Jamaica Boasts Most Seamless Airport System in Region – Tourism Minister

first_imgStory Highlights Addressing business interests and tourism stakeholders at the unveiling of 20 automated kiosks at the Sangster International Airport, Montego Bay, on December 16, Mr. Bartlett said the new machines will ensure that visitors are processed “in the quickest time possible”. “The point of arrival is always that moment of truth, and these kiosks will ensure better facilitation and seamlessness for the hundreds of thousands of visitors expected for this winter tourist season and beyond,” the Minister explained. Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, says Jamaica now boasts the most “seamless” airport system in the region. Minister of Tourism, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, says Jamaica now boasts the most “seamless” airport system in the region.Addressing business interests and tourism stakeholders at the unveiling of 20 automated kiosks at the Sangster International Airport, Montego Bay, on December 16, Mr. Bartlett said the new machines will ensure that visitors are processed “in the quickest time possible”.“The point of arrival is always that moment of truth, and these kiosks will ensure better facilitation and seamlessness for the hundreds of thousands of visitors expected for this winter tourist season and beyond,” the Minister explained.“This is the start of the traditional high season, which we expect to be a record-breaking winter season. One of the reasons for this record growth comes from the fact that we have 120,000 new seats from destinations around the world, 89,000 of which are from our main source market, the United States,” he noted.Cabinet, in July, signed off on US$1.3 million to acquire additional automated border-control kiosks to be used at the island’s two major international airports.The aim, Mr. Bartlett said, is to have world-class tools to significantly reduce the processing of passengers traversing through the Sangster International Airport and also at the Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston.The kiosk project, he added, involves a partnership with the Passport, Immigration and Citizenship Agency (PICA), through the Ministry of National Security, to reduce congestion at Immigration and Customs during peak periods.In the meantime, Mr. Bartlett said the United States market continues to over-perform, accounting for 65 per cent of Jamaica’s stopover arrivals and 15 per cent of cruise arrivals, totaling 80 per cent.“So, if we grow phenomenally from our main source market, growth will be secured. So this winter season we are expecting growth in the region of five per cent, and we are excited about that,” the Minister argued.“Air connectivity is another major strategy we have in our arsenal. We have also been aggressively pursuing new markets and gateways and today we have received the latest flight out of Canada, the inaugural Swoop Airlines out of Hamilton, which saw a full flight of 196 passengers. This will help us to grow our Canadian market and add to the many other air connectivity arrangements that have come on stream recently,” he added.Mr. Bartlett said that Eastern Europe is also emerging as a major market for Jamaica, noting that the numbers have been nothing short of phenomenal.“Croatia and Russia have been looking real good, and there are some other Eastern bloc countries that are slowly coming to fruition. We are on track to have another record-breaking year,” the Minister said.last_img read more

State Signs on to Ft Leonard Wood Regions Partnership Charter

first_imgThe state of Missouri has added its support to the local effort to discuss partnership opportunities and collaborations that can benefit Fort Leonard Wood and the central Missouri region.Joe Driskill, Missouri’s military advocate, last month added his signature to the Fort Leonard Wood Community Partnership charter, an agreement initially signed in January by the garrison commander, neighboring communities and civic organizations to provide a forum for local leaders to pursue ideas and concepts for new partnerships.The Fort Leonard Wood Community Partnership leadership committee, which is co-chaired by the executive director of the Sustainable Ozarks Partnership (SOP) and Fort Leonard Wood’s garrison commander, now will include a state representative. The group’s members advise on organization policies and capabilities, as well as provide insight into how their organization could support a partnership opportunity, according to a news release from SOP.“While the [Fort Leonard Wood Community Partnership leadership committee] is a strong regional group and has always had support from the state of Missouri, Joe’s signature is a clear indicator of the state’s desire to see the group continue to build partnerships that will strengthen Fort Leonard Wood and conserve the installation’s resources,” said SOP Executive Director Kent Thomas.Thomas succeeded Driskill at SOP earlier this year after Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon (D) appointed Driskill as the state’s first military advocate.The partnership committee’s efforts already have resulted in success. Repair work was completed on a state road that runs through the installation and a memorandum of agreement is now in place assigning responsibility for maintaining it in the future. Other initiatives in the works include partnerships to provide animal control, visitor center support, landscaping services and renewable energy. Dan Cohen AUTHORlast_img read more

Amazon granted patent for surveillance drones service

first_imgA new patent shows how drones can keep an eye out on a home while making deliveries.  CNET For years, Amazon has shown off how it’ll use drones to deliver items to customers, and it’s even developed a super-quiet drone for neighborhood deliveries. The company has a new patent that’ll give these flying robots a second use: surveillance. Amazon received a patent for what it calls “Image creation using geo-fence data” from the US Patent and Trademark Office in early June. The application explains that unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), or drones, could be used to provide a secondary service of checking on an individual’s property while the robots are out doing deliveries.Surveillance drones patent figureAn image from the Amazon patent shows how drones will deliver and provide surveillance. US Patent and Trademark Office/Amazon As part of this service, customers can receive images or videos from the drones overlooking the property. UAVs would only be allowed to record the property of the individuals who consented and not those of their neighbors. “We take customer privacy very seriously,” John Tagle, senior PR manager for Amazon, said in an email Friday. “Some reports have suggested that this technology would spy or gather data on homes without authorization — to be clear, that’s not what the patent says. The patent clearly states that it would be an opt-in service available to customers who authorize monitoring of their home.”One company you might think would be worried about this is Sunflower Labs, a startup developing home security drones. But Chief Executive Alex Pachikov says he’s happy with Amazon’s patent.”I am actually very excited to see this,” Pachikov said. “We’ve long believed that drones are ideally suited for security, and while Amazon’s approach is different from ours, we are happy to see this market validated.”Like many patents granted to tech companies, there’s no telling if this drone security service will actually see the light of day. So far, Amazon’s plans for drones and autonomous vehicles are for deliveries sometime in the future. CNET reporter Stephen Shankland contributed to this report.Originally published June 21, 7:50 a.m. PT.Update, 9:16 a.m. PT: Adds Amazon comment. Update, June 23: Adds comment from Sunflower Labs. Share your voice Tags Comments 5 Patents Amazon Drones Smart Home Security Security Cameraslast_img read more

