Tips for choosing a Hajj package


Hajj, which purifies man from all sins, is a very sacred journey whose spiritual aspect can be overshadowed when faced with logistical problems. Therefore, choosing the "perfect" hajj package is important to allow you to focus on the spiritual aspect of the journey wholeheartedly.

The following are some aspects to consider when choosing a hajj package:

1. Choosing an agency registered with the Hajj Ministry over a sub-agent increases your chances of a smooth journey. Registered agencies are more aware of the latest rules and regulations on visa processing, can contact the Ministry of Hajj to resolve a problem, are accountable to the Ministry if pilgrims file a complaint and are more resourceful in connection with airplane, hotel and transportation. They are also cheaper because travel arrangements in Saudi Arabia can only be done by authorized agencies. Sub-agents must purchase services from these agencies and therefore sell the package at a price quote.

2. Despite all the benefits of licensed agents mentioned above, you can choose a sub-agent if you have heard good things about them. All authorized agents may not provide a good service, while some sub-agents are very professional. Therefore, one should choose a hajj package provider based on referrals.

3. Business with a knowledgeable and experienced guide in your group is necessary. No matter how much information you have gathered from books and lectures, you may encounter questions you did not expect before. It is also important to know if the travel agent is seeking advice from their guide. For logistical ease, some agents may plan departure for Arafat and Muzdalifah before the time recommended by Islamic law. Choosing an agency that plans the trip under a reputable imam can reduce the risk of taking shortcuts or heading towards the Sunnah.

4. Make sure that the imam makes hajj with pilgrims in the package of your choice. It is difficult to contact the imam if he is staying at another hotel, traveling in a different bus or living in a different tent in Mina than yours. This problem is especially common in agencies that offer only a large selection of packages under the guidance of one or two imams.

5. Having a female guide would be an added benefit for sisters who make pilgrimage.

6. It is useful to check if the travel agent has a full-time employee in the United States and Saudi Arabia. The more an agency relies on external resources, the more likely it is to suffer from wrong management. The longer an agency has provided Hajj services, the better equipped it is to provide an organized service.

7. Most Hajj packages advertise fare with New York to Jeddah fare. If you live elsewhere, be sure to include the cost of domestic fare to New York when choosing a package. Also add the cost of Hajj fees and Zabiha to get an estimate of the exact amount you will be spending per. Person.

8. Accommodation in a convenient location is very helpful. Hotel near Haram and Masjid – e-Nabwi is more important than the number of stars in a hotel as it would cut travel time, save energy for worship and save time by not having to stand in long lines to make wudu or use toilets. It may be better in case you share your room with 4 people at a hotel close to Haram and not share a room with another person, but at a greater distance from Haram. In addition, hotel ratings are according to Saudi government standards that differ from US ratings standards.

9. Do not be afraid if a hajj package does not offer meals in Makkah and Medina. There are plenty of options around Haram to eat and drink in between prayer times, but waiting for a line can take a lot of your time. Hotel buffets can be a time saver or a big distraction as people can often spend a lot of time socializing too much. However, it is good to receive food in Mina and Arafat as the options will be limited. If you are performing Hajj with family, it may be better to choose a package that offers meals throughout the trip.

10. Choosing hajj packages that first land in the Medina can save time spent on immigration lines. Pilgrims landing in Jeddah can experience 14 – 18 hours in immigration before traveling to Makkah. Choosing a package where pilgrims land in Jeddah, however, opens up many more flight options and can be cheaper. The same goes for leaving Saudi Arabia. Medina as an entry or exit port can save a lot of time.

11. Ask the agent about the location of the tent in Mina. VIP tents are mostly (if not all) a short walk from Jamarat. However, regular tents in the North American camp as far as 50 minutes walk to Jamarat are a road. In fact, some tents are not even turned up in Mina. They are located above large billboards that say "Mina ends here"!

12. Hajj packages that promised access to private apartments while staying in Mina are a plus. Tents in Mina are small with just enough room for people to sleep. Pilgrims can thus leave their luggage in their rooms during their stay in Mina. It also opens up the opportunity to use the bathrooms and showers in the room and not the ones set up in My camp.

13. Hajj packages that offer free shuttle service from Mina to Haram can help you save money. Taxis rise exponentially in Mina days. Lured by the profits, a number of people come from other cities to work as taxi drivers and may even be lost while trying to drive pilgrims to Haram. Although cheaper buses take a long time to arrive. Therefore, a shuttle service provided by your agent will be faster and free.

14. Most hajj packages provide SIM cards. This can also be a time saver. Otherwise, you may have to wait in lines to get a SIM card.

Contemplating these logistical issues while choosing the perfect hajj package will hopefully prevent your worldly worries from performing hajj and allow you to concentrate on your worship to your heart's content.



Overview of the Zimbabwean banking sector (part 1)


Entrepreneurs build their business within an environment that they may not be able to control. The robustness of an entrepreneurial business is tested by environmental changes. Within the environment are forces that can serve as great opportunities or threatening threats to the survival of the entrepreneurial business. Entrepreneurs need to understand the environment in which they work in order to take advantage of new opportunities and mitigate potential threats.

This article serves to create an understanding of the forces at play and their impact on banking in Zimbabwe. A brief historical overview of banking in Zimbabwe is being conducted. The impact of the regulatory and economic environment on the sector is assessed. An analysis of the structure of the banking sector facilitates an understanding of the underlying forces in the industry.

Historical background

By Independence (1980), Zimbabwe had a sophisticated banking and finance market where commercial banks were mainly foreign-owned. The country had a central bank inherited from the Central Bank of Rhodesia and Nyasaland at the time of the federation.

In the first few years of independence, the Zimbabwean government did not interfere in the banking sector. There was neither nationalization of foreign banks nor restrictive regulatory interference in the sectors to be financed or the interest rates to be levied, despite the socialist national ideology. However, the government bought a certain stake in two banks. It took over Nedbank's 62% of Rhobank at a reasonable price when the bank withdrew from the country. The decision may have been motivated by the desire to stabilize the banking system. The bank was re-branded as Zimbabank. The state did not interfere much in the bank's operations. The state in 1981 also partnered with Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI) as a 49% shareholder in a new commercial bank, Bank of Credit and Commerce Zimbabwe (BCCZ). This was taken over and converted to the Commercial Bank of Zimbabwe (CBZ) when the BCCI collapsed in 1991 due to allegations of unethical business conduct.

This should not be seen as nationalization, but in line with the state's policy of preventing corporate closures. The holdings in both Hawk and CBZ were later diluted to less than 25% each.

In the first decade, no original bank was licensed, and there is no evidence that the government had any financial reform plan. Harvey (n.d., page 6) cites the following as evidence of a lack of a coherent financial reform plan these years:

– In 1981, the government declared it would encourage rural banking, but the plan was not implemented.

– In 1982 and 1983, a money and finance commission was proposed, but it never constituted.

– In 1986, no financial reform agenda was mentioned in the five-year national development plan.

Harvey argues that the government's reluctance to intervene in the financial sector could be explained by the fact that it did not want to jeopardize the interests of the white population, where banking was an integral part. The country was vulnerable to this sector of the population as it controlled agriculture and manufacturing which was the mainstay of the economy. The state adopted a conservative approach to indigenization as it had learned a lesson from other African countries whose economies almost collapsed due to strong expulsion of white society without first developing a skills transfer and capacity building mechanism in the black community. The financial costs of inappropriate intervention were considered to be too high. Another plausible reason for the non-intervention policy was that the state inherited, through independence, a highly controlled economic policy with tight currency control mechanisms from its predecessor. As foreign exchange control affected credit control, by default, the government had strong control over the sector for both economic and political purposes; therefore, it did not need to interfere.

Financial reforms

After 1987, at the request of multilateral lenders, the government began an Economic and Structural Adjustment Program (ESAP). As part of this program, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) began to advocate for economic reform through liberalization and deregulation. It argued that the oligopoly in banking and non-competition deprived the sector of choice and quality in service, innovation and efficiency. Therefore, as early as 1994, the RBZ Annual Report indicates the desire for greater competition and efficiency in the banking sector, leading to banking reforms and new legislation that would:

– enable the conduct of prudent supervision of banks in accordance with international best practice

– allow both on-site banking inspections and to increase RBZ's banking supervision function, and

– strengthen competition, innovation and improve service to the public from banks.

Then, in cooperation with RBZ, the Registrar of the Ministry of Finance began issuing licenses to new entrants as the financial sector opened. From the mid-1990s until December 2003, there was a storm of entrepreneurial activity in the financial sector when original owned banks were created. The graph below shows the trend in the number of financial institutions by category that has operated since 1994. The trend shows an initial increase in commercial banks and discount houses followed by decline. The rise in commercial banks was initially slow, picking up pace around 1999. The decline in commercial banks and discount houses was due to their conversion, mostly to commercial banks.

Source: RBZ reports

Different entrepreneurs used different methods to penetrate the financial services sector. Some started consulting services and then upgraded to commercial banks, while others started stockbroking businesses that were raised for discount houses.

