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Concept: Southwest Airlines


Several studies have demonstrated that point-of-choice prompts modestly increase stair use (i.e., incidental physical activity) in many public places, but evidence of effectiveness in airport settings is weak. Furthermore, evaluating the effects of past physical activity on stair use and on point-of-choice prompts to increase stair use is lacking. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the influence of sign prompts and participant factors including past physical activity on stair ascent in an airport setting. We used a quasi-experimental design, systematically introducing and removing sign prompts daily across 22 days at the San Diego International Airport. Intercept interviewers recruited stair and escalator ascenders (N = 1091; 33.0% interview refusal rate) of the only stairs/escalators providing access to Terminal 1 from the parking lot. A 13-item questionnaire about demographics, physical activity, health behavior, and contextual factors provided data not available in nearly all other stair use studies. We examined the effects of signs and self-reported covariates using multivariable logistic regression analyses, and tested whether physical activity and other covariates modified the intervention effect. Adjusting for all significant covariates, prompts increased the odds of stair use (odds ratio 3.67; p < .001). Past participation in vigorous physical activity increased the odds of stair use by 1.62 (p = 0.001). None of the covariates moderated the intervention effect. In conclusion, vigorous physical activity and correlates of physical activity were related to stair use in expected directions, but did not modify the effect of the intervention. This indicates that the effects of point-of-choice prompts are independent of past physical activity, making them effective interventions for active adults and the higher risk population of inactive adults. Signs can prompt stair use in an airport setting and might be employed at most public stairs to increase rates of incidental physical activity and contribute to overall improvements in population health.

Concepts: Regression analysis, Logit, Demography, Effect, Effectiveness, Odds ratio, Stairway, Southwest Airlines


We measured the spatial pattern of particle number (PN) concentrations downwind from the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) with an instrumented vehicle that enabled us to cover larger areas than allowed by traditional stationary measurements. LAX emissions adversely impacted air quality much farther than reported in previous airport studies. We measured at least a 2-fold increase in PN concentrations over unimpacted baseline PN concentrations during most hours of the day in an area of about 60 km(2) that extended to 16 km (10 miles) downwind and a 4- to 5-fold increase to 8-10 km (5-6 miles) downwind. Locations of maximum PN concentrations were aligned to eastern, downwind jet trajectories during prevailing westerly winds and to 8 km downwind concentrations exceeded 75 000 particles/cm(3), more than the average freeway PN concentration in Los Angeles. During infrequent northerly winds, the impact area remained large but shifted to south of the airport. The freeway length that would cause an impact equivalent to that measured in this study (i.e., PN concentration increases weighted by the area impacted) was estimated to be 280-790 km. The total freeway length in Los Angeles is 1500 km. These results suggest that airport emissions are a major source of PN in Los Angeles that are of the same general magnitude as the entire urban freeway network. They also indicate that the air quality impact areas of major airports may have been seriously underestimated.

Concepts: United Airlines, World's busiest airports by passenger traffic, Delta Air Lines, Runway, JetBlue Airways, Southwest Airlines, US Airways, Republic Airlines


In recent years, the U.S. commercial airline industry has achieved unprecedented levels of safety, with the statistical risk associated with U.S. commercial aviation falling to 0.003 fatalities per 100 million passengers. But decades of research on organizational learning show that success often breeds complacency and failure inspires improvement. With accidents as rare events, can the airline industry continue safety advancements? This question is complicated by the complex system in which the industry operates where chance combinations of multiple factors contribute to what are largely probabilistic (rather than deterministic) outcomes. Thus, some apparent successes are realized because of good fortune rather than good processes, and this research intends to bring attention to these events, the near-misses. The processes that create these near-misses could pose a threat if multiple contributing factors combine in adverse ways without the intervention of good fortune. Yet, near-misses (if recognized as such) can, theoretically, offer a mechanism for continuing safety improvements, above and beyond learning gleaned from observable failure. We test whether or not this learning is apparent in the airline industry. Using data from 1990 to 2007, fixed effects Poisson regressions show that airlines learn from accidents (their own and others), and from one category of near-misses-those where the possible dangers are salient. Unfortunately, airlines do not improve following near-miss incidents when the focal event has no clear warnings of significant danger. Therefore, while airlines need to and can learn from certain near-misses, we conclude with recommendations for improving airline learning from all near-misses.

