05-06/2017 Of guns, planes and oil
Exactly 3,391 handguns were discovered during routine security checks at US airports last year – the highest annual figure ever reported. That was 28% more than in 2015. The figure for 2016 thus came to more than nine guns a day, on average, including almost eight that were loaded. 238 airports all across the nation reported the inappropriate hand luggage, which is illegal in every state, also in those with liberal gun laws. Atlanta reported most offences (198), followed by Dallas / Fort Worth with 192 and Houston with 128. Only one hub in this particular top ten (Denver CO; 98 offences) was located in a state where the majority of the electorate did not vote for Donald Trump in the recent US presidential election.
Two days before Trump’s inauguration the 60th anniversary of the first nonstop aerial circumnavigation of the planet on 18 January 1957 took place. The main protagonist of this aviation milestone was a larger weapon – the USA’s Boeing B52 Stratofortress bomber plane. Three B52s spent 45 hours and 19 minutes flying almost 40,000 km, with aerial refuelling taking place several times en route. The current version of the eight-engined plane, the B52H, is still in production and action with the US Air Force. It can cover around 14,000 km without refuelling. Its tanks hold 181,000 l of fuel – quite a bit, when you think about it, but there’s enough cheap oil to burn today, isn’t there. The 45th US president is not 100% sure about the link between human behaviour and global warming. He will probably not be able to dismiss as a joke his earlier remark that China had only invented the problem of climate change in order to ram a thorn into the side of the US economy.
China’s president Xi Jinping has positioned himself as Trump’s rival, most recently at the World Economic Forum in Davos (Switzerland), and declared that he will continue to adhere to the climate goals agreed in 2014 with the government of former US president Barack Obama. Despite the fact that his country’s national economic climate is continuously losing some of its gloss, that sounds like the statement of a proud man – a quality that fits with the rooster, the sign of the zodiac ruling the new Chinese year that began on 28 January.
May we take this Chinese opportunity to wish you – another – happy new year!
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Head of airfreight