SeaPort BOI-IDA schedule, Google search tools & O’Hare honey bee project

SeaPort Airlines starts BOI-IDA flights on July 18th, 2011.  Take a look at the schedule below & book your reservation at http://www.SeaPortAirlines.com!

NEWS: Sun Times–Honey bee project taking off at O’Hare

It’s all the buzz out at O’Hare Airport: Sweet Beginnings has landed.

The nonprofit North Lawndale Employment Network’s bee-farming program has established 33 beehives on airport property — making O’Hare the first U.S. airport to incorporate apiaries in a conservation program.

Airports in Europe have used apiaries in landscaping as part of sustainability efforts for years, and O’Hare’s 7,000 acres offer much unused open space.

The Sweet Beginnings bees and their keepers arrived in March on 2,400 square feet of vacant, undeveloped, grassy land on the east side of O’Hare. Future landscaping is planned to support the bees, with bird- deterrent plant varieties, of course.

“We’ve been pursuing a whole variety of green initiatives for many years now, and O’Hare is recognized as a leader in sustainability nationally and internationally,” said Amy Malick, deputy commissioner of sustainability for the city Aviation Department. “Airports in Germany were the first to embark on apiaries. They have been doing this for a decade or so. We’re really proud that we’re the first to follow suit in the U.S.”

Sweet Beginnings is the nationally lauded program of the North Lawndale group headed by award-winning CEO Brenda Palms Barber. The progam helps ex-offenders and other residents of that impoverished West Side community find permanent jobs.

Palms Barber started Sweet Beginning 10 years ago to create temporary green jobs for her clients while they complete job-training and readiness programs. It produces Beeline honey and natural honey-based personal care products.

Barber’s group hopes to establish an apiary at Midway Airport within the next year, and future plans at O’Hare call for their Sweet Beginnings products to be sold through O’Hare’s food service programs and via a kiosk or storefront.

“This is a multi-pronged program that has an environmental, a social, and ultimately, an economic component,” Malick said. “We’re giving bees a chance to survive in a pretty difficult environment, and people’s gardens nearby hopefully will benefit. We’re providing opportunities for advancement for the disadvantaged population Sweet Beginnings serves, and we’re looking at the opportunity for Sweet Beginnings to sell their honey at the airport. So this is a very strong initiative.”

The Federal Aviation Administration and U.S. Agriculture Department approved the project.

NEWS: MediaPost–Google to release real-time travel search tools

Marketers will have a unique opportunity to tie in location-based paid search ads when Google releases new real-time flight and travel tools being built on data from the $700 million acquisition of ITA Software.

Rumors have begun to surface on the features provided in the tools. While some might wonder if the tools will end up integrated into the social network Google+ or on the search engine, others focus on fair competition in the fast-moving search industry.

Not all take a positive view of the acquisition and tools. Along with Microsoft, Expedia and Kayak.com, companies such as Sabre Holdings and Farelogix formed the coalition FairSearch.org to persuade the Justice Department to block Google’s deal to buy ITA, claiming it would give Google control over the software powering most of its closest rivals in travel search.

Google received approval in April to complete the acquisition and officially closed the deal, though the Department of Justice investigated the acquisition as creating a possible monopoly.

The search giant would like to provide more information than what’s available in 10 blue links, including flight times and prices, wrote Google Senior Product Manager Andrew Silverman in a blog post. We’ve already been experimenting with similar results in different areas,” he wrote.

In March, Google began showing hotel prices in Google Maps- information that make travel planning and budgeting easier for searchers, but also improves the quality of leads sent to travel Web sites and hotels. Marketers for local businesses could also capture those leads for paid search ads running down the right rail in queries.

In May, when the company launched the service, it made specific reference that it would not use ITA data until the Justice Department approved the sale. Query flights from Orange County to San Francisco and the search returns a list of options.

It turns out, consumers searching for flight schedules and prices will likely see the data tie into Google Maps, Google Places and other location-based information that links IP or GPS data to flights. Throw in Google Offers and consumers will have discount coupons on local deals.

As part of the Justice Department’s conditions, Google will need to license ITA’s search software to commercial airfare Web sites on reasonable terms and continue to fund future development of the company’s InstaSearch product.

About SeaPorter

SeaPort Airlines, Inc. offers scheduled passenger air service across 9 states. It’s air travel the way it should be – fast, friendly and convenient. Hometown service. Worldwide connections.
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