Airport Check-in: Birds have taken up roosting in Detroit terminal

The bird-chirping sound that echoes through Detroit Metro's McNamara Terminal is not, unlike other airports, piped in through speakers.

It seems the terminal has all the trappings of a bird sanctuary — a large water fountain, artificial plants, food crumbs from restaurants and a tall ceiling with metal beams. Over the years, birds have entered the terminal through the cracks. Bird droppings have been an issue. "We don't want them there due to potential health problems," spokesman Michael Conway says. "But people seem to like hearing the bird sound."

Airport officials have been working with wildlife specialists to shoo them out. They've captured some but haven't located the cracks.

•Chicago O'Hare

Chicago O'Hare is celebrating the bicentennial of Abraham Lincoln's birth by exhibiting a replica of the statue in the Lincoln Memorial in Terminal 2. The statue, by Chicago sculptor Fran Volz, measures 10.5 feet tall and 9 feet wide.

•Lambert-St. Louis airport

police have uncovered a theft ring involving baggage handlers who were allegedly stealing from Delta passengers. The investigation has led to eight arrests; six suspects worked for contractor Huntleigh USA. Nearly 900 items have been recovered, including laptops, game consoles, cameras and firearms. Delta passengers who think they may have had items stolen while traveling through St. Louis in the past 12 to 15 months can call a police hotline: 314-890-1822.

•The Atlanta Daily World,

an African-American newspaper founded in 1928, has opened a newsstand at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta's Concourse C. The newsstand sells reading materials, Atlanta-themed souvenirs and snacks.

Airport finance news

•Citing poor economic

conditions and a slowdown in air travel, ratings agency Moody's Investors Service is retaining its negative outlook for U.S. airports in 2009.

But the outlook, which reflects Moody's expectation for the industry's credit conditions over the next 12 to 18 months, is likely to return to stable beyond 2009 as air travel rebounds, it says. "While negative industry trends drive the short-term outlook, stability can be found in the long-term trends such as the industry's financial structure," said Moody's analyst Kurt Krummenacker in a statement.

Airports face budgetary pressures because airlines have severely cut capacity.

But airports are also relying less on debt because of lower demand for capital projects and the economic stimulus grants doled out by the federal government, Moody's says.

•Tampa International says

it will receive $8 million in airport improvement funds from the Federal Aviation Administration, as part of President Obama's $787 billion stimulus package that was recently passed. The money will be used on a $52 million project to elevate and rebuild a taxiway.

•Baltimore/Washington Marshall

says it has been granted $15 million in stimulus funding from the FAA. The airport will use the funding for a $58 million project to rebuild concrete pavements on the aircraft ramp and a taxi lane between Concourses C and D.

Route news

•Icelandair will introduce

service between Seattle and its hub in Reykjavik, Iceland. Starting July 22, Icelandair will fly four days a week from Sea-Tac with a 183-seat Boeing 757, allowing travelers to connect to 18 European cities.

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