoto/Getty Source: South African Airways Other new arrivals included the Boeing 737… A South African Airways Boeing 737-800 aircraft. JOKER/Hady Khandani/ullstein bild/Getty Source: South African Airways And Airbus A300. A South African Airways Airbus A300 aircraft. STR New/Reuters Source: South African Airways South African was also one of the first commercial operators of a unique Boeing product, the 747SP. A South African Airways Boeing 747SP aircraft. EQRoy / Shutterstock.com Source: South African Airways A shortened version of the popular Jumbo Jet but with the same four engines, the 747SP offering extended ranges unmatched by most aircraft of the time. The range of the 747SP was so great that South African flew it from Seattle to Cape Town nonstop, a distance of over 8,800 nautical miles, on its delivery flight. A South African Airways Boeing 747SP aircraft. EQRoy / Shutterstock.com Source: South African Airways While airlines liked the 747SP for its performance capabilities, South African had a different reason involving the country's apartheid policy. A Boeing 747SP aircraft. Mo Azizi / Shutterstock.com Due to the discriminatory policy, some African countries had restricted South African Airways flights from entering their airspaces and the airline would often have to fly indirect routes to get to Europe. A South African Airways Boeing 747SP aircraft. EQRoy / Shutterstock.com Source: New York Times The Boeing 747SP allowed for South African to go around the countries without having to stop for fuel on the way to Europe. Other aircraft frequently used Cape Verde as a refueling stop for flights to Europe, despite the archipelago's location off the coast of West Africa. A South African Airways Boeing 747SP aircraft. EQRoy / Shutterstock.com Source: New York Times A route from Johannesburg to Athens on the 747SP, for example, stopped in Lisbon and Rome along the way. The flight flew direct or with one stop to Lisbon, and then headed into the continent. A South African Airways Boeing 747SP aircraft. EQRoy / Shutterstock.com Source: South African Airways The 1980s then saw turbulence for the carrier as Western nations adopted sanctions against South Africa for its apartheid policies. Flights to the US and Australia were revoked in addition to the countries that had barred South African's flights. Australian protests against South Africa's apartheid policy. Robert Pearce/Fairfax Media/Getty Source: South African Airways When apartheid ended in the 1990s, South African was allowed to grow its route network once again and the airline no longer needed to fly the long, costly routes to avoid some nations. A South African Airways Airbus A320 aircraft. Rogan Ward/Reuters Source: South African Airways One of the most notable displays of the new airline came in 1995 during the Rugby World Cups when a South African Airways Boeing 747 did a flyover of the stadium with "Good Luck Bokke," a nickname for the South African team, painted on the belly. The feat was repeated multiple times in later years by other airlines. An aircraft flyover at a 2013 Springboks vs All Blacks rugby match, David Rogers/Getty Source: South African Airways and Safair The decade also saw the airline win the title of Africa's leading airline from 1994 on to 2015. The 1990s, however, also saw the airline begin its financial losing streak. South African Airways aircraft. William F. Campbell/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Source: QZ The 2000s saw South African undergo a fleet renewal where most of its long-haul Boeing jets were retired in favor of European-built Airbus planes. The new long-haul flagships became the Airbus A330… A South African Airways Airbus A330 aircraft. SUMAYA HISHAM/Reuters Source: Planespotters.net And A340-600. A South African Airways Airbus A340-600 aircraft. Bruce Bennett/Getty Source: Planespotters.net South African was later brought into organizations to which it had been denied including the International Civil Aviation Organization and joined the Star Alliance. South African Airways joined Star Alliance in 2006. SIPHIWE SIBEKO/Reuters Source: South African Airways Its new-found praise and acceptance, however, couldn't replace the financial woes of the airline. In 2019, South African entered the equivalent of bankruptcy protection and began restructuring after racking up nearly $3 billion in debt. South African Airways employees protest during the airline's bankruptcy. Siyabonga Sishi/Reuters Source: QZ Despite being in the midst of restructuring, South African leased a new aircraft, the Airbus A350-900 XWB, which ultimately launched on the Johannesburg-New York route in January 2020. A South African Airways Airbus A350-900 XWB. South African Airways Read More: Bankrupt South African Airways just debuted its newest plane, the Airbus A350, weeks early despite verging on the brink of collapse The swanky new aircraft would be ideal for the ultra-long-haul routes that South African planned to use them for. A South African Airways Airbus A350-900 XWB. South African Airways With the new aircraft in the air and flying passengers, the hope was that South African might have a plan to save itself from collapse. A South African Airways Airbus A350-900 XWB. South African Airways South Africa's government, which has been incrementally providing relief, however, ultimately pulled the plug in April 2020. A South African Airways Airbus A340-600. Fabrizio Gandolfo/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Source: FlightGlobal Without intervention from either the government or a private buyer willing to keep the airline going, South African Airways looked like it was going to disappear from the skies for good. A South African Airways Airbus A350-900 XWB. Sumaya Hisham/Reuters However, the airline is back up and running after over a year of inactivity. SAA relaunched operations on September 23 with a flight from Johannesburg to Cape Town using an A320 aircraft, which carried 123 passengers on the maiden journey. SAA's first flight in over a year Reuters Source: Aerotime Hub The relaunch came after months of restructuring, which included reducing its debt and cutting its workforce by 80%, down from 4,000 to 802. SAA relaunch at Johannesburg airport Reuters Source: Aerotime Hub, ch-aviation The airline will be backed by Takatso Consortium, a joint-venture between Harith General Partners and Global Aviation, which is in late stage talks to buy the majority stake from the South African government in June. South African union buildings Burhan Ay Photography/Shutterstock Source: africannews Takatso Consortium is set to be SAA's lifeline, though is not reportedly involved in the airline's management, relaunch, or funding. However, Takatso CEO Gidon Novick said in a statement that negotiations to take a 51% share are "substantially complete." SAA A320 at Johannesburg airport Thiago B Trevisan/Shutterstock Source: ch-aviation The consortium's deal made with South Africa's Department of Public Enterprises includes investing up to $243 million into the airline over the next three years. SAA A330 takes off from Lusaka, Zambia Vidit Luthra Source: africannews Without its private funds yet secured, the company is using $33.8 million of the $712.3 million bailout it received from the state to restart operations. SAA A320 Thiago B Trevisan/Shutterstock Source: ch-aviation SAA's interim CEO Thomas Kgokolo said the company needs a modern fleet of aircraft if it is going to be competitive outside of Africa. Currently, its all-Airbus fleet has an average age of more than 15 years. SAA plane in Namibia Felix Lipov/Shutterstock Source: africannews However, Kgokolo said ticket sales are promising and early numbers indicate flights could be 75% full. SAA passengers Reuters Source: africannews The airline's fleet has shrunk, having only six of the original 44 it had before insolvency. SAA will start with a small network, operating one domestic route and five regional routes, including to Accra, Ghana; Kinshasa, DRC; Harare, Zimbabwe; Lusaka, Zambia; and Maputo, Mozambique. SAA plane in Johannesburg Reuters Source: ch-aviation While it still has a long way to go, SAA's relaunch has brought pride and excitement for its employees. Crew members danced and sang at the Johannesburg airport before the maiden flight. SAA employees dance after relaunch Reuters Source: Reuters While the airline is optimistic about its return, skeptics believe it will be short-lived. According to Efficient Group economist Dawie Roodt, Takatso Consortium's absence from the relaunch is not a good sign. SAA A340 wing Vidit Luthra/Shutterstock Source: jacarandafm He explained that the slow deal with the consortium makes him wonder where the money to keep SAA in the air is going to come from. Without the agreement finalized, the airline will likely have its wings clipped again soon, according to Roodt. SAA tail at Frankfurt airport Vytautas Kielaitis/Shutterstock Source: jacarandafm Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderSep 23rd, 2021Related News