From the beginning of the liberalization of financial services until about 1997, there was a notable absence of locally owned commercial banks. Some of the reasons for this were:

– Conservative licensing policy from the Registrar of Financial Institutions, as it was risky to license original owned commercial banks without a possible legislature and banking experience.

– Banking companies chose non-banking financial institutions as these were cheaper in terms of both start-up capital requirements and working capital. For example, a commercial bank would require less staff, no need for a bankroom, and no need to trade in expensive small retail deposits, which would reduce costs and reduce the time to record profits. Thus, there was a rapid rise in non-banking financial institutions at this time, e.g. in 1995, five of the ten commercial banks had commenced within the previous two years. This became an optional entryway into commercial banking for some, e.g. Kingdom Bank, NMB Bank and Trust Bank.

It was expected that some foreign banks would also enter the market after the financial reform, but this did not occur, probably due to the restriction of having a minimum of 30% local stock. The strict control of foreign exchange could also have played a role as well as the cautious approach used by the licensing authorities. Existing foreign banks were not required to shed part of their stock, although Barclay & # 39; s Bank did so through listing on the local stock exchange.

Harvey argues that financial liberalization assumes that removing lending guidelines presupposes that banks would automatically be able to lend on commercial grounds. But he argues that banks may not have this capacity as they are affected by the borrower's inability to service loans due to currency exchange rate restrictions or price controls. Similarly, a positive real interest rate would normally increase bank deposits and increase financial intermediation, but this logic falsely assumes that banks will always lend more effectively. He further argues that licensing to new banks does not entail increased competition as it assumes that the new banks will be able to attract competent management and that legislation and banking supervision will be sufficient to prevent fraud and thus prevent bank collapse and the resulting financial crisis. Unfortunately, his concerns do not appear to have been addressed within Zimbabwean financial sector reform to the detriment of the national economy.

operating Environment

Any entrepreneurial activity is limited or aided by its operating environment. This section analyzes the prevailing environment in Zimbabwe that may have an impact on the banking sector.


The political environment in the 1990s was stable, but became unstable after 1998, mainly due to the following factors:

– an unbudgeted disbursement to war veterans after they launched an attack on the state in November 1997. This put a heavy strain on the economy, resulting in a run on the dollar. As a result, the Zimbabwean dollar fell by 75% as the market anticipated the consequences of the government's decision. That day has been recognized as the beginning of a sharp decline in the country's economy and has been dubbed "Black Friday". This depreciation became a catalyst for further inflation. It was followed a month later by violent food riots.

– a poorly planned agricultural land reform launched in 1998, when white commercial farmers were apparently ejected and replaced by blacks without due regard for land rights or compensation systems. This resulted in a marked reduction in the country's productivity, which is mostly dependent on agriculture. The way land distribution was handled angered the international community, claiming it is racially and politically motivated. International donors withdrew support for the program.

– an illicit military invasion, called Operation Sovereign Legitimacy, to defend the Democratic Republic of Congo in 1998, leaving the country at great expense without any obvious benefit to itself, and

– elections that the international community claimed were rigged in 2000/2003 and 2008.

These factors led to international isolation, which significantly reduced foreign exchange and foreign direct investment in the country. Investors' confidence was severely eroded. Agriculture and tourism, which are traditionally huge foreign currency earners, crumbled.

For the first decade after independence, the Banking Act (1965) was the most important legislative framework. When this was adopted, as most commercial banks where foreign owned, there were no directions on prudent lending, insider lending, share of stock that could be loaned to a borrower, definition of risk values ​​and no provision for bank inspection.

The Banking Act (24:01), which came into force in September 1999, was the culmination of RBZ & # 39; s desire to liberalize and deregulate financial services. This law regulates commercial banks, commercial banks and discount houses. Access barriers were removed, leading to increased competition. The deregulation also allowed banks a degree of latitude to operate in non-core services. It appears that this latitude was not well defined and therefore presented opportunities for risk taking by entrepreneurs. RBZ proposed this deregulation as a way to de-segment the financial sector as well as improve efficiency. (RBZ, 2000: 4.) These two factors presented opportunities for enterprising indigenous bankers to establish their own businesses in the industry. The Act was further revised and reissued as Chapter 24:20 in August 2000. The increased competition resulted in the introduction of new products and services, e.g. e-banking and in-store banking. This entrepreneurial activity resulted in "deepening and sophistication of the financial sector" (RBZ, 2000: 5).

As part of the financial reforms, the Reserve Bank Act (22:15) was passed in September 1999.

Its main purpose was to strengthen the bank's supervisory role through:

– the setting of supervisory standards within which banks operate

– perform both on-site monitoring of banks

– enforce penalties and, if necessary, place them under the trustee and

– examine banking institutions where necessary.

This law was still missing when Dr. Tsumba, the then RBZ governor, argued that there was a need for RBZ to be responsible for both licensing and supervision, since "the ultimate sanction available to a bank supervisor is the banking sector's knowledge that the license issued is canceled for overt violation of the operating rules ". However, the government appeared to have resisted this until January 2004. It can be argued that this shortage could have given some bankers the impression that nothing would happen to their licenses. In upholding RBZ & # 39; s role in banking management, directors and shareholders responsible for bank viability, said Dr. Tsumba, that it was neither RBZ's role nor the intention to "micro-manage banks and direct their day-to-day operations."

It seems that the view of his successor differs markedly from this orthodox view, and thus the evidence of micromanaging that has been observed in the sector since December 2003.

In November 2001, the troubled and insolvent banking policy that had been drawn up in previous years became operational. One of its intended objectives was that "the policy increases regulatory transparency, accountability and ensures that regulatory responses are applied fairly and consistently" The prevailing view of the market is that when implemented after 2003, this policy definitely is deficient as measured against these ideals. It can be competitive how transparent the inclusion and exclusion of vulnerable banks in the ZABG was.

A new governor for the RBZ was appointed in December 2003, when the economy was on the run. He made significant changes in monetary policy, which caused a stir in the banking sector. RBZ was finally authorized to act as both licensing and regulatory authority for financial institutions in January 2004. The regulatory environment was revised and significant changes were made to the financial sector legislation.

The Act on Troubled Financial Institution Resolution Act (2004) was adopted. As a result of the new regulatory environment, a number of financial institutions became distressed. The RBZ placed seven institutions under curatorship while one was closed and the other placed under liquidation.

In January 2005, three of the distressed banks merged under the law on troubled financial institutions to form a new institution, the Zimbabwe Allied Banking Group (ZABG). These banks allegedly failed to repay funds provided to them by RBZ. The institutions concerned were Trust Bank, Royal Bank and Barbican Bank. The shareholders appealed and won the appeal against the seizure of their assets with the Supreme Court ruling that ZABG was dealing with illegally acquired assets. These bankers appealed to the finance minister and lost their appeal. Subsequently, in 2006, they eventually appealed to the courts under the law. Finally, as of April 2010, RBZ finally agreed to return the "stolen assets".

Another measure taken by the new governor was to force management changes in the financial sector, which resulted in most entrepreneur bank founders being forced out of their own businesses under various pretexts. Some eventually fled the country under threat of arrest. The banks' boards were restructured.

Economic environment

Economically, the country remained stable until the mid-1990s, but a downturn began around 1997-1998, mostly due to political decisions made at the time, as already discussed. Economic policy was driven by political considerations. Consequently, there was the withdrawal of multinational donors and the country was isolated. At the same time, a drought hit the country during the 2001-2002 season, exacerbating the deleterious impact of farm drafts on crop production. This reduced production had a negative impact on banks that financed agriculture. The disruptions in commercial agriculture and the simultaneous reduction in food production resulted in an uncertain food security position. For the past twelve years, the country has been forced to import corn, further exacerbating the country's weaknesses in foreign currency.

Another effect of the agrarian reform program was that most farmers who had borrowed money from banks were unable to service the loans, but the government, which took over their businesses, refused to take responsibility for the loans. By not compensating farmers quickly and fairly, it became impractical for farmers to service the loans. The banks were thus exposed to these bad loans.

The net result was spiraling inflation, business closures that resulted in high unemployment, shortages in foreign currency, as international sources of drying and food shortages. The lack of foreign currency led to fuel shortages, which in turn reduced industrial production. As a result, gross domestic product (GDP) has been in decline since 1997. This negative economic environment meant reduced banking activity as industrial activity declined and banking services operated in the parallel rather than the formal market.

As depicted in the graph below, inflation spiraled to a peak of 630% in January 2003. After a brief postponement, the trend continued to rise to 1729% in February 2007. Thereafter, the country entered a period of hyperinflation unheard of in a peacetime period. Inflation underlines banks. Some argue that inflation increased because the devaluation of the currency had not been accompanied by a reduction in the budget deficit. Hyperinflation causes interest rates to rise while collateral values ​​decline, resulting in asset-liability mismatches. It also increases failure of loans as more people do not pay off their loans.

