Aviation stories

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Three recent local-impact aviation stories are helpful bits of information:1. March 22, Delta Airlines announced it was expanding services from Cincinnati to Cape Girardeau, Owensboro, Ky., and Jackson, Tenn. The new service beginning this summer will offer us connecting opportunities to more than 400 daily departures to 122 worldwide destinations, including trans-Atlantic service to London, Paris, Frankfurt, Amsterdam and Rome plus the Caribbean.

The new service will be operated by Delta Connection carrier Big Sky Airlines.

Delta Airlines offers customers service to more destinations than any global airline with Delta and Delta Connection carrier service to 308 destinations in 52 countries. With more than 60 new international routes added in the last year, Delta is America's fastest growing international airline and is a leader across the Atlantic with flights to 31 trans-Atlantic destinations. To Latin America and the Caribbean, Delta offers more than 600 weekly flight to 58 destinations. Including its SkyTeam and worldwide code-share partners, Delta offers flights to 458 worldwide destinations in 99 countries. Customers can check in for flights, print boarding passes and check flight status at delta.com.

2. The Federal Aviation Administration has awarded the Cape Girardeau-based Commander Aircraft Corp. approval to self-certify parts for installation and use in Commander aircraft under its quality assurance program.

This is a major step toward the next step of manufacturing a new Commander airplane at the Cape airport. The company is already doing repairs, annual maintenance and aircraft sales with all of the production equipment necessary for full-scale Commander assembly operations in place.

3. A new aircraft engine has recently been certified for installation in the Commander that will increase its airspeed to more than 200 miles per hour. This is a major upgrade.

Two upcoming musicals to be staged in Cape Girardeau are being touted as outstanding. Better get your tickets early.

Southeast Missouri State University's "42nd Street," with a tap-dancing and singing 30-member cast, is promising to be better than any musical attempted to date. It will be presented April 20 to 29 at Rose Theatre, which has limited seating of 500 per show.

Then Mike Dumey's Central Middle School's production of "Beauty and the Beast" is already getting rave reviews for the talent in this musical, which is scheduled to start May 10.

Location changes of three local not-for-profit organizations has the Cape Girardeau Convention and Visitors Bureau moving to the H&H building in the 400 block of Broadway.

The Old Town Cape staff has relocated to 418 Broadway, while 430 Broadway is being remodeled for the United Way office along with the expansion of Horizon Screen Printing.

Note: the River Campus site appears to be on schedule to be ready for some staff or class relocations starting this May, with the theater opening this fall.

"Robbie" Robinson, now of Nashville and formerly of Cape Girardeau, is helping promote the April 7 book signing by Sikeston native and successful author Robert Vaughn. The event is at 2 p.m. April 7 at Hastings Books.

Vaughn sold his first book when he was 19 years old. That was 50 years, nearly 250 titles and 20 million books ago.

The newest book, "The Masada Scroll," is a bold and reverent religious mystery in the "great tradition of classics like 'The Robe,' 'Christ the Lord' by Anne Rue and 'Stone Tables' by Orson Scott Card."

Robinson is a former 10th District Democratic congressional candidate, ex-submarine-experienced Navy guy who's doing well enough to drive a Jaguar to Cape and spend time in Florida. He's also a friend.

The world is getting smaller. By 2050, China will top the United States as the largest economy. For example, incomes will rise enough by 2020 to boost China's annual credit-card demand to 21 million from only about 5 million now.

India will pass Germany and Japan to become the third-largest economy by 2030. Kiplinger says to expect developing nations to become better U.S. trade partners as consumer income there grows. By 2030, they'll buy nearly half of all U.S. exports. Developing nations count for 37 percent of exports now.

Blame game: What is written about Iraq now is exclusively acrimonious. The narrative is never how many terrorists we have killed, how many Iraqis have been given a chance for something different than the old nightmare, or how a consensual government has withstood enemies on nearly every front. Long forgotten is the inspired campaign that removed a vicious dictator in three weeks. Nor is much credit given to the idealistic efforts to foster democracy rather than just ignoring the chaos that follows war -- as we did after the Soviets were defeated in Afghanistan, or following our precipitous departure from Lebanon and Somalia.

Iraq is seen only in the hindsight of who did what wrong and when. All the great good we accomplished [is] drowned out by the present violent insurgency and the sensationalized effort to turn the mayhem into an American Antietam or Yalu River. Blame is never allotted to al-Qaida, the Sadr thugs or the ex-Baathists, only to the U.S., who should have, could have or would have done better in stopping them had its leadership read a particular article, fired a certain person, listened to an exceptional general or studied a key position paper. -- Victor Davis Hanson, Hoover Institution

Gary Rust is chairman of Rust Communications.

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