Chick-Fil-A removed from plans for an upcoming Kansas City airport wing after opposition from LGBTQ commission

Vantage Airport Group scrubbed Chick-Fil-A from its list of proposed restaurants "to promote an inclusive environment," a spokesperson told Fox News. People walk past Chick-fil-A in New York City. Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images Chick-Fil-A was cut from a list of restaurants proposed for Kansas City's planned airport terminal. The news comes after the city's LGBTQ commission urged the city council to act. Chick-Fil-A has previously donated to charities known for opposing LGBTQ rights. See more stories on Insider's business page. Plans to open a Chick-Fil-A store at an upcoming wing of Kansas City International Airport have been canned, following opposition from the city's official LGBTQ commission, local news sites KSHB and KCUR first reported.The city's LGBTQ commission sent a letter to Kansas City Council on on Monday, urging officials not to open a Chick-Fil-A restaurant in the new airport wing. It cited the company's links to groups known for opposing LGBTQ rights.Vantage Airport Group, the company recommended by the city's aviation authority to run services at the upcoming terminal, scrubbed Chick-Fil-A from its list of proposed restaurants "to promote an inclusive environment," a spokesperson for Vantage told Fox News."We heard and respect the strong community reaction to the proposed Chick-Fil-A participation in the program. We have collectively made the decision to remove this brand from our concessions plan for the new terminal at KCI. Vantage strives to promote an inclusive environment at all our airports," the group told Fox News.Insider contacted both Vantage and Chick-Fil-A for comment but did not immediately receive a response.Chick-Fil-A has come under attack over its donations in the past. As Insider's Kate Taylor previously reported, prior to 2012 Chick-fil-A made significant donations to socially conservative and Christian organizations known for opposing LGBTQ rights through its WinShape Foundation.In 2012, facing backlash after now-CEO Dan Cathy said that he was against same-sex marriage, the company said it would stop most of these donations.But in the years that followed, it continued to face pressure from activists over other donations, including to the Salvation Army and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Both organizations have been criticized for their historical opposition to same-sex marriage.In November 2019, Chick-Fil-A said it would cut donations to these charities too.In July, its CEO, Cathy, came under fresh scrutiny over personal donations to the National Christian Charitable Foundation (NCF). The Daily Beast reported that the NCF was bankrolling organizations fighting against the Equality Act - legislation that would make it illegal to discriminate against LGBTQ people.At the time, Insider's Kate Taylor reported that the company itself had not donated to the NCF in more than a decade. Chick-Fil-A declined to comment on the report around Cathy, however.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytSep 23rd, 2021Related News

The leader of a Hawaii anti-vax group caught COVID-19 and almost died. He now supports vaccines and wants his group"s protests to stop.