Effectively, most banks had adopted a conservative lending strategy in 2001, for example. where overall progress for the banking sector accounted for only 21.7% of total corporate assets, compared to 31.1% in the previous year. Banks resort to the unstable income without interest. Some began trading in the parallel market in foreign currency, sometimes colliding with RBZ.

In the latter half of 2003 there was a serious cash shortage. People stopped using banks as intermediaries as they were not sure they could access their cash when they needed it. This reduced the deposit base for banks. Due to the short maturity profile of the deposit base, banks are usually unable to invest significant portions of their funds in long-term assets and were thus very liquid until mid-2003. In 2003, however, most of the original banks, due to customer demand for inflation-related returns, took on speculative investments that yielded higher returns.

These speculative activities, mainly on banking activities outside the core business, generated exponential growth in the financial sector. For example, a bank made its asset base grow from $ 200 billion. USD ($ 50 million) to $ 800 billion ($ 200 million) within a year.

However, bankers have argued that what the governor calls speculative non-core business is considered best practice in most advanced banking systems worldwide. They claim that it is not unusual for banks to take equity positions in non-banking institutions, they have borrowed money to secure their investments. Examples were given to banks such as Nedbank (RSA) and J P Morgan (USA), which control large real estate investments in their portfolios. Bankers convincingly claim that these investments are sometimes used to hedge against inflation.

The instruction from the new governor of RBZ to banks to relax their positions overnight, and the immediate withdrawal of overnight accommodation support for banks by RBZ, stimulated a crisis that led to significant mismatches between asset liabilities and a liquidity scarcity for most banks. Property prices and the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange collapsed at the same time due to massive sales by banks trying to cover their positions. The loss of value in the stock market meant the collapse of the collateral most banks had instead of the loans they had dissolved.

During this period, Zimbabwe remained in debt relief as most of its foreign debt was either unpaid or underpaid. The resulting deterioration in the balance of payments (BOP) puts pressure on foreign exchange reserves and the overvalued currency. Total government domestic debt increased from $ 7.2 billion (1990) to $ 2.8 trillion (2004). This growth in domestic debt stems from high budget deficits and decreases in international financing.


Due to the unstable economy after the 1990s, the population became quite mobile with a significant number of professionals emigrating for economic reasons. The internet and satellite TV really made the world a global village. Customers demanded the same level of service expertise they were exposed to globally. This made service quality a different benefit. There was also a demand for banks to invest heavily in technological systems.

The rising cost of doing business in a hyperinflationary environment led to high unemployment and a simultaneous collapse of real income. As Zimbabwe Independent (2005: B14) so ​​much observed, a direct result of the hyperinflationary environment is "that currency substitution is common, which implies that the Zimbabwe dollar abandons its function as a store of value, unit of account and exchange medium" to more stable foreign currencies .

During this period, a wealthy, indigenous segment of society emerged that was cash rich but avoided patronizing banks. The growing parallel foreign exchange and cash market during the cash crisis reinforced this. This effectively reduced the customer base for banks, while more banks came on the market. Thus, there was aggressive competition within a dwindling market.

Socio-economic costs associated with hyperinflation include: erosion of purchasing power parity, increased uncertainty in business planning and budgeting, reduced disposable income, speculative activities that divert resources from productive activities, pressure on the domestic exchange rate due to increased import demand and poor returns on savings. During this period to increase income there was increased cross-border trade as well as commodity brokerage of people who imported from China, Malaysia and Dubai. In fact, this meant that imported substitutes for local products intensified competition, adversely affecting local industries.

As more banks entered the market, which for financial reasons suffered a major brain drain, this was the reason why many inexperienced bankers were thrown to the deep end. Eg. The founding directors of ENG Asset Management had less than five years of experience in financial services, and yet ENG was the fastest growing financial institution by 2003. It has been suggested that its failure in December 2003 was due to youthful zeal, greed and lack of experience. The collapse of ENG affected some financial institutions that were financially exposed to it, as well as inducing depositor flight that led to the collapse of some original banks.



Drones and their use by state and private entities


A drone is an unmanned remote controlled flying vehicle that can also be used for specific work in addition to just being able to fly around. Drones are used for photographic and video recording from above. Some are used to perform scientific or technical measurements. Some carry weapons and are used as combat tools. Still else is used to transport cargo and mail between places. The latest developments are drones that carry installation and repair tools.

The basic technology of a drone consists of a kind of power plant, some propulsion mechanism, a kind of steering mechanism, a kind of sensors for recognizing place and path, and a sender-receiver unit for transmitting and receiving signals for control and recording. Drones are available in all forms that you can find in larger planes, and also in all kinds of exotic forms, such as elongated airships, disks, triangles, donuts, stars or can resemble large insects or birds.

Small or light drones are typically powered by propellers connected to electric motors powered by batteries. Increasingly, very light drones are produced, powered by solar panels, which can in principle fly in the air for weeks. Some drones are held by the ceiling, like a blimp, which also allows the drone to keep itself in the air for a long time. Larger or heavier drones are mostly driven by a kind of internal combustion engine, such as piston engines, turboprop engines or turbojet engines.

It is also possible to construct nuclear-powered drones that can remain high for days or weeks, and especially if these drones are partially manufactured as gas-filled blimps. Such nuclear power sources need not be considered nuclear reactors. The energy source can be special isotopes that radiate intensely, thereby producing enough heat to propel the drone. Some of these isotopes mostly emit alpha rays or beta rays that can be shielded without heavy armor.

As most uses of drones are kept secret or simply not publicized, it is difficult to give a full account of the extent of their use and who uses them, but a fairly clear picture is based on official sources, journalistic and scientific articles, advertisements from drone manufacturers and stories of people coming into contact with drones in use.

Most drones are probably used by civilian authorities and property owners for various domestic surveys, such as border control, road traffic monitoring, fire detection, aerial photography, geographical mapping, pipeline control, electrical grid control and crowd behavior monitoring. Drones are increasingly used to broadcast the prospect of sports championships. Police forces use drones to detect and investigate crimes, a practice that also appears to involve drones directly from private citizens in their homes.

Military forces have long used drones to monitor foreign territories and combat zones. The use of small tactical drones to deliver bombs, missile launches, and shotguns is old, but is becoming increasingly important. In 2014, such drones are widely used to investigate terrorist bases, to bomb such bases, and to kill persons suspected of terrorism. A classic surveillance drone used by both military and civilian authorities is the RQ-4 Global Hawk. The small helicopter drones Northrop-Grumman MQ-8 (A, B and C) fire scouts are examples of the smaller surveillance combat drones used in local operations and launched from small vessels or from land-based troops.

Larger, long-range drones, comparable to bombers, are used both for surveillance and for destroying targets at ground level and at sea. Known examples of these are the Atomics MQ-1 predator, the Atomics MQ-9 Reaper, capable of carrying a heavier load of weapons and the increasingly advanced stealthy jet-powered combat drone Atomics Avenger. The Isreeli Eitan drone is a large long-range monitoring and ground drone capable of staying high for 70 hours.

Effective laser guns have now been invented, and drones armed with laser guns are likely to be a reality in 2014, at least in experimental versions, but these drones must be of some size because the laser needs a large power generator powered by a turbine engine.

However, the technical control mechanisms are probably not so far advanced in 2014 that they have been able to construct fully reliable supersonic drones with fighter aircraft capabilities. However, unmanned supersonic stealthy fighter jets have been under construction for some time, and in 2014 they have long since been flown to the test. By 2014, these Northrop-Grumman stealth bomber drone x47Bs are close to being deployed for realistic airline combat testing.

British company BAE is developing a stealthy supersonic fighter bomber drone in a project called Taranis. French producer Dessault, together with other European participants, is working on a similar project, called nEUROn. Both projects have produced experimental versions that have flown for testing by 2014. There is speculation that the 6th generation fighter aircraft will be unmanned or can be manned or drones depending on choice. Lockheed-Martin Skunk Works and Boeing Corporation Phantom Works are leading U.S. developers of combat vehicles, including unmanned aerial vehicles.

Available information seems to indicate that Lockheed Martin is developing unmanned fighter aircraft using much of the same technology as the F35B stealthy, vertical take-off and landing, supersonic fighter aircraft, and also developing a high-flying, hypersonic unmanned spy aircraft. It is logical to believe that this hypersonic plane will also have bomb functions.

Drones that mimic birds or other small animals have been developed and can be used for espionage, gun, or injection of poison into targets. There are rumors that such drones are already in use by some government agencies. Rumors can tell that even spy and attack drones, reminiscent of insects in shape and size, are under development. Probably the microtechnology has still not come so far that such drones can be made, but the physical opportunity to manufacture such drones is there.

The United States has plans to allow drones constructed as blimps and powered by solar panels to be permanently stationed in the upper zones of the atmosphere for monitoring. Such drones can be made to lower altitudes to avoid clouds and to patrol an area, something you can't do with satellites. But possibly high flying drones that operate high for days or weeks, powered by nuclear power, are already in use for a long time. Certain UFO sightings seem to be pointing in that direction.