Concepts: Airport, Northwest Airlines, Aircraft, Airline, Avianca, Airlines, Civil aviation, Southwest Airlines


We measured particle size distributions and spatial patterns of particle number (PN) and particle surface area concentrations downwind from the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) where large increases (over local background) in PN concentrations routinely extended 18 km downwind. These elevations were mostly comprised of ultrafine particles smaller than 40 nm. For a given downwind distance, the greatest increases in PN concentrations, along with the smallest mean sizes, were detected at locations under the landing jet trajectories. The smaller size of particles in the impacted area, as compared to the ambient urban aerosol, increased calculated lung deposition fractions to 0.7-0.8 from 0.5-0.7. A diffusion charging instrument (DiSCMini), that simulates alveolar lung deposition, measured a fivefold increase in alveolar-lung deposited surface area concentrations 2-3 km downwind from the airport (over local background), decreasing steadily to a twofold increase 18 km downwind. These ratios (elevated lung-deposited surface area over background) were lower than the corresponding ratios for elevated PN concentrations, which decreased from tenfold to twofold over the same distance, but the spatial patterns of elevated concentrations were similar. It appears that PN concentration can serve as a nonlinear proxy for lung deposited surface area downwind of major airports.

Concepts: Airport, Ultrafine particles, World's busiest airports by passenger traffic, Delta Air Lines, Runway, Los Angeles International Airport, JetBlue Airways, Southwest Airlines


We conducted this study to characterize in-flight pediatric fatalities onboard commercial airline flights worldwide and identify patterns that would have been unnoticed through single case analysis of these relative rare events.

Concepts: Northwest Airlines, Pattern matching, Aircraft, Airline, Avianca, Airlines, Southwest Airlines, Regional airline


We assume that during flights the amount of waste that is produced is limited. However, daily, approximately 8000 commercial airplanes fly above Europe’s airspace while at the same time, more than 17,000 commercial flights exist in the entire world. Using primary data from airlines, which use the Larnaca’s International Airport (LIA) in Cyprus, we have tried to understand why wastes are produced during a typical flight such as food waste, paper, and plastics, as well as how passengers affect the production of those wastes. The compositional analysis took place on 27 flights of 4 different airlines which used LIA as final destination. The evaluation indicated that the passenger’s habits and ethics, and the policy of each airline produced different kinds of waste during the flights and especially food waste (FW). Furthermore, it was observed that the only waste management strategy that exists in place in the airport is the collection and the transportation of all those wastes from aircrafts and from the airport in the central unit for further treatment. Hence, this research indicated extremely difficulties to implement any specific waste minimization, or prevention practice or other sorting methods during the flights due to the limited time of the most flights (less than 3 h), the limited available space within the aircrafts, and the strictly safety roles that exist during the flights.

Concepts: Recycling, Airport, Waste, Flight, Fixed-wing aircraft, Aircraft, Airline, Southwest Airlines


Schistosomiasis and intestinal helminthiasis are major public health problems with school-aged children considered the most at-risk group. Pre-school aged children (PSAC) are excluded from existing control programs because of limited evidence of infections burden among the group. We assessed the prevalence of infections and effect on nutritional status of preschool aged children in Abeokuta, Southwestern Nigeria.

Concepts: Health care, Health, Epidemiology, Suburb, Preschool education, Chicago, Nursery school, Southwest Airlines


U.S. airports and airliners are prime terrorist targets. Not only do the facilities and equipment represent high-value assets, but the fear and dread that is spread by such attacks can have tremendous effects on the U.S. economy. This article presents the methodology, data, and estimates of the macroeconomic impacts stemming from behavioral responses to a simulated terrorist attack on a U.S. airport and on a domestic airliner. The analysis is based on risk-perception surveys of these two scenarios. The responses relate to reduced demand for airline travel, shifts to other modes, spending on nontravel items, and savings of potential travel expenditures by U.S. resident passengers considering flying domestic routes. We translate these responses to individual spending categories and feed these direct impact results into a computable general equilibrium (CGE) model of the U.S. economy to ascertain the indirect and total impacts on both the airline industry and the economy as a whole. Overall, the estimated impacts on GDP of both types of attacks exceed $10B. We find that the behavioral economic impacts are almost an order of magnitude higher than the ordinary business interruption impacts for the airliner attack and nearly two orders of magnitude higher for the airport attack. The results are robust to sensitivity tests on the travel behavior of U.S. residents in response to terrorism.

Concepts: Economics, Airport, Terrorism, Airline, Avianca, Douglas DC-3, Air travel, Southwest Airlines


More than 3 billion passengers are transported every year on commercial airline flights worldwide, many of whom are children. The incidence of in-flight medical events (IFMEs) affecting children is largely unknown. This study seeks to characterize pediatric IFMEs, with particular focus on in-flight injuries (IFIs).

Concepts: Northwest Airlines, Aircraft, Airline, Avianca, Airlines, Southwest Airlines


We report the case of an older adult foreign national with severe respiratory failure who was brought via a commercial airline to the United States. Hospitalized and orally intubated in his home country, his son, a US citizen, decided to translocate his father to the United States. He purchased tickets for adjoining seats on a prominent international commercial airline and brought his orally intubated, stretcher-bound father onto the plane without any accompanying medical professionals, security screening, or preapproved transport. Despite this, they traveled to New York and phoned 911 upon landing, allowing him to bypass the standard customs procedures.

Concepts: Hawaii, United States, United Kingdom, U.S. state, New York City, Airport, Immigration to the United States, Southwest Airlines