Chris Wikoff, who helped found the Aloha Freedom Coalition, is now urging people to stop protesting vaccinations and to take the disease seriously. A poster in an airport in Honolulu, Hawaii. AP Photo/Caleb Jones The founder of a Hawaii group opposing COVID-19 rules and vaccine mandates has asked people to stop. Chris Wikoff, who was recently hospitalized with COVID-19, previously dismissed it as "a little flu." He told local media he is considering getting vaccinated now. See more stories on Insider's business page. The cofounder of a Hawaiian group protesting vaccine mandates and COVID-19 rules is now calling people to end the cause after being hospitalized with the disease himself. Chris Wikoff, 66, said he no longer wanted to participate in the group and asked for his name to be removed from the members' list, Hawaii News Now reported Monday."I want to mind my own business and isolate," he told Hawaii News Now. Wikoff cofounded the Aloha Freedom Coalition in October 2020 in response to a lockdown order which the group said was ruining business and threatening individual liberties, Hawaii News Now reported.The group now opposes vaccine mandates and vaccine passports. On Sunday it called the White House "traitors" for considering vaccine passports for air travel. -Aloha Freedom Coalition (@alohafreedomco) September 19, 2021Wikoff said he previously believed vaccine mandates and passports seemed "over-the-top totalitarian control" because he didn't believe the disease was that serious, Hawai News Now reported. "We were told the COVID virus was not that deadly, it was nothing more than a little flu," he told Hawaii News Now."Well, I can tell you: it's more than the little flu."Wikoff's change of position came after he was hospitalized after catching COVID-19 in August, per Hawaii News Now. "I was afraid I was going to die," he told the outlet.He urged people to stop participating in the protests and rallies his group was organizing, including those taking part outside of Hawaii's Lieutenant Governor Josh Green's house, Hawaii News Now reported."Before I thought Josh Green was exaggerating the situation and after my experience, he sounds very rational to me," he said, per Hawaii News Now. A picture of Wikoff, who according to Hawaii News Now still needs help breathing, can be seen here:-KFYR-TV (@KFYRTV) September 21, 2021Wikoff says now he is considering getting vaccinated because his family and doctors recommended it, Hawaii News Now reported."Probably getting COVID again would be more dangerous than getting the reaction from the vaccines," he told Hawaii News Now, adding: "The COVID vaccine has been proven to be safe and effective."In a statement, the Aloha Freedom Coalition said it would "continue to fight against blanket mandates and for an individual's right to choose," Hawaii News Now reported. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderSep 23rd, 2021Related News

Sea-Tac Airport ranks near bottom in traveler satisfaction study

The J.D. Power study that found satisfaction rates at U.S. and Canadian airports have fallen steadily over the past two quarters from early 2021 highs as travel volumes have crept closer to pre-pandemic levels......»»

Category: topSource: bizjournalsSep 23rd, 2021Related News

Florida seeks to stop merger between two airlines

Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody has joined the U.S. Department of Justice and other states in an antitrust lawsuit that seeks to block a partnership between American Airlines and JetBlue. The 42-page lawsuit, filed Tuesday in federal court in Massachusetts, targets a so-called “Northeast Alliance” in which the airlines would share revenues and coordinate flights at airports in Boston, New York and Newark, N.J. The lawsuit contends the partnership will eliminate competition between the….....»»

Category: topSource: bizjournalsSep 23rd, 2021Related News

We tried Scott"s Cheap Flights Elite for deals on first class fares - here"s why we think it"s worth the $199 subscription

