What's new in aviation? Some weekly links.

What's new in the world of airlines and airports? I'm glad you asked.

Qantas begins the world's longest flight. An A380 between Dallas and Sydney.  About 15 hours 30 minutes on the flight from Dallas.  A little shorter on the return to the U.S.  Via news.com.au. 

Scared of flying? You might want to take a class offered by British Airways that teaches fliers how to react in an emergency. The AP's Scott Mayerowitz participated, and he wrote a nice story. 

European airlines got the OK to allow voice calls in flight. But that does not mean all airlines will permit it, or that it always will be technologically possible, the BBC reports. 

Meanwhile, 75 members of the U.S. Congress told the FCC to ban voice calls on U.S. flights, the L.A. Times reports. 

Better technology means some airlines can fly more efficiently around thunderstorms, according to the Associated Press. That, of course, means less fuel burn.