One might ask how often people see drones in flight or in use by 2014. Of course, there are no statistics on this. Sometimes people see flying objects that are clearly recognized as drones. Most often, it will be difficult to decide what to see. Most UFO reports in 2014 are likely caused by drones.

Since at least larger drones are comparable to other air carriers, they are required to hold lanterns and other means to warn of the possibility of collision, but since government agencies operating drones typically want to keep the flight secret, such lanterns may only be turned on when other traffic is in the neighborhood or when operators want visual contact. This kind of intermittent light emission is typical of many classic UFO sightings.

Also, the flight pattern of a drone used for surveillance and investigation will mimic the pattern seen by objects in UFO reports: Sometimes they fly forewords at different speeds, sometimes they stop and just hover, they often change direction, they coming from above, doing some maneuvers near the ground and then flying up and away.

Light from drones can also be used to illuminate targets, often at ground level, for image capture, which is also seen in classic UFO stories. Many drones also have the shape of a classic UFO. In addition, drones provide only a little noise, which is also characteristic of so-called UFO's.



Choose the right pool table for yourself


There is something to be said about buying the right pool table. Buying a pool table is really like buying a car. In many ways, you can relate the entire billiards industry to the automotive industry. It’s amazing how many lessons our pool table manufacturers and retailers can learn from the oh-so-trusted car industry. There are dozens of different manufacturers in different countries.
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Then, choose where to buy your pool table. Would you decide to buy from an authorized dealer or a small timer in his garage? Inside it, you will notice that there are several different designs and sizes. There is a wide range of raw material options that it is built upon. Even more, you have to decide what options you want, including: stains, cloth, sights and accessories. Want to buy new or used? And the list goes on and on.
The recommendation to buy new is always the best. Why? Forget for a moment, the qualities and brands available. Now, really consider the disadvantages of buying a new pool table.
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There is simply only one real downside, price. If you are considering buying a pool table and you are motivated for price and price alone; then it might be best to just settle for something used. But if you can wait, if you can take some time to slow down the impulse by buying now; Then you will notice that you would give away all the benefits of buying new. Remember, there are several brands and qualities. You will give up customization, quality, generation, guarantees and guarantees. Need something more said? That is clear.
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Buying a pool table is a huge expense. You don’t just have to settle for a used or a retailer because it is cheaper. You wouldn’t settle for the car you don’t want just because it’s cheap, right? Maybe, but you know what you want. You know what you like. Build it and be part of the process. This will be something you can pass on to your children’s children. However, there are certain occasions where it may just make more sense to buy stock or used items. Just know what’s right for you.
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Okay, so what’s the best pool table available? It’s up for debate. I’ve worked on and seen pretty much everything out there over the years. Some are good others are firewood. In general, I would recommend that you buy something made in the US, use a hardwood in the construction and include either a Brazilian or Italian slate in three-piece form.
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As a side note: Tables from China just aren’t good. Slate from China is just not good. If you think slate is just slate; then tell the many customers who made the mistake of purchasing these and needed frame builds, slate replacement and new parts that ended up costing them more money than what they paid for the whole table brand new. Chinese slate is stiff and hard so it cannot bend, so it cracks and breaks. Their pool tables are mass-produced on the “line” with spray on stains and finishes. Of course, they look good. They may even play OK for a little while, but these finishes end and they used cheap forests, distortion. Nor does it take long for this to happen.

There is also a difference in MADE in the US and BUILT in the US. There are many companies that claim to be made in the United States, but in fact only gather here. I do not buy from such one. Do some research, talk to the right people, and educate yourself. I can list many American manufacturers for you, but that would be settling down and removing the value in product research. Let’s try to remember that this is a process more than it is an impulse purchase.

One-piece slate tables are outdated for home. In columns, they are lovely, but that is not what you want in your home. First off, who wants to move it? No one does. Second, they just can’t get the same level of precision that a wooden slate can get. General leveling is all you get with one slice, and three pieces of slate not only give you that, but also add a fine-tuning element that keeps this level longer and also withstands bias.

It will take some time to find the right manufacturer and dealer. Find the best ones that fit your budget and, more importantly, fit your needs. The internet may give you the ideas, but you have to get out there and actually see the product. Take your time. Find what works best. Remember, it’s your money.

Size and style are entirely up to you. There is nothing anyone can do to influence these. How much space do you have? This will help you measure what size fits into your current home. However, think carefully about this one. Remember, as Americans, we move often. What fits in your current home may not fit into your next one. What decor do you have and present in your home? Does a traditional look, modern design or tournament style suit you and your home? There may be settings on a pool table from the legs, frame (curved, no arch, double arch) and rail edges (checkered, smooth, scalloped). All of these things need to be considered. Go out there and look at them!

There are the more common types of wood used to make pool tables. In general, you will see particle board with veneer and laminate over it, poplar (or tulip), oak (white or red), hard white maple, hickory, walnut, mahogany or any other exotic forest. There are tables out there made of marble, car parts, metal and other weird materials. However, your standard hardwood will be oak or maple for most traditional models, and a laminate will typically be used on your modern tournament style corner tables. General rule of thumb: stick to the standard forest and work your way up.

Which of these are important to you? Which not? In general, your household tree species will last a very long time. Just another important note about “hardwood”, poplar is technically considered a hardwood, but most people do not recognize it that way. It is soft and warps easily, even if you press it together in layers. Don’t be fooled by the seller. Tournament style tables are pretty much all made of a chipboard wood with either a high or low quality laminate. Don’t let that stop you from buying one because the particle is not that big. It’s not, but some good name tag stuff makes a good table out of it.

There are many different stains and finishes these days. The stain is basically the color they make the wood, while the finish is what goes over it for protection and shine. The stain colors range from natural and light colors, all the way to dark and black. Finishes will generally be available in just a few different options, with matte, semi-gloss and high gloss being the most popular. These two things are related to your personal desires and decor. Check them all out, especially against your fabric color settings.

The day for the traditional green cloth is no longer. There are dozens of colors now and you are not limited to the green and blue colors of the past. However, there are different types of cloth. They fall into two types: wool and comb yarn.

Woolen cloth or napkin cloth is your standard in home and leisure cloths. Most retailers include this type as a standard tablecloth for a table purchase. Very rarely will you see it in a pool hall unless the owner is cheap. This cloth is usually a mixture of nylon and wool. It is sometimes referred to as a decoy because it has micro fibers that stand up similar to carpet. Professionals stay away from this cloth because it does not pull on the slate so tight for less speed and accuracy, it tends to peel, bullets will indent grooves and give it “wiggle”.

Worsted cloth is also a similar blend with a much higher wool content. This is the best of the best. It’s elastic enough to stretch to an incredible tightness, giving the game extreme accuracy and speed consistent enough for professionals to maintain position throughout their game. It does not peel and rip, like its brother’s wool, and it is heavy and durable, which extends its life in most scenarios. If you have the extra cash, get it! Don’t skimp on cloth, but know that there really is only one real manufacturer and that the other brands of camel wool are just cheap knockoffs.

Attractions are available in many different materials and styles. You see round and diamond shaped sights made of plastic, mother of pearl, mother of pearl and metals like brass and chrome. You can have them be different colors or have a double diamond look to them. The most common double diamond style will consist of a pearl embrace surrounded by abalone. This gives a pool table a completely different look and feel.

Then we get to the accessories. That’s what they are and most often you get a set with your table coming straight out of China and generally sucking. However, this is OK because these are starter elements. Of course, you want the best you can get with the purchase, but don’t let a guy tell you that his table is better because he has better accessories. As you learn the game and get more involved, you will appreciate and understand the value of upgrading the equipment over time. Personally, if the bullets are not Aramith and the cows are not of American decent; then I don’t want them. However, they become pricey and are not necessary until you get the feel of the game and want better equipment.

So the last thing to mention while searching for the perfect pool table are the guarantees and guarantees. Why is this important? Simple if the manufacturer does not back up their product for a lifetime and a retailer does not support its lifetime warranty work; so what’s the good thing about the product and service provided. Do you remember that generation exit? How can you be expected to do so if the manufacturer and seller do not even believe in their product? It is difficult to find the right combination of manufacturer for retailer, but they are there. If you can’t offer these two simple things, don’t be in the business at all. Forget them.

If the brand is right, call the manufacturer and tell them you want their product without the dealer’s involvement and tell them why. The dealership is right and the brand is wrong, so you may need to explore other options with them or find another brand.

This is all about you and this is the insight for your analysis. In the end, you are the one who needs to decide what is right for you in brand, price, quality and style.



Philippines Island-Hopping – An exciting experience


Few outdoor activities can be more fascinating than island hopping if planned properly. In this article, I will cover some tips that will guide you through the maze of the Philippine island hopping and how you and your partner can have a comfortable time doing it. So let's take a trip to the Philippines and check out the possibility of island hopping there. You will enjoy fun diving experiences, delicious meals and pristine coral reefs carpeted with colorful fish and even more.