A Scott's Cheap Flights Elite subscription alerts you to deals on premium economy, business class, and first class airfare. Here's how it works. When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more. Scott's Cheap Flights Scott's Cheap Flights is a free newsletter and website for cheap flight deals. The best deals are for Premium members, while business and first class fares are for Elite level. Elite costs $199 per year and includes Premium. I tried it out to see how it works. Table of Contents: Masthead StickyElite service (per year) (small)They say once you fly first class, you can never go back to coach. There's nothing like going past the first class curtain to plush, and in some cases, lie-flat seats, while tucking into chef-prepared meals and sipping champagne.I know personally that the saying is true. But unfortunately, I've made the long walk back to economy many times after experiencing the indulgent front of the plane.That's because for most fliers, business or first class is often prohibitively expensive and a rarity saved for special occasions or occasional upgrades.However, Scott's Cheap Flights, a newsletter and website for finding the best flight deals, has an Elite tier specifically for cheap premium economy, business class, and first class flights. It's not free like their basic newsletter, but if you like to stretch out in style, it's worth checking out.I tried out an Elite subscription, comped for review purposes, and for just under $17 per month, think it's one of the best ways to find good deals on upgraded cabins. Here's how it works, how it compares to the free service, and some of the best deals I spotted.What is Scott's Cheap Flights?Scott's Cheap Flights is a newsletter and website that shares incredible flight deals, in some cases, even 90% off a typical flight price. They have a team of researchers who religiously research flights and if you opt in to email subscriptions, you'll be alerted when airlines have sales or mistake fares. Basic membership is free, but for tailored and exclusive deals, you'll have to upgrade to Premium, while Elite (which includes Premium) is exclusively for premium economy, business class, and first class flight deals. Here's a full breakdown of how it works.What is Scott's Cheap Flights Elite?While a standard membership shares limited deals, and Premium alerts you to significantly more deals on international and domestic economy flights, mistake fares, and some of the most popular destinations, Elite focuses specifically on premium economy, business class, and first class flights.However, because it also includes Premium membership, you'll enjoy the best of both worlds - in other words, all the best deals without limitations. Deals are available based on membership levels. Scott's Cheap Flights Deals arrive daily in your inbox or can be found on the website. Online, you'll see deals reserved only for Premium or Elite members.To find the best cheap flights for you, you'll want to "follow" airports where you typically depart. Free members may select up to five airports, premium members can follow up to 10, and Elite members have unlimited choices. Tailor your search results by setting "home" airports. Scott's Cheap Flights How much does an Elite subscription cost?Elite is $199 per year, which is significantly more than Scott's Cheap Flights' Premium service that costs $49 for an annual subscription. Regular memberships are free.But if you travel often, love to jump on good deals, and specifically want to fly in upgraded cabins, that's just under $17 a month, which is pretty cheap.You may also try it for free for 14 days at no cost if you decide it isn't for you.How do I sign up for Scott's Cheap Flights' Elite subscription?Signing up for a Scott's Cheap Flights Elite account is easy:First, create an account, by going to their homepage where you'll submit your name, email, and create a password. You'll also answer prompts to make sure you see the best deals.For Elite, you'll then be prompted to input your credit card information.That's it. Signing up for Elite, or any membership, takes only a few minutes. Scott's Cheap Flights Is Elite better than Premium or Free?That depends on how often you fly or plan to jump on deals, and how important elevated cabins are to you. However, to see how many more deals an Elite member receives (which, again, includes Premium), I also signed up for a free account on another email to track how many I received for each tier. Over a five-week period, here's how they compared:Free service: 30 email deals for economy domestic and international flights16 emails with destination-related content, travel tips, and offers for discounts on paid memberships Newsletter and Deals (small)Premium service:121 email deals for economy domestic and international flights16 emails with destination-related content, travel tips, and offers for discounts on paid membershipsPremium service (per year) (small)Elite service:9 email deals for domestic and international premium economy class flights26 email deals for domestic and international business and first class flights126 email deals for economy domestic and international flights16 emails with destination-related content, travel tips, and offers for discounts on paid membershipsElite service (per year) (small)So, looking at deals specifically, since all members receive similar promotional emails, being a Premium member earned significantly more deals than a basic membership.Elite included all the same Premium emails, with the addition of upgraded cabin deals, which were mostly for business class over any other. While I didn't receive nearly as many premium or business class deals as I did for economy flights through Premium, the number of premium/business/first class sales totaled just about the same as all the emails I received in entirety as a free member, which is a pretty good showing. Flying first, business, or premium economy comes with lots of plush perks. Scott's Cheap Flights What are some of the best deals Elite members receive?While I received a lot of great deals as an Elite member, these offered some of the most significant savings to popular destinations. Do note that these were tailored to my residence on the East Coast:New York City to Quito, Ecuador in premium economy: $505New York City to Barcelona, Spain in premium economy: $778Boston to Copenhagen, Denmark in premium economy, $990New York to Bangkok, Thailand in premium economy, $1,186New York City to Nassau, Bahamas in business class, $623New York City to Quito, Ecuador in business class: $755Boston to Seattle in business class, $997Boston to Rome, Italy in business class, $1,568Hartford to Madrid, Spain in business class, $2,210New York, to Cape Town, South Africa, $2,704The bottom lineMost major travel requires a flight, which can be a long, uncomfortable journey. Flying business or first class is an indulgence that removes many pain points, but is also expensive and discounts are hard to come by.However, Scott's Cheap Flights Elite service hones in specifically on them, offering major savings. If you fly often and are open to paying more for premium economy, business class, and first class, then Scott's Cheap Flights Elite service is one of the best ways to find cheap airfare on these cabins. And at roughly $17 per month for a year, this price is cheaper than buying dinner. While I didn't purchase airfare during my testing period (I have a baby and we're trying to limit travel with her during the pandemic), I would definitely sign up for Elite if I were flying at pre-pandemic levels, or knew I'd be traveling on long haul routes. However, if you don't fly much or are perfectly comfortable in coach, you're better off trying Premium, which still nets great deals for about $4 per month. Or, start with the free version and upgrade if you like what you see.Elite service (per year) (small)Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytSep 22nd, 2021Related News

O’Hare ranked last among biggest U.S. airports as passenger satisfaction starts to dip from record highs earlier in the pandemic

Passenger satisfaction at America’s airports is starting to dip from all-time highs as airports get busier, with O’Hare International Airport ranking last and Midway Airport in the bottom half, according to a study released Wednesday.Passenger satisfaction at America’s airports is starting to dip from all-time highs as airports get busier, with O’Hare International Airport ranking last and Midway Airport in the bottom half, according to a study released Wednesday......»»

Category: topSource: chicagotribuneSep 22nd, 2021Related News

Minnesota-based Cirrus Aircraft to expand to Orlando and Kissimmee airports

The company will have a second phase at the Kissimmee airport......»»

