Nobody was hurt. Don’t worry.
But dozens of ICANN 48 attendees experienced huge delays, frustration and anger after a plane skidded off the runway at Buenos Aires, temporarily closing the whole of the Ministro Pistarini International Airport and sending travelers off on diversions totaling thousands of miles.
The early-morning “incident involving a plane”, which is what my own flight crew only ever referred to it as, did not cause any injuries and was apparently cleaned up quite quickly.
But there seems to have been barely anyone flying into Ezeiza on the eve of ICANN 48 yesterday that was not in some way affected.
Consider these stories, collected from the conference floor and Twitter, strictly anecdotal.
- Several flights carrying ICANNers, due to land at around the same time, found themselves diverted to large cities in neighboring Latin American countries. Many found themselves sitting in hot metal tubes on airport tarmacs in Montevideo, Uruguay, Santiago, Chile and Rio De Janeiro, Brazil before finally turning back to BA.
- One flight, carrying several delegates from Washington DC, was diverted to Santiago — a 2,000-mile round trip — not once but TWICE, leaving passengers ultimately delayed by well over a day. After the first diversion, and sitting on the Santiago runway for two or three hours, the plane returned to BA only to be told by air traffic control to stay in an hours-long holding pattern while the airport cleared up the backlog. Realizing he lacked the fuel (and apparently the foresight) to do so, the pilot decided to return to Santiago instead, where passengers eventually had to spend the night. They finally started rolling into BA this afternoon.
- Another, diverted to Montevideo, apparently had to divert for a second time when, moments away from landing, the pilot realized the “runway wasn’t long enough” and had to pull up.
- My own British Airways flight from London Heathrow, carrying at least a dozen ICANNers, was diverted to Rio de Janeiro, a three-hour flight away. After four hours on the Rio runway and another two sitting in the departure lounge without instruction or information we were finally told that we’d have to wait another eight hours before we could leave, on a newly scheduled flight getting into BA in the wee hours, some 17 hours late. Some stayed at the airport and waited it out. Business class passengers (you know who you are) were safely smuggled away to a hotel to avoid the scuffles that almost broke out over the pallets of flavorless refugee-camp MREs the remaining economy class passengers were offered to keep them quiet. Some of us jumped into taxis and hit Copacabana beach instead.
So it all worked out okay in the end.
DI covered the ICANN 47 meeting in Durban remotely last week, but I’m happy to say that we have some photos from the meeting to publish nevertheless.
These pictures were all graciously provided by award-winning freelance photographer and long-time ICANN meeting attendee Michelle Chaplow.
ICANN CEO Fadi Chehade delivering his keynote address during the opening ceremony on Monday.
Representatives of the first new gTLD registries to sign the Registry Agreement and the first registrars to sign the 2013 Registrar Accreditation Agreement line up on stage to sell their souls to ICANN, also during the opening ceremony.
One of these men reportedly shed a tear as he committed his John Hancock to paper; whether through happiness or grief, it’s impossible to know for sure.
Attendees of the DNS Women Breakfast, which gives members of the under-represented gender an opportunity to plot world domination over coffee and croissants three times a year.
From humble beginnings a few years ago, we’re told that over 70 women attended the Durban brekkie.
Three participants on the second “What the Journalists Think” panel, which this time was exclusively made up of African journos.
Finally, Akram Atallah, president of ICANN’s new Generic Domains Division, smiling despite an apparently busy week.
ICANN CEO Fadi Chehade now has his own Twitter account, the organization has confirmed.
Here he is, tweeting this morning:
— ICANN President (@icann_president) July 9, 2013
And here’s ICANN confirming it:
— ICANN (@ICANN) July 9, 2013
And here’s somebody who is definitely not Chehade, but is quite amusing anyway:
It's been a year since my selection as #ICANN CEO and I'm in a celebrating kind of mood. Anyone else need an engagement center?
— Shit Fadi Says (@ShitFadiSays) June 27, 2013
Innovative Auctions, which is running private new gTLD auctions, has hired a poker-playing former Google engineer and grandson of Nobel-winning economist Milton Friedman.
Patri Friedman becomes the company’s 11th employee, according to an Innovative blog post.
According to his Wikipedia page, Friedman has had some success playing high stakes poker and was once a software engineer for Google, but his most recent gig was with the Seasteading Institute, where he’s still listed as chairman.
Seasteading is an ambitious project to create a floating libertarian nation state off the coast of Northern California, like something out of Neal Stephenson’s Snow Crash. Really.
At Innovative, he’ll be in charge of user experience and documentation, which seems quite dull in comparison.
Innovative has so far carried out just six new gTLD auctions. Presumably, it’s expecting to manage many more.
ICANN has picked Los Angeles for the third of its three 2014 public meetings.
The decision was approved by its board of directors at its retreat in Amsterdam last week.
As you may know, ICANN’s meeting schedule cycles through its five geographic regions, and North America’s next turn comes next year, picking up hopes that it might finally choose Las Vegas.
Alas, we get LA instead.
According to the board’s resolution, the cost of holding a meeting in LA should come in a couple hundred grand below the price of holding it elsewhere, presumably due to reduced travel expenses.
It will be the fourth time ICANN has gathered community members in its home town, but the first time since 2007. Back when ICANN did four meetings a year, LA was the home of its annual general meetings.
Recent North American meetings have been held in Toronto, San Francisco and Puerto Rico. The Mexico City meeting in 2009 counts as Latin America on ICANN’s map of the world.
Singapore and London have already been named at 2014 venues for Asia and Europe respectively.