Tuesday May 17th

Tuesday 17th May

First it was a visit to Sigtuna which is a bit like Hahndorf but dates as far back as the 10th century and is the oldest surviving town in Sweden. The first Swedish coin was minted here. The town hall is 18th century and the more recent buildings are turn of the 19th century.The 10th century church ruins are oldest remaining part of this historically relevant town. There are about 150 runic inscriptions dating from early 11th century. Stora gatan is most likely Sweden’s oldest main street. Jeanette, Siv, Margaretha and Leif were our hosts.

Following morning tea or fika time we headed off to Arlanda International Airport where we did our presentation to the Rotary club at the airport for Acting President Christer Lokind.  There are 17,000 people that work at Arlanda and they have their own Chaplin. After lunch were accompanied by Rotarian Karsten Bjärbo, General Manager Cargo Operations and ascended the air Traffic Control Tower and visited the ground control operations just one floor beneath actual Air Traffic Control and learnt about the operations of the airport.

Somethings I learnt. When an International carrier like Qantas passes over a country’s airspace they pay a royalty to that country? That the biggest cargo carrier in the world is China Air. That it is shorter to fly over the Arctic to China from Europe but it did not occur until recently because Russia wanted too much for passing through their airspace.  Other cargo planes operating out of Arlanda include those of DHL, TNT, UPS and Fedex which are probably the world’s largest international parcel organisations.

After this experience Karsten led the team through the baggage handling area and the automated barcode readers used for sorting luggage and how it is automatically stored in a baggage “Hotel” if it is checked in early and no bay has been registered for that flight.

We were given an insight into the 4 levels of security your suitcase can go through on their way to the plane and when you will be called into open your bag.

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