Philippine island hopping is unparalleled because the Philippines, as an island, is composed of 7,100 islands located in Southeast Asia. What makes Philippine island hopping even more enticing in this island paradise is that it won't cost you an arm and a leg.

If you are a nature lover, you will enjoy every minute of your visit and activities: fine white sandy beaches, excellent and delicious meals and breathtaking scenery. You can also enjoy all kinds of water sports: diving, parasailing, surfing, snorkeling and more.

What would you do with 7,100 islands in a country? Exploring some of them can be an obvious answer if time is on your side. At least that's probably what you could do during your upcoming trip to the Philippines.

Since you have decided to go to the Philippines with island hopping, take a piece of paper and make a plan. Make it real, feasible and flexible. When traveling in foreign territories, make sure you include Plan B in your overall plan because sometimes the ferries run too late, the aircraft may delay, and a number of other unknown factors caused by Mother Nature.

Time is an important factor to consider in your plan. Let's say you want to go to Cebu, a Philippine island hopping province. Upon your arrival from the United States, it is assumed that you are staying at a hotel in Manila, the capital. It takes approx. 45 minutes to get from Manila to Cebu by plane. All things considered, when you arrive in Cebu City, Cebu, you may want to rest a little and begin your island-hopping journey the next day. In all likelihood, you need a day or even more to move from one island to the next.

On your trip, use domestic flights, small boat, known as bancas for a short trip, roro boats and ferries for longer if needed. On land, you may need to take public transport, such as buses, taxis and vehicle hire, or rent a private car with driver at very reasonable cost. There will be plenty of food and drink to meet your needs almost everywhere. These should not be a major concern for you. Make sure you only bring your own drinking water or drink water from sealed water bottles.

You can plan to island-hop the following destinations while in Cebu City: Bohol, Mactan Island, Negros Oriental, Leyte, Siquijor and even more. For the sake of argument, among these five islands, I'll show you how to only island-hop Bohol and Leyte. You can easily do the others based on the first two by applying the same procedure and principles.

Let's move on. Be sure to check out the Philippine Holidays calendar as these can cushion your trip. You have to travel very easily. Wear comfortable clothing and waterproof shoes. You should have a lightweight backpack and a waterproof camera if you have them. Don't rely on ATMs or banks; Therefore, you should carry cash or Philippine currency.

On average, you will need approximately 1100 Philippine currency or pesos or $ 26 per day. Day on island hopping or more and it should cover transportation, food and sundries.

From Manila, the capital

You need to buy a two-way plane ticket in Manila at Ninoy International Airport. From Manila, take a domestic flight to Cebu International Airport, located in Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu. You can choose from hotels in Lapu-Lapu City. The flight from Manila to Cebu Mactan International Airport in Lapu-Lapu City takes approx. 45 minutes.

Once in Cebu, the first thing you need to do is gather all the information about ferry schedules: fare, date / time of departure and return to your destinations. You must also make a reservation at the hotel in advance if you plan to spend the night in one place. Ask the front desk receptionist about the information you are looking for.

You have to decide if you want to spend a night in each destination. This is the best way to synchronize your island hopping itinerary. Basically, you may need to spend at least 4 or 5 nights in Cebu if you want to visit 3 or 4 nearby islands, provided you do not stay overnight in any of them.

The first island you might want to visit is Bohol. So from Cebu City you take a ferry. At the hotel reception you can ask the clerk how to travel to Bohol by ferry. With this information, the taxi driver will take you to the right pier for your ferry destination, which is Bohol. Get a two-way ticket. Make sure you check the time and date of your return trip.

You can decide to explore Bohol by bus or by private car or with a guide. It's up to you. Once you're done with Bohol, you can now decide to move on to Leyte on the same day, probably in the early evening. Check the ferry map from Bohol to Leyte to make sure your island hopping continues as planned.

From Bohol, buy a two-way ticket from Supper Shuttle Ubay (Bohol) to Bato (Leyte). Check your ferry tickets to make sure you are on time when you return. From Bato, Leyte, you can rent a travel guide or a private car with a driver to take you to some notable tourist areas; this is also an option. Nevertheless, a travel guide should be the way to go. Because you arrive sometime in the early evening in Leyte, you will have to spend the night there. You will find plenty of hotel stays and restaurants to choose from.

You have almost all day to explore Leyte. Ask the front desk receptionist for information on tours: city tours, boat trips and the like. If you decide to go for water sports, you can rent a small boat or board a passenger boat (a banca) for a ride. If you're in the mood for a dive, board a dive boat. In this case, you could rent a snorkel and a mask and other appliances right on the beach. Before you do, find out if these equipment comes with a dive trip as a package.

If you like diving, you can also love the scenery of pristine coral reef carpeted with colorful fish. Maybe after your pleasant and exciting dive, you should be ready to hop on a ferry on your way back to Cebu. Review your ferry schedule. If you have a little more time before traveling to Manila, you may be able to do some more island hopping in Siquijor, Mactan Island and Negros Oriental. Happy island hopping in the Philippines!



How do I expand my eBay US business internationally?


It is a very large world out there with well over 193 recognized countries. If you add all the dozens of colonies and territories controlled by other countries that are rapidly growing to well over 200 countries in the world. For eBay sellers who want to expand internationally, many of them fear the customs rules and regulations that are different in each country. How could an eBay seller be well versed in the customs regulations of each country? The answer is simply that you cannot. So what does an eBay seller do to avoid this problem by choosing to offer your product to the worldwide market? Slow methodical International expansion is the way to do and make customs rules your buyer's responsibility.

Stage 1 for a US seller international expansion

The first step in the process is to change your shipping policy page for your listings. One of the great features that eBay offers is that you can select specific countries that you would like to start servicing internationally. But which countries should you choose? Currently, USPS offers a service internationally called 1st Class Package International. The USPS raised the postage rates for this service level category and, in some cases, doubled the rates. However, it does allow a new eBay International customer to ship a 4 oz package internationally and receive a delivery confirmation scan in select countries. These are the first countries to start with for your new eBay International Business.

Enable the following countries:

Canada Australia United Kingdom

Netherlands Germany Switzerland

Belgium New Zealand Sweden

Spain Ireland Finland

France Portugal Brazil


If you use an order management system like Shipstation or Shipworks, they allow you to purchase insurance for these packages. This will alleviate your concerns about potential fraud and lost packages.

Shipping Policy

Make sure you adjust your shipping policy pages to reflect the fact that you are now serving the above countries. Make sure you choose the right shipping service and mention that you do not offer combined delivery on international orders. Additionally, be sure to note that goods prohibited from traveling to your country are the responsibility of the buyer. The seller is not responsible for prohibited, restricted or objects prevented from entering your customs office. If you have any questions about access restrictions, contact your local customs office. Tasks and taxes for shipping are the sole responsibility of the buyer.

Addressing Brand System

As you expand into the international market, you want to use an address management system that will grow with your business. I always recommend using Endicia allows you to take advantage of commercial base prices for your domestic packages and allows you to generate the first labels in the first class package. This will become an important feature as your business grows.

Measure your success

Keep track of how many packages you ship internationally daily. The most important metrics you want to measure are the following:

1) Number of international orders?

2) Percentage of lost packages relative to your international orders?

3) Percentage of fraudulent orders?

4) How does this compare to your US business?

5) Which country do you receive the most orders from?

Step 2 for an eBay US seller's international expansion (shipping more than 20 packages per day overseas)

So you have been in phase one of your international expansion and you are seeing a real success with the expansion of your business. As a seller, you know that if you can lower your postage rates internationally, you will be able to expand your business further. How do you achieve this? You contact a USPS Postal Qualified wholesaler. To find and contact a post-qualified wholesaler, you will contact your global account manager with USPS.

OK, so you've found a USPS post-qualified wholesaler and want to know which USPS Bulk International Mailing program to choose? This question is answered differently by each eBay seller. For the most part, you have two options listed below:

USPS International Priority Airmail

This is a USPS 1st Class International postal service offered by Postal Qualified Wholesalers (PQW) to over 200 countries worldwide. In essence, the USPS has outsourced the US side sorting, transportation and preparation required for international distribution. PQW will deliver your mail to the USPS International Sorting Center (ISC) that is packaged and ready to depart on the next flight. As the USPS receives written mail, your parcels will not be scanned at the acceptance facility nor will you receive a delivery confirmation scan in the destination country. The benefits of this service are that in many cases your postage rates are reduced to half. You will be able to upload the same tracking numbers to eBay, but they will not scan for delivery. Now this is where your stats come in handy. If you experience a high loss rate from your Step 1 test, this service is not for you. However, if you are experiencing a pallet loss rate, you can test this service to optimize your mail savings and increase your amount of international orders you have received. In case you feel you need to follow these orders, use the next service. For more information on International Priority Airmail see my article on entitled USPS International Priority Airmail for eCommerce Companies.

USPS commercial ePacket

This is a USPS 1st Class International mailing service offered by Postal Qualified Wholesalers (PQW) to only 15 countries worldwide. The main difference between commercial ePacket and International Priority Airmail is that ePacket will have a delivery confirmation number and scanned provided by the receiving post office. The exchange here is that this service is more expensive than International Priority Airmail.