Category: topSource: bizjournalsSep 22nd, 2021Related News

Shell (RDS.A) Plans to Generate 2M Tons of SAF Within 2025

By 2030, Shell (RDS.A) wants SAF to constitute at least 10% of its worldwide aviation fuel sales. Per the reports published, Royal Dutch Shell plc (RDS.A) plans to generate about 2 million tons of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) within 2025. By 2030, it wants SAF to account for at least 10% of its worldwide aviation fuel sales.Shell does not yet produce its own SAF. Instead, it obtains it from other parties, such as the Neste refinery in Finland. This currently Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) Shell claims that SAF, which is made from waste cooking oil, plants and animal fats, may reduce aircraft emissions by up to 80%. Currently, SAF accounts for less than 0.1% of aviation fuel demand. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.The SAF production target is consistent with Shell's goal of being a zero-emissions energy company by 2050. The ambition comes a week after the company made a final investment decision to construct an 820,000-tonne-per-year biofuels facility at the Shell Energy and Chemicals Park Rotterdam in the Netherlands. When completed, the plant will be one of the largest producers of SAF and renewable diesel from trash in Europe.The majority of oil and gas supermajors including BP plc BP and TotalEnergies SE TTE, promised to become net-zero energy firms by 2050 and heavily invest in renewable and low-carbon energy alternatives, such as SAF.The development of SAF is a strategic path pursued by most companies to achieve carbon neutrality as biojet fuels help reduce emissions from air transportation.Earlier this year, TotalEnergies announced that it started producing SAF at the La Mèdebio refinery in southern France and the Oudalle facility near Le Havre. SAF, which is made from used cooking oil, animal fat and other waste will be supplied to France’s airports from April 2021 and aid the company in curbing toxic emissions from air transportation.Recently, another oil biggie Chevron Corporation CVX along with renewable energy firm Gevo, Inc. signed a letter of intent to jointly invest in the construction and operation of one or more new facilities to turn inedible corn into SAF, thereby lowering the lifecycle carbon intensity of aviation fuels.Shell’s SAF InitiativesThis July, Shell signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Rolls-Royce Holdings Plc as part of its efforts to decarbonize the aviation industry and reach net-zero emissions.Per the terms of the agreement, Shell and the engineering company Rolls-Royce will explore opportunities to bring 100% SAF to certification. Both companies plan to enhance their cooperation on SAF and fully certify its use in planes as it produces 70% less carbon than conventional fuel.In December 2020, Shell’s Shell Aviation entered into an agreement with the global logistics services provider DHL Express to supply the latter with SAF at the Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam.The deal sets an excellent example of how the aviation industry will expedite its shift toward net-zero emissions as the fuel industry aims to increase the supply of SAF. As the commercial airlines are operating with lower capacity, Shell considers this deal an opportunity for the cargo sector to increase the uptake of SAF in the aviation industry. Further, the oil and gas major believes that cargo operators can play an important role to prompt the demand signals to boost investment and the use of SAF.Shell has seen its shares surge 62.7% in a year’s time compared with the  industry's growth of 57.4%.Image Source: Zacks Investment Research Infrastructure Stock Boom to Sweep America A massive push to rebuild the crumbling U.S. infrastructure will soon be underway. It’s bipartisan, urgent, and inevitable. Trillions will be spent. Fortunes will be made. The only question is “Will you get into the right stocks early when their growth potential is greatest?” Zacks has released a Special Report to help you do just that, and today it’s free. Discover 7 special companies that look to gain the most from construction and repair to roads, bridges, and buildings, plus cargo hauling and energy transformation on an almost unimaginable scale.Download FREE: How to Profit from Trillions on Spending for Infrastructure >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report BP p.l.c. (BP): Free Stock Analysis Report Chevron Corporation (CVX): Free Stock Analysis Report Royal Dutch Shell PLC (RDS.A): Free Stock Analysis Report TotalEnergies SE Sponsored ADR (TTE): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksSep 22nd, 2021Related News

: The U.S. is welcoming back international tourists — but it could complicate your holiday travel plans

The return of travelers from Europe later this fall could mean longer lines at airports and higher prices for certain destinations......»»

Category: topSource: marketwatchSep 22nd, 2021Related News

Macquarie (MIC) Receives Shareholder Approval for Divestments

Macquarie's (MIC) sale of the Atlantic Aviation and MIC Hawaii businesses are part of its strategic alternatives announced in October 2019. The moves will help it strengthen shareholder value. Macquarie Infrastructure Corporation MIC announced the results of the shareholders’ vote at a special meeting held virtually yesterday. Unanimously, shareholders cast their votes in favor of the divestment of the company’s MIC Hawaii businesses and the Atlantic Aviation business.Notably, Macquarie’s shares gained 0.47% yesterday, ending the trading session at $40.23.Inside the HeadlinesAs noted, holders of nearly 67% of Macquarie’s outstanding shares participated in the voting process and 99.6% of them gave a green signal for the above-mentioned divestments. With this, Macquarie will be in a position to reorganize itself into a listed limited liability company (“Macquarie Infrastructure Holdings LLC”). MIC Hawaii businesses will be distributed to Macquarie Infrastructure Holdings LLC. This, in turn, will divest the businesses to an affiliate of Argo Infrastructure Partners, LP.Macquarie anticipates the MIC Hawaii businesses’ distribution to be complete in a day and predicts the divestment of the Atlantic Aviation business to consummate in a couple of days. The divestments are in sync with the company’s strategic alternatives (announced in October 2019), which include disposing of businesses to unlock values for its shareholders.A brief discussion of important events/announcements related to Macquarie’s strategic alternatives is provided below: June Announcements: On Jun 14, 2021, Macquarie entered an agreement to divest its MIC Hawaii businesses to Argo Infrastructure’s affiliate. Subject to the receipt of necessary approvals and the fulfillment of customary conditions, the company anticipates the transaction to be complete in the first half of 2022.Macquarie’s unitholders will likely receive $3.83 per unit if the transaction gets completed on or before Jul 1, 2022. On closing after this date, unitholders will be entitled to get the consideration of $4.11 per unit. On the completion of the transaction, the MIC Hawaii businesses will operate as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Argo.Macquarie’s MIC Hawaii segment comprises an energy company — Hawaii Gas — which processes and distributes gas, and provides related services as well as several smaller businesses. These are collectively engaged in reducing costs as well as improving reliability and the sustainability of energy in Hawaii.On Jun 7, 2021, Macquarie announced that it agreed to divest its Atlantic Aviation business in a transaction worth $4.475 billion to New York-based KKR & Co. Inc.The Atlantic Aviation business offers aircraft hangaring, fuel, terminal and other services primarily to owners and operators of general aviation jet aircraft at 69 airports throughout the United States. It also caters to freight, commercial, government and military aviation customers. May Announcement: On May 6, 2021, Macquarie received its shareholder approval to reorganize the company into a listed limited liability company. The reorganization plans, announced in February, will be accomplished before the completion of the Atlantic Aviation divestment. Earlier Events: In December 2020, Macquarie completed the divestment of its liquid storage and handling business, International-Matex Tank Terminals, for $2.67 billion to an affiliate of Riverstone Holdings, Inc.Zacks Rank, Price Performance and Estimate TrendWith a market capitalization of $3.5 billion, the company currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Cost-control measures, investments in growth opportunities and divestment activities are likely to be beneficial. Higher costs and expenses are concerning.In the past three months, the company’s stock has gained 4.5% compared with the industry’s growth of 6.3%. Image Source: Zacks Investment Research The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Macquarie’s earnings is pegged at $2.12 for 2021 and $2.58 for 2022, reflecting no change from the 60-day-ago figures. Also, the consensus estimate for third-quarter 2021 earnings has been stable at 49 cents in the past couple of months.Macquarie Infrastructure Company Price and Consensus  Macquarie Infrastructure Company price-consensus-chart | Macquarie Infrastructure Company QuoteStocks to ConsiderThree better-ranked stocks in the industry are Carlisle Companies Incorporated CSL, Raven Industries, Inc. RAVN and Crane Co. CR. While both Carlisle and Raven presently sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), Crane carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.In the past 60 days, earnings estimates for the companies have improved for the current year. Also, earnings surprise for the last reported quarter was 3.35% for Carlisle, 100.00% for Raven and 31.65% for Crane. Infrastructure Stock Boom to Sweep America A massive push to rebuild the crumbling U.S. infrastructure will soon be underway. It’s bipartisan, urgent, and inevitable. Trillions will be spent. Fortunes will be made. The only question is “Will you get into the right stocks early when their growth potential is greatest?” Zacks has released a Special Report to help you do just that, and today it’s free. Discover 7 special companies that look to gain the most from construction and repair to roads, bridges, and buildings, plus cargo hauling and energy transformation on an almost unimaginable scale.Download FREE: How to Profit from Trillions on Spending for Infrastructure >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Raven Industries, Inc. (RAVN): Get Free Report Carlisle Companies Incorporated (CSL): Free Stock Analysis Report Crane Co. (CR): Free Stock Analysis Report Macquarie Infrastructure Company (MIC): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksSep 22nd, 2021Related News

