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FAA to allow more air tours at Grand Canyon PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by FELICIA FONSECA, Associated Press   
Thursday, 06 February 2014 07:34

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — Air tour operators that use aircraft with quiet technology will be able to fly more people over the Grand Canyon.

The Federal Aviation Administration said it plans to release 1,721 flight allocations this year that had been abandoned to those commercial tour operators, as long as their active fleet doesn't increase noise in the park overall.

An extensive transportation bill passed in 2012 requires the FAA and the National Park Service to come up with incentives for quiet air technology at the canyon. Earlier this year, the Park Service reduced the fees for air tour operators that use the technology from $25 per flight to $20.

The FAA determines whether aircraft is considered quiet by using a formula that takes into account noise certification levels and the number of seats.

The FAA's decision to release more flights was published this week in the Federal Register. It would bring the total number of air tours allowed per year to nearly 94,000, though not all of those are used. FAA data show that almost 52,000 commercial flights took passengers on sightseeing tours over the Grand Canyon in 2012.

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FACT CHECK: Anti-Obamacare chorus is off key PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by CALVIN WOODWARD, Associated Press   
Thursday, 06 February 2014 07:32

EDITOR'S NOTE _ An occasional look at political claims that take shortcuts with the facts or don't tell the full story

WASHINGTON (AP) — New estimates that President Barack Obama's health care law will encourage millions of Americans to leave the workforce or reduce their work hours have touched off an I-told-you-so chorus from Republicans, who've claimed all along that the law will kill jobs. But some aren't telling it straight.

The analysis by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office predicts the law will give several million people an opportunity to work less or not at all, because they won't be stuck in jobs just for the sake of keeping the health insurance they get from employers. To some Republicans, that amounts to "wreaking havoc on working families," ''dire consequences for workers" and a shower of pink slips across the land — conclusions unsupported by the report.

The study estimates that the workforce will be reduced by the equivalent of 2.3 million full-time workers by 2021 as people choose to leave it. More would take early retirement, work fewer hours or otherwise rearrange their work-home balance to take advantage of new subsidies for health insurance and new markets for individual policies that don't depend on having a job.

In a key point overlooked in the GOP response, the report says, "The estimated reduction stems almost entirely from a net decline in the amount of labor that workers choose to supply, rather than from a net drop in businesses' demand for labor."

Last Updated on Thursday, 06 February 2014 07:37
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Bad weather snarls air travel for third straight day PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by The Associated Press   
Thursday, 06 February 2014 07:33

U.S. airlines have canceled about 2,900 flights because of snow and freezing rain in the Northeast and the Midwest.

Wednesday was the third consecutive day bad weather snarled air traffic. The flight tracking website FlightAware says Wednesday's disruptions followed 1,600 cancellations Tuesday and 2,100 Monday.

Fliers should get a break Thursday with few flights expected to be affected by weather.

Most of Wednesday's canceled flights were from the New York-area airports, Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia and Washington. Regional airline Cape Air canceled more than 200 flights, including nearly every flight planned from airports in Massachusetts.

United Airlines says the disruptions also affected flights in the Midwest, including Chicago and Cleveland. United and other airlines are allowing passengers to change their tickets without the usual change fees.


Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 
Fears of slowdown sharpen focus on U.S. jobs report PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by CHRISTOPHER S. RUGABER, AP Economics Writer   
Thursday, 06 February 2014 07:30

WASHINGTON (AP) — Fears of an economic slowdown are heightening anticipation of what Friday's U.S. jobs report for January might reveal.

Stock markets have sunk after signs of weaker growth in the United States, Europe and China. Turmoil in developing countries has further spooked investors. The upheaval has renewed doubts about the Federal Reserve's next steps.

Evidence of healthy U.S. job growth would help soothe those jitters. It would suggest that the world's biggest economy is still expanding solidly enough to support global growth.

"The best antidote right now for all these problems is a robust U.S. economy," said Carl Riccadonna, an economist at Deutsche Bank. "The whole world is watching, even more so than usual."

Yet anyone looking to Friday's report for a clear picture of the U.S. economy's health might be disappointed. Unseasonably cold winter weather could distort January's hiring figures. Revised estimates of job growth last year and the size of the U.S. population might further skew the data.

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