Important considerations

Some important considerations that you will take when deciding which direction to take in your international shipping method

1) Will your increase in business outweigh any risk of lost packages?

2) How many fraudulent claims are you currently experiencing internationally?

3) Is your product sales price low in value and easily replaced if your package is lost?

4) Would you be willing to self-insure by withholding a small portion of the postage savings to eliminate any risk of loss?



The History of Long Island MacArthur Airport



Located on 1,310 acres in Suffolk County, Long Island MacArthur Airport is the region's only commercial service facility that has struggled with identity and purpose for most of its existence.

Its second – and oval-shaped – 50,000-square-foot passenger terminal, opened in 1966 and sports-developed two opposite, ramp access gates, had radiated a small hometown atmosphere – so much so that scenes from the original Out-of-Towners movie had been filmed in it .

Its subsequent expansion, which resulted in a thousand percent increase in passenger terminal area and about two million annual passengers, was sporadic and cyclical, characterized by a new airline business that had always given rise to a number of passenger attractions, new nonstop route implementation and additional carriers. before the declining conditions had begun a reverse trend. During bicycle peaks, check-in, gate and ramp space had a prize, while a trough could be heard pin-drop on the terminal floor.

Its Catch-22 fight had always brought about the circular argument that airlines unwilling to provide service to the airport due to a lack of passengers and passengers unwilling to use the airport due to a lack of service.

This is essentially the strength that shaped its seven decades of history. And this is basically Long Island MacArthur Airport history.

1. Origins

The Civilian Aeronautics Act of 1938, pursuant to section 303, authorized federal fund costs for landing areas, provided that the administrator could affirm "such landing areas were reasonably necessary for use in aviation or for the sake of national defense."

At the outbreak of World War II, Congress appropriated $ 40 million for the development of landing areas for national defense, or "DLAND," where the Developmental Citizens (DCLA) had been an extension. Because civil aviation had initially been perceived as an "attachment" to military aviation, it had been considered a "segment" of the national defense system, thus collecting direct federal government civilian airport support. Local authorities provided land and subsequently maintained and operated airports. Construction of 200 such airports began in 1941.

A Long Island regional airport, located in Islip, had been one of them. On September 16 of the same year, the City of Islip – the intended owner and operator of the originally named Islip Airport – sponsored the project under an official decision designated by Public Law 78-216, which provided the land while the federal government passed to plan and build the actual airport. The 1-year, $ 1.5 million construction project initiated in 1942 resulted in an airfield with three 5,000-foot runways and three associated taxis. Although it had fulfilled its original military purpose, it was always intended for public use.

Despite increased instrument-based flight training following the installation of Instrument Landing System (ILS) equipment in 1947, the regional facility failed to meet the expected expectations of becoming New York's largest airport following the recent construction of Idlewild. Losing Lockheed as a major tenant in 1950, it would since renamed MacArthur Airport, in honor of General Douglas MacArthur, embark on a long path of development before it would happen.

2. Initial service

A 5,000-square-foot passenger terminal and restaurant, funded by the federal government, had been built in 1949. Infrastructure-equipped, the airport, surrounded by local community growth, sought its first public air service by petitioning the Civil Aeronautics Board. Islip had tried to attract scheduled air travel as far back as 1956, and this ultimately took the form of Gateway Airlines three years later, as it had begun operations, at a flight taxi level, with a fleet of 11 passengers de Havilland Doves and 15 – Passing the Havilland Herons to Boston, Newark and Washington. However, insufficient funding had led to its premature termination only eight months later.

The airport, which had only 20 based aircraft at this time, fielded about 30,000 movements each year. Allegheny Airlines then received the full CAB passenger route itinerary in 1960 and inaugurated four daily Convair and Martinliner round trips to Boston, Philadelphia and Washington in September with more than 19,000 passengers in 1961, its first full year of operation.

Two years later, the FAA opened a New York Air Route Traffic Control Center and a seven-story control tower, and in 1966, a $ 1.3 million, 50,000-square-foot oval terminal replaced the original rectangular facility.

Mohawk, who was assigned to the second CAB routing that year, inaugurated the Fairchild FH-227 service to Albany, and the two scheduled air carriers carried approx. 110,000 passengers from the since-renamed Islip MacArthur airport in 1969. The 210 based aircraft recorded 240,000 annual movements.

Runways and taxis were gradually expanded, in part in response to Eastern and Pan Am & # 39; s designation of the airport as an "alternative" to their flight plans.

3. First Major Carrier Service

Long imagined as a relief airport for JFK and La Guardia, which would provide limited, but important, nonstop service to major US cities and hubs, such as Boston, Philadelphia, Washington, Atlanta, Pittsburgh, Chicago and major Florida destinations, Long The island airport was in urgent need of additional large airlines, but this goal remained elusive.

However, the cycle had been broken on April 26, 1971, when American Airlines inaugurated 727-100 "Astrojet" service for Chicago-O & # 39; Hare, Islip's first clean-jet and first "trunk" operation, allowing the same day , business trip around and eliminate the otherwise required La Guardia commute. Because of America's top driver, it had attracted both attention and passengers, indicating that Islip had achieved "big airport" status and the Chicago route, now the longest nonstop from the airfield, had provided a vital lifeline to a primary, Midwestern city, and to American & # 39; s route system offering numerous flight connections.

The route was quickly followed in the summer with the inauguration of Allegheny DC-9-30 service to Providence and Washington, while two years later Altair had launched turboprop flights Beech B99 and North N.262 to Bridgeport and Philadelphia.

American Allegheny (which was periodically merged with Mohawk in 1972), and Altair provided the established Long Island air service during the 1970s.

To reflect its regional location, the facility was renamed for the fourth time and adopted the title of Long Island MacArthur Airport in 1978.

For most of the 1970s, it handled an average of 225,000 passengers annually. Allegheny, the leading operator, had offered nine daily departures with pure jet BAC-111 and DC-9-30 during 1978.

In March 1982, USAir, the diverted Allegheny Airlines, had been its only remaining clean jet carrier with daily DC-9-30 service to Albany and BAC-111-200 service to Washington National – perhaps stressing its ability to be profitable run from small community airfields with its properly sized double-jet equipment.

The early 1980s were characterized by commuter-regional carrier dominance with operations provided by Pilgrim, New Haven Airlines, Altair, Air North, Mall Airways and Ransome. The latter, first flying as part of the Allegheny Commuter consortium, later operated independently under its own name in conjunction with Delta Air Lines, offering about 17 daily M-298 and DHC-7 departures to seven regional cities.

Except for Ransome, it had often seemed as if the airport regional airline's gaps had opened gapply: Suburban / Allegheny Commuter, Southern Jersey / Allegheny Commuter, Empire and Henson-The Piedmont Regional Airline were all descent on the runways. Precision, which had inaugurated multi-day Dornier Do-228-200 services for both Boston and Philadelphia, operated independently, as Precision-Eastern Express and as Precision-Northwest Airlink, and had been the only airline to offer route planning from neighboring countries. Republic Airport in Farmingdale, primarily a general aviation field.

4. Northeastern International Airlines

Market research had long indicated the need for nonstop Long Island-Florida service because of its concentration of tourist attractions and to facilitate visits between Long Island children and Florida-relocated retired parents. Deregulation, the very power of creating multiple airlines, divergent service and ticket prices, and the relative ease of new market entry, had created Northeastern International, founded to provide high-density, low-fare, limited facilities and fulfill the idealized nonstop service. connection, the Long Island-Florida connection when it inaugurated the operation on February 11, 1982 with a former Evergreen International DC-8-50, initially with four weekly round trips to Fort Lauderdale and one to Orlando. After another aircraft was acquired, it had been able to register a total of 150,000 passengers during the first year of operation, with 32,075 having been on board alone in December.

Although its headquarters had been located in Fort Lauderdale, its operational base was established on Long Island MacArthur, and it ultimately served Fort Lauderdale, Hartford, Miami, Orlando and St. Louis. Petersburgh with the two DC-8's and two former Pan Am 727-100s with seven daily departures. With both the charter company strategy to operate high density, single class, low cost service and the largest airline strategy of flying large capacity aircraft, it actually served a very competitive route – from New York to Florida – with no competition whatsoever by operating directly from Islip.

By 1984, when Northeastern had served as a catalyst for route and route introduction, eleven airlines had served the airport, including Allegheny Commuter, American, Eastern, Empire, Henson, NewAir, Northeastern, Pilgrim, Ransome, United and USAir JFK and La Guardia for air services that directly serve the Long Island market and fulfill the airport's originally envisioned role as becoming New York's secondary commercial facility. While providing nonstop service to Chicago-O & # 39; Hare from Islip, both American and United competed for the same passenger base.

By 1986, Long Island MacArthur, for the first time in its 36-year planned history, had handled a million passengers in a single year, a level that has since equaled or exceeded.