This artist painted murals to challenge the Taliban after their last rule. Then the militants destroyed them, leaving him fearing for his life.

Omaid Sharifi's Artlords covered Kabul in murals promoting women's rights and social justice. Then the Taliban came back and painted over them. People painting a mural in Afghanistan. Omaid Sharifi. The Taliban painted over dozens of murals, including one of George Floyd, after seizing Kabul. The murals were done by an artist group named Artlords, who wanted to cover up Kabul's blast walls. Insider spoke to its founder, who fled the country convinced the Taliban would kill him. See more stories on Insider's business page. Omaid Sharifi wanted to remind people that Afghanistan could be beautiful despite the war.He wanted to cover Kabul's blast walls, the huge concrete walls erected to protect buildings from bombings."We were fed up with these high blast walls," he told Insider. "It was making Kabul look like a prison."So in 2014 he founded Artlords, a collective of more than 150 artists that painted murals encouraging human rights and social justice in Kabul and other Afghan cities. Afghan men ride their bicycles past blast walls protecting the Ministry of Interior Affairs in Kabul in July 2021. AP Photo/Rahmat Gul A mural in Afghanistan. Omaid Sharifi. The goal was "to claim back back our space, to paint these ugly, concrete walls and make sure these blast walls are turned into something beautiful," Sharifi said.But one of the first things the Taliban did when they retook Afghanistan in mid-August was paint over the murals and, in many cases, replace them with their slogans.As of last week, around 100 Artlords murals had been covered up, Sharifi said.One of them was of George Floyd, the Black man who was killed by a white police officer in Minneapolis last year. Sharifi said Artlords painted it to show solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement, "to show Afghanistan is not separate from the whole world," and to connect Floyd's death with the plight of Afghan refugees around the world. A mural showing George Floyd and the words "I can't breathe" in Kabul on September 4, 2021. West Asia News Agency with Reuters An image of the Floyd mural covered up, taken by Omaid Sharifi's colleague on September 16, 2021. Omaid Sharifi Sharifi said the Taliban started painting over murals before even announcing their government, leaving him convinced the militants were out to get him first."I might be the first to be punished or even killed because the Taliban showed that the first act of their new government was to destroy our murals," he said. Omaid Sharifi in August 2019. AP Photo/Rahmat Gul Artlords' murals went against the Taliban's principles, Sharifi said: The art promoted empathy and women's rights, and opposed violence, injustice, and Islamic extremism."I knew that I would not be able to have a voice under the Taliban," he said. Artlords members painting a message on a wall that reads "I am back because education prevails" at the American University of Afghanistan in Kabul in February 2018. REUTERS/Omar Sobhani. 'Hell on earth'Sharifi said he was helping paint a mural in Kabul the day the Taliban seized the city. A post shared by ArtLords (@artlordsnet) "I saw people panicking and running. We asked them what was happening while painting a mural about empathy, unity, and kindness. And they told us the Taliban were in the city," he said."I asked my staff and colleagues and artists to leave, go to their homes, and make sure their families are safe."Sharifi also decided to leave given how the Taliban used to treat artists."When I lived in their previous regime, from 1996 to 2001, I remember that any expression of art was banned," he said. "They destroyed a lot of paintings ... the punishment was severe for artists."Last time the Taliban were in power, they destroyed books and art, banned many types of music, and killed artists.-NHK WORLD News (@NHKWORLD_News) September 6, 2021-Omaid H. Sharifi-امید حفیظه شریفی (@OmaidSharifi) September 13, 2021Sharifi said he tried for five days to leave Afghanistan, finally managing to escape on August 22 after joining a convoy of cars entering Kabul's airport around 3 a.m.For days after the Taliban takeover, that airport was the scene of chaos as people frantically tried to escape, with some latching onto moving jets on the runway.Sharifi called it "hell on earth." Members of the Taliban Badri 313 military unit near the destroyed CIA base in Deh Sabz district on September 6, 2021, after the US pulled its troops out of the country. AAMIR QURESHI/AFP via Getty Images Vow to continueSharifi is now in a refugee camp in the United Arab Emirates, with only his backpack and no idea of what might come next."I have left all my life behind," he said."When I'm talking about this, my eyes are teary." Artlords members painting a mural of journalists who were killed in 2018 in Kabul in September 2018. AP Photo/Massoud Hossaini He said he and his wife, through working with NGOs, had already evacuated 53 artists and their families to countries including France, Albania, and Uganda. He told Insider last week that 103 members of Artlords - including LGBT artists - were still in Afghanistan, and he's working to get them out.But he said Artlords would continue their work, and one day hold exhibitions around the world."We will continue painting those murals the Taliban destroyed," he said."We will never stay silent."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderSep 22nd, 2021Related News

