When people complain about airport security measures intruding on their privacy, they’re usually worried about X-ray scanners and pat-down searches. Turns out they should’ve been wary of the air marshals instead — or at least this one particularly sleazy Baltimore-based air marshal.
(Warning: If you’ve got a fear of flying, you may as well stop reading now.) The scary images from the plane that crash landed in San Francisco earlier this week reminded some of a similar disaster that took place at BWI in 2009, when World Airways flight 8535 smashed into the runway with 168 passengers on board.
There are some great things about BWI, like how close it is to the city and how easy it is to get to by public transit. And then there are the downsides — like the fact that the airport has the second-highest proportion of flights delayed in the U.S., bested only by Chicago’s Midway.
A full 23.2 percent of BWI’s flights are delayed, nearly one in four of every departures. That is, frankly, a lot. The only silver lining is that previous worst-delay airports (like Dallas-Fort Worth) saw improvement this year. But the odds aren’t good, as the on-time performance got worse by two full percentage points this year.
Ways to combat BWI’s delay-prone tendencies? Flights leaving before 8 AM are a better bet; avoid the 3-11 PM departures. Or fly out of Dulles (16 percent of flights delayed) or Reagan (13.7 percent).
Talk about a power couple: Johns Hopkins, as a leading health care institution, and Lockheed Martin, the aviation leader, are teaming up to make the world a safer place.
Specifically, the intensive care unit (ICU). Although it may seem strange at first, hospitals have a lot to learn from the airline industry about safety. “A hospital ICU contains 50 to 100 pieces of electronic equipment that may not communicate to one another nor work together effectively,” says Peter Pronovost, M.D., Ph.D., Armstrong Institute director and senior vice president for patient safety and quality for Johns Hopkins Medicine. Airlines have similar issues of complicated machinery, crucial split-second decisions, and intricate, error-prone processes.
Lockheed Martin is talking to Hopkins about a single-system ICU, rather than the current model (which tends to resemble Frankenstein’s monster). Intelligently-integrated machines could help prioritize patient alarms, for example. Checklists are another big part of the airline industry’s quality control; Atul Gawande’s The Checklist Manifesto urged that hospitals learn from the airlines back in 2009; now Johns Hopkins will (as usual) be leading the way.