Cash Seizures at Delhi Airport Jump From Zero to Rs 4 Crore in Two Months

une 05–Over the last two months foreign currency worth Rs 4 crore has been seized at the Delhi airport. The cash seizures had remained at zero for many months after the demonetisation on November 8. Custom officials said they have increased security again at the departure terminal seeing the spike in currency smuggling.

A senior customs officer said that till April there had been no cases of cash smuggling following demonetization. Last cash seizure, of Rs 2.77 crores, was made on October 23, 2016.

There have been at least four cases of cash seizures since April. Customs officers said they suspect that the seized money was part of hawala transactions.

“The interrogation of arrested passengers has revealed that the seized money is part of hawala channels. It is converted from Indian to foreign currency here. The agents are using carriers to smuggle money to the Gulf and Thailand. We have now increased vigil at the departure hall,” the official added.

Airport officials said that they have started collecting data of passengers departing from Delhi airport. “We feed the passenger data into the software and based on various parameters, including frequency of travel and days spent, it gives us a list of suspicious travellers. We used to do this for the arriving passengers to check smuggling. The data will be now analysed for the departing passengers also,” a customs official said.

Customs also has a dog squad to help the staff nab those carrying large amounts of cash.

On June 3, two passengers were caught with $60,000 hidden in power banks, mobile chargers and biscuit packets.

A few days before that, Customs made the biggest catch of recent time by seizing Rs 2.52 crore worth foreign currency from an Afghan national. According to Customs, the passenger, who was going to Mumbai, was intercepted at the departure hall.

“He was carrying $2,15,000 and 7,00,000 Saudi Riyals, equivalent to Rs 2.52 crore. The currency was concealed in a piece of corrugated box, wrapped in a newspaper and kept inside his handbag. Some of the currency was also concealed in the false cavity at the bottom of the bag,” a Customs official said.

Investigation revealed that the passenger had to handover the bag to another passenger, who was going to Dubai by Air India flight AI995.

On May 23, a passenger was caught with Euro and Dirham worth Rs 40 lakh concealed in his rectum.

On April 28, Customs and CISF had intercepted one international passenger who was travelling to Bangkok. Euro 18,545 and Pound Sterling 24,550 worth Rs 32 lakh were recovered from him.

___ (c)2017 the Hindustan Times (New Delhi) Visit the Hindustan Times (New Delhi) at Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

TX: Planes Clip Each Other on the Ground at Austin-Bergstrom Airport, Officials Say

May 25–Two planes clipped each other Wednesday evening while on the ground at the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, airport officials said.

No one was injured in the incident, which happened at 8:22 p.m., airport officials said. Passengers on both planes were kept on the tarmac, awaiting approval from the Federal Aviation Administration to bring passengers back to their gates.

A United Airlines jet hit an American Airlines plane while one was pulling in and the other was backing out, airport officials said.

American Airlines released this statement late Wednesday, describing the incident: “The wingtip of another aircraft came in contact with American Airlines flight 2675, which had just arrived from New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport. The American Airlines plane was stationary at the time, as it was waiting to taxi to the gate. No passengers or crew members were injured.”

According to American Airlines, their plane was a Boeing 737 that had landed in Austin at 8:13 p.m., carrying 149 passengers and a crew of 6

Few people flying into and out of the airport should experience delays, airport officials said, though people should still check the status of their flights at this website and toggling between “Arrivals” and “Departures” at the top of the webpage.

A Lyft in Business

Long Beach, Calif. — Executives from Transportation Network Company (TNC) Lyft made a presentation at the American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE) 89th annual conference here May 8 outlining its plans to operate in more airports.

Don Griffin, Lyft’s business development manager for airports and venues, served as a business specialist for Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority for 12 years. “Lyft and Uber are the two most dominant TNCs, and there’s been a dramatic change in the airport space,” he said. “Overall, we went from 10 cities in 2015 to 200 today.” Lyft also serves more than 70 airports.

What’s driving that growth? “There’s been a big increase in TNC driving, which has generated more revenue for airports,” said Griffin. “We pay trip fees every time we pick up a passenger and sometimes even when we drop one off.”

Fees range from 50 cents at smaller airports to $5 at hubs, said Griffin. “It’s really based on what other ground transportation is available and the size of the airport,” he said.

More airports are offering a separate staging area for TNCs, said Griffin. “These areas are beneficial to all parties, because they reduce wait times for passengers and move traffic away from the airport.

“Passengers get their bags and use the app to request a Lyft. We have four different products: Lyft Line for shared rides, Lyft Classic (up to four seats), Lyft Plus (six or more seats) and Lyft Premier for luxury vehicles,” he said.

Lyft, founded in 2014, competed 160 million rides in 2016, compared with 53 million in 2015, said Griffin. “Fifty-two percent of passengers use Lyft to get to and from the airport,” he said. “We offer safe, reliable rides seven days a week. And customers can even schedule a ride in advance the night before.”

Griffin described three newer innovations that offer more convenience for passengers, especially those going to and from airports. “When a Lyft passenger is dropped off, our Rematch program allows that driver to pick up another passenger instantly rather than go through the staging lot,” he said. “We look at Rematch on a case-by-case basis when queue times at airports are longer.”