Operator of Everett"s Paine Field airport appoints new general counsel

Jack Rossi most recently an associate general counsel for SeaTac-based Alaska Airlines and its regional airline affiliate Horizon Air......»»

Category: topSource: bizjournalsSep 22nd, 2021Related News

The FAA says airlines must crack down harder on unruly passengers - and is giving them 1 week to respond

The FAA has proposed $1 million in fines for unruly passengers, but flight attendant union leader Sara Nelson asked the US for more protection. PROSPEROUS BAY, SAINT HELENA - OCTOBER 21: An air stewardess waits for the steps to be placed at the aeroplane door on the runway at St Helena airport on October 21, 2017 in Prosperous Bay, Saint Helena. Following the introduction of weekly flights to the island, resident St Helenians, known locally as 'Saints', are preparing for a potential influx of tourists and investment as well as enjoying the possibilities brought by much faster transport links with South Africa. Previously, travel to the island involved travelling for a week by the Royal Mail Ship (RMS) 'Saint Helena' from Cape Town. Saint Helena is a 46 square mile island in the South Atlantic which has been under British control since 1834. Leon Neal/Getty Images The FAA has asked airlines to step up their efforts to curb passenger violence on planes. The FAA has received about 4,000 reports of unruly passenger violence between January and September. Flight attendants union leader Sara Nelson has asked the FAA to take more action to protect workers. See more stories on Insider's business page. The Federal Aviation Administration asked airlines to provide information on their efforts to reduce passenger violence within one week.The FAA met with trade groups representing Delta, American, United, and other airlines on Tuesday regarding the country's passenger violence crisis, Reuters reported. The federal agency reportedly told airlines to "commit to take more action" to stop violence on board."Aviation safety is a collaborative effort," FAA administrator Steve Dickson said in a tweet. "Thank you to [Airlines for America], [Regional Airline Association] and [National Air Carrier Association] for your continued partnership and substantial work to help reduce unruly behavior. Look forward to continuing our work together to protect passengers and crew."-FAA Steve Dickson (@FAA_Steve) September 21, 2021The FAA will hold similar meetings with airport and labor representatives, Reuters reported.The FAA has received about 4,000 reports of unruly passenger violence between January and September 2021. Most of the reports related to passengers refusing to wear a mask.Flight attendants have born the brunt of violence on airlines. One in five flight attendants said they've had a passenger get physically angry with them, according to the industry's largest union.Flight attendants told Insider they've feared for their safety due to the risk of violence on board after many have reported being punched, spat on, and called racial slurs by passengers. Attendants said their mental health has declined due to regular verbal harassment from frustrated passengers.The federal agency has proposed more than $1 million in fines for unruly passengers this year, but flight attendant union leader Sara Nelson asked the FAA and Department of Justice for further protection."It is time to make the FAA 'zero tolerance' policy permanent, the Department of Justice to utilize existing statute to conduct criminal prosecution, and implement a series of actions proposed by our union to keep problems on the ground and respond effectively in the event of incidents," Nelson said in July......»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderSep 21st, 2021Related News

Air Force commandos are preparing for war with Russia or China by rethinking what a "runway" really is