To meet the explosive demand and ease its current excessive passenger facilities, the city of Islip embarked on a progressive terminal facilities improvement program that had originally included the addition of two commuter airports, the enclosure of the former curb and two glass-enclosed wings west of the now covered luggage carousel and east of the three relocated rental car counters and Austin travel agency. The internal roadway was re-adjusted and additional parking spaces were created.

A more ambitious terminal expansion program, which took place in 1990 and cost $ 3.2 million, resulted in two jet-lined concourses extending from the rear of the oval terminal, adding 22,700 square feet of space. Runway 6-24 & # 39; s 1,000-foot extension to 7,000 feet was eventually completed three years later after a decade of primarily local resident resistance due to assumed noise increase.

By the end of 1990, the transformation of Long Island MacArthur Airport from a small, hometown airport served by a couple of operators to a major facility served by most of the major carriers was complete.

Several conclusions could already be drawn from the airport's 30-year history.

1. Allegheny-USAir with its regional subsidiaries Allegheny Commuter and USAir Express had delivered the original spark that had led to the current growth explosion and had been the only consistent anchor carrier during its three-decade, planned service history, between 1960 and 1990 During this period, it had absorbed other Islip operators, including the original Mohawk and Piedmont, whose latter intermittently had absorbed Empire and Henson and had cast still others, such as Ransome Airlines, which as an independent carrier had almost established a regional , turboprop hub at MacArthur.

2. Three carriers were equivalent to three decades of development: (1). Allegheny-USAir, who had reserved the distinction of being Long Island MacArthur's first, largest, and at a time purely jet operator; Americans who had changed their image by associating it with great, trunk prestige; and Northeastern, whose bold, innovative service dedication and low prices had been directly responsible for the recent, incessant growth cycle.

3. Many airlines, unaware of the facility's traffic potential, never permanently abandoned the airfield, including US and Eastern, both of which had halted operations but subsequently returned; Northeastern, who had returned after two bankruptcies; United, which had ceased its own service but maintained a presence through two separate regional carriers — President-United Express and Atlantic Coast-United Express — and thus continued to connect its Washington-Dulles hub; Continental, which had returned through its own commuter agreement; and Pilgrim, which, despite discontinuing service, maintained an autonomous check-in counter where it had handled other carriers until it had reinstated service itself.

4. Of the approx. Thirty airlines that served Long Island MacArthur had many indirectly maintained a presence either through name change, other carrier absorption or regional carriers' two-letter code sharing agreements.

5. The Northeast forged air link between Long Island and Florida, despite its own final bankruptcy, was never lost, while other carriers always filled the void, including Eastern, Carnival, Braniff, Delta Express and Spirit Airlines.

However, due to its market fragility, Long Island Regional Airport was far more vulnerable to economic cycles than the primary New York airports had been, receding conditions that often resulted in relocation of carriers in search of more profitable routes. In 1994, for example, three carriers ceased to service and one ceased to operate entirely.

A $ 13.2 million expansion program of the 32-year-old, multi-restored oval terminal, funded with passenger facility fee (PFC)-generated revenue, was initiated in the spring of 1998 and completed in August of the following year, resulting in a 62,000-square-foot acreage increase. The enlarged, reconfigured structure included the addition of two wings – the western one with four luggage carousels, three rental cars, and several aircraft baggage service offices, and the eastern one with 48 (as opposed to the previous 20) passenger check-in positions. The original, oval-shaped structure now contained an enlarged kiosk and gift shop and the relocated central security checkpoint, but retained the exit-level snack bar, the upper-level Skyway Café and cocktail lounge, and the two jetbridge-supplied concourses added during the 1990's expansion phase, while the parking ramp for aircraft was gradually increased until the last blade of grass had been converted to concrete. A remodeled entryway, an extension of the existing short-term parking space, 1,000 additional parking spaces and a quasi-parking space system divided into employee, resident, hourly, daily and economy (long-term) sections had completed the renovation. Bus transport between the parking lot and the terminal was provided for the first time.

5. Southwest Airlines

Efforts to attract Southwest Airlines had begun in late 1996, when the rapidly expanding, very profitable, low-cost carrier was considering services to a third northeastern city after Manchester and Providence, including Newburgh's Stewart International and White Plains & # 39; Westchester County in New York; Hartford and New Haven in Connecticut; and Teterboro and Trenton's Mercer County in New Jersey. All had been smaller, secondary airports characteristic of its route system. It had even briefly examined service to Farmingdale's Republic Airport on Long Island and Teterboro in New Jersey, both of which had been non-commercial, general aviation fields with business jet concentrations. Three had offered terminal improvements in exchange for the service. But Long Island MacArthur was ultimately chosen because of the 1.6 million residents who lived within a 20-mile radius of the airport, local corporate health, and, according to Southwest Chief Executive Officer, Herb Kelleher, "underestimated, overpriced air traffic" , which was "ripe for competition."

Following the original southwest interest in 1997, then-City of Islip Supervisor Peter McGowan and other officials flew to Dallas, where Herb Kelleher declared the need for the previously described expansion of terminal and parking facilities before operations could begin. The meeting ended with only a symbolic handshake.

The nearly two-year effort to lure the airline had culminated in the December 1998 announcement of Southwest's scheduled March 14, 1999 service launch with 12 daily 737 departures, including eight to Baltimore, two to Chicago-Midway, one to Nashville, and one to Tampa, which would all provide through or connect service to 29 other southwest-operated cities. Although low-cost images were expected to attract some passengers who might otherwise have flown from JFK or La Guardia airports, they were primarily targeted to the Long Island market, and as a by-product, they were expected to attract increased airport traffic base, additional carriers and generate an estimated $ 500,000 per years for the town of Islip. Two southwest dedicated gates could accommodate up to 20 daily departures – or eight more than the initial flight plan included – before additional facilities were needed. The Islip station, which is staffed with 44, represented its 53rd destination in 27 states.

Southwest had delivered the fourth spark in the Long Island MacArthur Airport flight and passenger attraction, the trail as follows:

1. The original flight taxi Gateway Airlines service in 1959 and the original scheduled Allegheny Airlines service from 1960.

2. The first trunk, flights with pure American Airlines from 1971.

3. The First Northeastern International Florida Low-fare Service, 1982.

4. The first low-cost, high-frequency southwest service from 1999.

Americans, the last of the original large carriers to leave the airport, left it with three dominant types of airlines as the millennium approached:

1. Turboprop commuter airline serving nonhub provisions such as Albany, Boston, Buffalo, Hartford and Newburgh.

2. The regional jet operator, which feeds its major carrier's affiliate in one of its hubs, such as ASA, which feeds Delta in Atlanta, Comair connecting Delta in Cincinnati, and Continental Express integrates its flight plan with Continental in Cleveland.

3. The high-density, no-frills carrier operating the leisure-oriented sectors to Florida. As of December 1, 1999, three airlines, including Delta Express, Southwest, and Spirit, had been driving 15 daily flights to five destinations in Florida.

Long Island MacArthur's expansion and enhancement of passenger facilities, Southwest's inauguration and attraction of other carriers had resulted in an increase in passenger seats by 113% in 1999 compared to the previous year. The figure, which had only been shy about the two million mark, had been the highest in Long Island Airport's four-decade commercial history. Southwest had carried 34% of this total.

Eleven airlines had provided service during this period: ASA Atlantic Southeast, American, Business Express, Comair, CommutAir / US Airways Express, Continental Express, Delta Express, Piedmont / US Airways Express, Shuttle America, Spirit and Southwest itself.

Less than two weeks after Southwest secured a third gate and increased its daily departures to 22, it announced, in an unprecedented move, its intention to self-fund 90 percent of a $ 42 million expansion to East Concourse to construct four additional dedicated gates and overnight parking at the end of 2001, increasing the airport's current 19-gate total to 23.

The bankruptcy expansion, which would give it both increased staff and passenger space, would free up its existing three gates to utilize other carriers, while its new four-gate facility allows an increase in service to approx. 30 daily flights based on future passenger demand, flight availability, and Town-Islip-approved departure are on the rise.

The extension marks the seventh such development of the original terminal as follows:

1. The original oval terminal construction.

2. The partially closed arrival luggage belt installation.

3. Construction of two commuter gates.

4. The enclosure to the front awning, which resulted in the relocation of the rental car companies and Austin travel agency, and the installation of an enlarged, fully enclosed luggage belt.

5. The construction of jetbridge-equipped eastern and western contours.

6. The construction of the Western Arrival Hole and the Eastern Departure Wing, the Gift Shop Expansion and the Central Security Control relocation.

7. The southwest-funded, four-wheeled addition, increasing the number of departures from 19 to 23.

Victims, like all airports, for the traffic decline after September 11, Long Island MacArthur Airport lost eight daily flights operated by American Eagle, Delta Express and US Airways Express, although the airport's passenger numbers in October 2001 were only six percent below those in the previous year . However, no direct destinations had been interrupted. As Delta Express's daily 737-200 Florida flight frequency had gradually been reduced from a seven-day high to just one – to Fort Lauderdale – its operations could be divided into three categories:

1. Turboprop regional

2. Clean jet region

3. Southwest

Nevertheless, in the four years since Southwest opened its service, the airport has handled 8,220,790 passengers, or an annual average of two million. Without the Southwest, it would have handled only half of that amount at best.