Alaska Ombudsman finds state at fault in prisoner cases

first_imgThe Alaska Ombudsman says the Department of Corrections mishandled cases involving prisoners in Palmer and Anchorage.KTUU-TV reports that Ombudsman Linda Lord-Jenkins found the department at fault in a report released Friday.The report substantiated complaints from seven inmates at the Palmer Correctional Center who say they were punished for plotting an escape based only on accusations from a confidential informant.Lord-Jenkins wrote that the informant had a questionable disciplinary record and that there’s no evidence that the accused inmates even knew each other. One was a 70-year-old man who now has trouble walking.The report also found that a federal inmate was held in solitary confinement at the Anchorage Correctional Center for two years without being told the reason.Lord-Jenkins called the incident “alarming.”last_img read more

Viswasam television premiere Ajiths film ready for its first airing on Sun

first_imgAjith’s Viswasam doing well at the box office.PR HandoutRajinikanth’s Petta had its TV premiere on 14 April on the occasion of Tamil New Year. In less than a month, Sun TV seems to be ready to air one more biggie. If reports are to be believed, the channel has fixed the date for its telecast.Rumours are rife that Viswasam will be telecast on 1 May on the occasion of Ajith’s birthday. Moreover, it is a general holiday (Labour Day) in India and the viewership for the movies on TV channels are naturally high. As a result, Sun TV is believed to have locked in the date.Viswasam is the biggest hit at the box office in Tamil Nadu in 2019. Indeed, it reportedly outperformed Rajinikanth’s Petta in its home territory. The film completed its 100-day run in theatres recently.The Tamil film was released on 9 January on the occasion of Pongal festival. Despite clashing with Petta, the Ajith-starrer managed to perform extremely well in Tamil Nadu.Viswasam is produced by Sathya Jyothi Films and distributed by KJR Studios. Last month, producer TG Thyagarajan revealed that Ajith-starrer had grossed Rs 130+ crore in Tamil Nadu with an estimated distributors’ share of Rs 75 crore.The worldwide gross collection of Viswasam is easily over Rs 160 crore, say trade trackers.The Siruthai Siva-directorial movie is about a father (Ajith), who protects his daughter and how he reunites with his daughter. Siruthai Siva with Ajith on the sets of Viswasam.PR Handoutlast_img read more

Amazon Turns to Robots to Help Fill Holiday Orders

first_img This story originally appeared on Reuters Amazon.com Inc has installed more than 15,000 robots across 10 U.S. warehouses, a move that promises to cut operating costs by one-fifth and get packages out the door more quickly in the run-up to Christmas.The orange 320-pound (145 kg) robots, which scoot around the floor on wheels, show how Amazon has adopted technology developed by Kiva Systems, a robotics company it bought for $775 million in 2012. Amazon showcased to media on Sunday ahead of Cyber Monday, the biggest online shopping day of the year.The robots are designed to help the leading U.S. online retailer speed the time it takes to deliver items to customers and better compete with brick-and-mortar stores, where the bulk of Americans still do their shopping.The robots also may help Amazon avoid the mishaps of last year’s holiday season, when a surge of packages overwhelmed shipping and logistics company UPS and delayed the arrival of Christmas presents around the globe. Amazon offered shipping refunds and $20 gift cards to compensate customers.Amazon deployed the robots this summer, ahead of the key holiday quarter, when the company typically books about one-third of its annual revenue. The updated warehouses are in five states — California, Texas, Florida, New Jersey and Washington.The move comes at a cost. Amazon estimated in June 2013 that it would spend about $46 million to install Kiva robots at its warehouse in Ruskin, Florida, including $26.1 million for the equipment, according to company filings to local government.The Kiva robots have allowed Amazon to hold about 50 percent more items and shorten the time it takes to offer same-day delivery in several areas, said Dave Clark, senior vice president of worldwide operations and customer services.At Amazon’s warehouse in Tracy, California, workers stack goods in shelves carried by more than 1,500 Kiva robots, which use markings on the floor to navigate and form a “big block of inventory,” Clark said.Squeezing the racks of items closely together eliminates the need for workers to navigate aisles to collect items ordered by consumers. Now, a worker calls for specific items and the robot steers itself to their particular work station. Each robot can carry as much as 720 pounds.In some cases, the robots have allowed Amazon to get packages out the door in as little as 13 minutes from the pick stations, compared to about an hour and a half on average in older centers.”It’s certainly proving out that it’s justified itself,” Clark said of the Kiva acquisition. “We’re happy with the economics of it.”(Reporting by Deepa Seetharaman; editing by Keith Weir) 3 min read Register Now » December 1, 2014 Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goalslast_img read more