The threat from long-range weapons has the Air Force looking to disperse its forces, and special operators have been crucial to those operations. An A-10 takes off on a highway in Alpena, Michigan, August 5, 2021. US Air Force/Master Sgt. Scott Thompson The US military is preparing for a potential conflict for a capable adversary, namely Russia and China. Part of that preparation is finding ways to distribute forces so they can keep operating if fighting starts. For the Air Force, that means using new airfields, and its special operators have been crucial to that. See more stories on Insider's business page. In a conflict with a near-peer power, such as China and Russia, the US military would be challenged by the size of its rivals' arsenal and the range of their weapons.China is now seen as the US's "pacing threat," and the sheer scale of its manpower and arsenal demand prudent distribution of forces to avoid a nightmare scenario in which one strike takes out a large number of troops or weapons.So the Air Force has been training to disperse its forces to non-traditional and sometimes improvised airfields. Air Force special-operations forces have been crucial to that preparation.America's Air Commandos US Air Force pararescuemen board a US Army CH-47F helicopter after an exercise at Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan, March 14, 2018. US Air Force/Tech. Sgt. Gregory Brook As the air component of US Special Operations Command, Air Force Special Operations Command provides air transport; close air support; precision strike; and intelligence, surveillance, global access, and reconnaissance capabilities to special-operations units.AFSOC also oversees highly skilled battlefield commandos who get attached to other special-operations teams, merging air and ground power.These battlefield commandos work in four main career fields: Pararescuemen, who are elite medics and personnel recovery experts; Combat Controllers, who coordinate airfield operations and close air support; Tactical Air Control Party airmen, commandos who specialize in calling in airstrikes; and Special Reconnaissance operators, the newest career field that specializes in reconnaissance and intelligence gathering.Although they are an important part of SOCOM, Air Commandos are often overlooked because they support other special-operations units. Combat Controllers and Pararescuemen are often attached Navy SEAL platoons or Army Special Forces detachments. They do operate on their own teams but not as often.AFSOC is equally active in the air, however. It operates several rotary- and fixed-wing platforms, such as the MC-130 Commando II transport plane, the AC-130 Spooky gunship, the CV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft, and the MQ-9 Reaper drone.Winds of Change A C-146A Wolfhound prepares to land on a highway in Alpena, Michigan, August 5, 2021. US Air Force/Master Sgt. Scott Thompson Air Commandos recently conducted a unique exercise that reflects the shift in thinking about military operations.During exercise Northern Strike 21 in northern Michigan in early August, Air Commandos facilitated the first landing of a modern aircraft on a US public highway. The goal was to prepare pilots and commandos for impromptu operations in austere locations.During the exercise, Air Commandos practiced infiltrating and securing the highway and then setting it up to function as an airfield.A-10 and C-146A aircraft then landed and took off from the roadway. In a real-world scenario, especially during expeditionary operations, the highway-turned-airfield would ideally be close to the front lines to provide quick and accurate logistical and close air support for conventional and special-operations troops."We're working on agile combat employment concepts, which basically makes the force more flexible, more maneuverable, and creates challenges for our adversaries in different environments," Lt. Col. Jeff Falcone, the Air Commando in charge of the exercise, said in a press release."It also increases the survivability of US forces as we're able to move around to more unpredictable locations to resupply, refuel, or anything else we may need," Falcone added.Besides the Combat Controllers who conducted air traffic control, Pararescuemen were on standby to provide medical attention to forces at and near the highway, as they would be during a real operation. An A-10 lands on a highway in Alpena, Michigan, August 5, 2021. US Air Force/Master Sgt. Scott Thompson The US military isn't the only one who trains for such contingencies. Taiwan's military operates aircraft on a specially designed public highway as part of exercises simulating defense against a Chinese invasion.During such an invasion, China's military would already know where Taiwan's military and civilian airports are and target them accordingly. Conducting air operations in non-traditional, austere environments makes it harder for an enemy to target your aircraft.Airfield operations Combat Controllers' "the bread and butter," a former Combat Controller told Insider."People often mistakenly think that our only job is to sit by the SF [Army Special Forces] or [Navy] SEAL ground force commander and call in airstrikes on bad guys, but actually that is a very small portion of our job," the former controller said, adding that not all combat controllers are qualified as joint terminal attack controllers, which allows them to call in airstrikes"A primary aspect of our job is airfield ops - identify, assess, mark, and operate airfields, often in austere environments. We are the first in to establish the conditions for follow-on forces. It takes years of training to get to that place," the former Combat Controller added.This exercise in Michigan showed that AFSOC is adapting to the new challenges of great-power competition.Lt. Gen. James Slife, AFSOC's commander, acknowledged earlier this year that Air Commandos need to adapt and evolve in order to remain relevant, calling the current period an "inflection point" for the command.ACE and FARP F-35s wait to refuel from a C-130J during Agile Combat Employment training at Northwest Field on Guam, February 16, 2021. US Air Force/Senior Airman Jonathan Valdes Montijo For example, in a war with China, instead of relying on an F-35 group - two squadrons with roughly 50 aircraft - to operate from a large island, the Air Force would deploy a single squadron or even a half-squadron to a smaller island.Agile Combat Employment, or ACE, and Forward Arming and Refueling Points, or FARP, are not entirely new operations, but AFSOC has investment in them more as tensions have risen with Russia and China.ACE seeks to enable larger, operational-level air forces to function in smaller, tactical-level units in the event of a near-peer conflict. By doing that, the Air Force makes it harder for adversaries to target its aircraft and personnel.ACE operations also make it a more unpredictable and thus more effective force. Special-operations airmen refuel an F-22 from an MC-130J during Forward Area Refueling Point training in Alaska, January 30, 2020. US Air Force/Staff Sgt. Ridge Shan F-35s conducted just such an exercise earlier this year, deploying from their main base in Alaska to the main US base in Guam, from which they redeployed to an austere airfield on the small island nation of Palau for refueling.FARP goes hand-in-hand with ACE. Aircraft need to be refueled and rearmed wherever they are, especially if they have to deploy to remote, austere bases on short notice.The "Nightstalkers" of the US Army's 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment and the US special-operations community as a whole have used FARP for decades to support operations in unfriendly territory or behind enemy lines. In early 2020, Special Tactics Airmen practiced refueling fighter jets in the extreme cold of Alaska for the first time.Stavros Atlamazoglou is a defense journalist specializing in special operations, a Hellenic Army veteran (national service with the 575th Marine Battalion and Army HQ), and a Johns Hopkins University graduate.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderSep 21st, 2021Related News

JetBlue, American Airlines blast DOJ over lawsuit challenging Northeast partnership

JetBlue and American Airlines pledged to forge ahead with their planned partnership at northeastern U.S. airports after the Justice Department filed an antitrust lawsuit to block the deal......»»

Category: topSource: foxnewsSep 21st, 2021Related News