On April 30, 2003, Long Island MacArthur Airport broke ground for new terminal facilities for the second time in a five-year period. Designed by Baldassano Architectural Group, the Long Island architectural firm that had completed $ 13.2 million. Airport Expansion and Modernization Program In 1999, the new, 154,000-square-foot four-gate addition was constructed on the north side of the existing east bankruptcy that housed Southwest's operations. Citing increased space and potential growth as reasons for the new facility, Southwest claimed that the existing three gates, which marked a combined 24 daily departures, had reached their saturation point and that additional "breathing room" was needed for both passengers and employees especially during flight delays. The net gain of an additional gate, which would be combined with larger lounges, would eventually enable eight additional flights to new or existing US destinations, based on market demand.

The project, initially tied at $ 42 million, but later increased to $ 62 million, was funded by Southwest, which sought government subsidy with the city of Islip for up to $ 18 million for the non-airline-specific construction aspects, such as airport runways, which were considered a common application tool.

The 114,254-square-foot, southwest-funded and named Peter J. McGowan Concourse officially opened at the end of November 2004. Access to a new awning-protected entrance from the airport's terminal-fronted edge, the new wing, connected to existing passenger check-in area, curved to the left past the flight's arrival and departure TV screens for the new large security checkpoint where passengers ascended via two escalators to the upper level departure area.

Simultaneously with the opening, there had been the announcement that Southwest would now proceed with Phase II of the expansion by building another, $ 20 million addition, which would link the new bankruptcy with the old one, all replacing the eastern concourse that had served that since it was inaugurated in 1999. The project incorporated four additional gates, a total of eight, which made it possible to offer up to 80 daily departures.

6. New leadership, reduction of services and infrastructure improvements

The end of the 2000s, which is characterized by new leadership, reduction of airline services and investment in infrastructure, again signaled a turnaround in Long Island MacArthur Airport's growth cycle.

Al Werner, airport commissioner for 53 years, resigned on November 16, 2007, sending a torch to Teresa Rizzuto. Accepted after a three-month nationwide search by Islip Supervisor Phil Nolan, she brought significant aerospace industry experience and was appointed to the position on February 5, 2008 following a vote in the Islip Town Board, which has now been assigned to submit the regional facility to the next decade, whose multi-faceted agenda necessarily included the following objectives:

1. Develop a marketing plan to increase airport recognition, thereby attracting a larger passenger base.

2. Creating new direct routes for existing carriers and attracting new carriers capable of competing with existing southwest for lost costs to provide the required core service to this expanded passenger base, but avoiding alienating local residents on the grounds of excessive noise.

3. Invest in modernizing and developing infrastructure, especially on the airport's general aviation site.

4. Increase revenue for the city of Islip, the airport owner and operator.

Long Island MacArthur's very existence, dependent on its ability to meet customer needs, and both reduction of destinations and carriers over the last decade, coupled with flickering but quickly extinguished glimpses of hope for new carriers, served only its purpose.

Exploratory conversations in 2007 with e.g. The Southwest model, Ireland-based Ryanair, would have resulted in both the airport's first international and first transatlantic service, which so far has been ruled out by the absence of customs and immigration facilities, few connectivity and insufficient runway length on which heavy, fuel-laden widebody aircraft could launch to intercontinental sectors. However, higher thrust engines that facilitate performance in the shorter field had remedied the latter problem, and US & # 39; s pre-departure approval would have been done in Ireland. Because Southwest and Ryanair maintained the same business models for operating one-type, 737 fleets from undervalued, overpriced, secondary airports whose lower operating costs could be channeled to lower prices, domestic-international traffic feeds between the two were possible. Despite existing Islip service provided by Delta and the US Airways Express, Southwest still carried 92 percent of its passengers. However, the proposed strategy had not yet produced concrete results.

At the end of the year, the number of potential southwest connecting flights dropped only when a falling demand had required the cancellation of six daily departures, including two for Baltimore, three for Chicago and one for Las Vegas.

Potential counterbalance in service losses occurred on May 1 of the following year, however, after an eight-year interval, Spirit Airlines re-enrolled twice a round-trip, A-319 service to Ft. Lauderdale, with $ 7.00 introductory prices, facilitates 23 Caribbean and Latin American connections through its southern Florida hub.

A-319, the airport's first, regularly scheduled airport bus operation, touched 0954 on runway 6 on its entry flight, taxiing through a dual fire truck-created water bow before restarting at 1 p.m. 1030 as flight 833 with a high load factor. The second flight went evening.

The departures were two of Spirit & # 39; s more than 200 system flights to 43 destinations, but the low light flicker they provided was almost as quickly extinguished as rising fuel prices and declining economic conditions, three months later, on July 31, had necessitated their cessation, leaving only a promise of return when improved conditions deserve their reinstatement.

Further tilting the scales to the service loss side was Delta Air Line's decision to discontinue its only remaining single daily regional jet service operated by its Comair counterpart to Atlanta, bringing fodder to the world's largest airport in the form of scheduling and to Delta & # 39; s largest connection hub and ending the Long Island presence established as far back as 1984. Delta had cited the reason for termination along with that in other markets as an attempt to "optimize … financial results."

Det andet luftfartsselskabstab, der kun efterlod Southwest og US Airways Express, havde ført til et passagefald på 10,2 procent i 2008 sammenlignet med året før.

Et andet forsøgt, men hovedsagelig mislykket flyselskabstjeneste havde fundet sted i juni 2009 med udseendet af, der havde til hensigt at forbinde Islip med Groton, Connecticut og Nantucket, Massachusetts, i løbet af sommeren.

For at afhjælpe Long Island MacArthur Lufthavns mangel på identitetsgenkendelse konkluderede en undersøgelse afsluttet af en Phil Nolan-samlet arbejdsgruppe kraftigt, at søgningen efter og tiltrækning af ny flyselskabstjeneste "burde være et stort fokus på ledelsen", en funktion indtil nu for det meste ignoreret. The airport's lack of recognition, coupled with JFK's and La Guardia's close proximity to Manhattan and their dizzying array of nonstop services, further urged the need for the study.

A $150,000 federal grant, aimed at answering the elusive question of why Long Islanders still chose to use New York airports when Islip itself offered a nonstop flight, attempted to determine local resident travel patterns and then attract carrier-providing service.

A partial remedy had been the implementation of a $300,000 market campaign, in conjunction with the Long Island Railroad and Southwest Airlines, to increase airport awareness by the eastern Nassau and Suffolk County population, featuring the slogan, "We make flying a breeze."

Significant attention to airport infrastructure improvement and a related masterplan had also been given.

Long-awaited ramp repairs, for instance, had been made. One year after the $12.4 million apron covering gates five through eight had been laid in 2004, cracks, in which engine-digestible debris could potentially collect, appeared, and were traceable to an inadequate, six-inch-thick subbase which failed to rise above the ground level, and was therefore susceptible to frost. Water, seeping into the subbase, was subjected to freezing-thawing cycles which expanded the concrete, loosened its gravel, and propagated the cracks.

In order to replace the decaying, 105-foot control tower constructed in 1962, the FAA awarded J. Kokolakis Constructing, Inc., of Rocky Point, a $16.4 million contract to build a new, 157-foot, cylindrical tower next to it in January of 2008, a project completed in November of the following year, at which time internal equipment, costing another $8.8 million, was installed.

Instrumental in the airport's modernization had been the redevelopment of its 45-acre west side, which currently houses charter companies, flying schools, and airport maintenance in mostly dilapidated hangars and buildings, but could potentially be replaced with new energy efficient and conservation compliant structures optimally used by educational institutions offering air traffic control curriculums.

During the latter portion of the decade, Long Island MacArthur Airport once again rode the descending side of the revenue curve, but remains a vital air link and economic engine to eastern Nassau and Suffolk Counties.

Between 1996 and 2003, it had experienced an average annual economic impact growth rate of 6.85 percent and between 2001 and 2007 more than 900,000 square feet of commercial space was developed along Veterans Highway, its access roadway, as a result of it. According to Hofstra University's Center for Suburban Studies, its 2003 economic impact was pegged at $202 million and was projected to increase by 68 percent, or to $340 million, by the end of the decade without any further expansion, indicating that, as a revenue generator, that its potential had hardly begun to be tapped. The service reductions, increases in Homeland Security costs, and eroding economy had all reversed that potential, but its infrastructure improvements, more than 500,000-square-foot passenger terminal, four runways, easy access, uncongested environment, two-mile proximity to the Long Island Railroad's Ronkonkoma station, and four-mile proximity to the Long Island Expressway places it squarely on the threshold of growth in the next decade, when conditions improve. According to newly appointed Airport Commissioner Teresa Rizzuto, "We're ready" for new carriers at that time.