Lyft also does pre-dispatching of drivers based on historical trends, said Griffin. “This allows drivers to get to the curb five minutes before an expected passenger request,” he explained.

And there’s the new Lyft Amp device in vehicles, said Griffin. “The device is a light box with Lyft that can change colors. Those colors will also show up on a passenger’s app so they can better match up with their driver,” he said. “It’s rolling out now and we hope to have it completed by the end of the year.”

The biggest roadblock for Lyft in airports is legislation, said Griffin. “And Lyft is working with local governments and airports to expand service,” he said.

Two Planes Clip Wings at LaGuardia Airport

Two airliners were slightly damaged after clipping each other shortly after landing at LaGuardia Airport on Thursday morning — but no one was reported injured, officials said.

WestJet Flight 1200, a Boeing 737, and Republic Airline Flight 5899, an Embraer E170, came in contact around 8:30 a.m., according to the Federal Aviation Administration and Port Authority.

The Republic plane’s rear stabilizer and the WestJet aircraft’s left wing were damaged in the mishap, which occurred at the intersection of Taxiway B and Taxiway M, officials said.

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WV: Cargo Plane Crashes at Yeager Airport, 2 Dead

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) — Two people have died after a plane crashed into the hillside at Yeager Airport in Charleston Friday, a county spokesperson confirms to WSAZ.

Yeager Airport spokesperson Mike Plante says the Air Cargo Carrier crashed into the hillside upon landing. The plane is located in the wooded area off Keystone Drive so first responders are having difficulty accessing the plane.

Initial reports said there were four people on board, but that has since been changed to two. A county spokesperson now confirms those two people have died.

When emergency crews arrived on scene they reported heavy entrapment.

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IL: Woman Paralyzed by Accident at O’Hare Airport Sues City

CHICAGO —  A woman who was crushed by a shelter at O’Hare International Airport during a storm is now suing the City of Chicago.

Tierney Darden spoke with CBS Chicago about how her life has changed since the 750-pound shelter fell on her in August 2015, severing her spinal chord.

“There was a sharp crack and a numbness that just went over my body,” Darden explained. “Everyday it hits home. It could have been avoided.”

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IL: None Hurt After Nose of Frontier Airlines Plane Tilts Up at O’Hare Airport

CHICAGO (WLS) — No one was injured after a Frontier Airlines plane tilted up while at a gate at O’Hare Airport Saturday.

The Frontier plane arrived at O’Hare shortly before 7 p.m. and came to a stop at a gate. As passengers exited, the nose of the plane tipped up.

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FL: Something About Flying Made Passengers on This Flight Sick

April 27–Several passengers off a coast-to-coast flight felt sick enough to request paramedics upon landing at Miami International Airport on Wednesday morning.

American Airlines confirmed that some passengers off Flight 1538, a Los Angeles-to-Miami red-eye flight landing at 7:20 a.m., got ill and were met by Miami-Dade Fire Rescue. An NBC6 report stated one person began vomiting on the plane and later had to be taken to the hospital.

The airline said it was investigating the cause and, out of precaution, removed the 15-month-old Airbus A321 plane from service.

David J. Neal: 305-376-3559, @DavidJNeal

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TN: Calling All Contractors: $500M in Airport Construction Ahead

April 26–Memphis International Airport has scheduled a contractor forum May 12 at The Guest House at Graceland to connect with businesses interested in about $500 million in contracting opportunities.

MEM Exchange 2017, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 3600 Elvis Presley Boulevard, will provide in-depth information about upcoming projects and guidance for doing business with the airport.

“Our goal at MEM is to be a catalyst for the local economy,” said Scott Brockman, president and chief executive officer of the Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority. “We want to form new partnerships with contractors, and we want to make existing partnerships stronger. MEM Exchange 2017 represents the beginning of a new era of connectivity between MEM and the business community.”

The biggest project on the horizon is a $214 million modernization of the B Concourse where nearly all flights will be consolidated after 2021.

Airport officials believe the forum will increase partnerships with local, minority-owned and women-owned businesses. It will provide participants networking opportunities to meet with disadvantaged business enterprise (DBE) contractors to assist in forming potential bidding and subcontracting teams.

Companies and individuals can register at

___ (c)2017 The Commercial Appeal (Memphis, Tenn.) Visit The Commercial Appeal (Memphis, Tenn.) at Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

FL: ‘Suspicious’ Substance Found on Plane at PBIA Not Hazardous

April 22–WEST PALM BEACH — A “suspicious” substance found on an aircraft Saturday at Palm Beach International Airport turned out not to be hazardous, Palm Beach County Fire Rescue said.

Discovery of the substance was reported to authorities shortly after 12:30 p.m., said Capt. Alberto Borrot, Fire Rescue spokesman. Hazardous Materials teams analyzed it and found no toxicity.

No one was injured in the incident.

___ (c)2017 The Palm Beach Post (West Palm Beach, Fla.) Visit The Palm Beach Post (West Palm Beach, Fla.) at Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.