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Showing posts from September, 2010

Bomb Scare on Canada/Pakistan Flight a Hoax

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The bomb threat aboard a flight from Toronto to Karachi on Saturday has turned out to be a hoax allegedly perpetrated by a spurned woman. The incident began when the anonymous woman called Canadian police saying a man had explosives on board a Pakistan International Airlines flight. The plane made an emergency landing in Stockholm, Sweden where a Canadian male passenger was detained for questioning, and later cleared of any wrongdoing.


Source: Planet Data


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Commercial Jet Makes Emergency Landing at JFK

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Late  Saturday night, on the 27th of September, a Delta flight operated by Atlantic Southeast had to make an emergency landing at JFK Airport because the airplane's right landing gear would not deploy. By all accounts the pilots made a "miraculous" landing and there were no injuries reports among the passengers and crew.
Source: Planet Data
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Italy Ending Use of Body Scanners

Italy has decided to stop using full-body scanners at that nation's airports. Reports say that after a six-month test it was determined the scanners were too slow, did not work as well as expected and privacy concerns caused a reduction in the scanners effectiveness.
Source: Planet Data
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More TSA Employees to Get Secret Clearances

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Transportation Security Administration (TSA) leader John Pistole speaking before a House Homeland Security Subcommittee, said he plans on increasing the number of employees with "secret" clearances to 10,000. As a former FBI deputy director, Pistole thinks that giving TSA workers more access to information and intelligence will help make the country more secure. The TSA has 60,000 employees.


Source: Planet Data


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Minneapolis Airport Gets Full-Body Scanners

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Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport has begun using millimeter-wavelength full body scanners at one of its checkpoints. The scanners use radio waves to create an image of a person's body. The waves pass through clothing but can detect metallic and no-metallic items hidden under clothing. These types of scanners have raised privacy concerns, as they can create a detailed (although somewhat blurry) picture of a person's body. The airport hopes to get additional scanners in place this Fall.
Source: Planet Data
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Dutch Detain Terror Suspect at Amsterdam Airport

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Dutch authorities arrested a British man of Somali origin on suspicion of terrorist activity at Amsterdam's Schiphol airport on Sunday. The suspect was flying from Liverpool to Entebbe, Uganda, and was on a layover in Amsterdam when he was detained. The circumstances behind the man's arrest are not clear, but according to several reports, the Dutch were tipped off about the man by British counter-terrorism officials.
Source: Planet Data
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DHS Announces $98 Million for Airport Security Tech

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DHS Secretary Napolitano on Friday announced approximately $98 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funding for advanced technology (AT) X-ray units and inline baggage screening systems. While the AT X-ray funding has yet to be allocated to specific airports, the money for the baggage screeners is going to Lambert-St. Louis International Airport (STL) and Colorado Springs Airport (COS).
Source: Planet Data
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Authorities Concerned About Laser Pointer Incidents on Jersey Shore

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The United States Coast Guard issued a statement this week about its concern over the number of incidents in which people along the New Jersey shoreline have shined laser pointers at passing aircraft. The FAA has recorded at least 10 reported incidents of aircraft being targeted by lasers between Cape May, N.J., and Ocean City, N.J., this summer. The Coast Guard asks that anyone who witnesses someone committing this crime to immediately call 911 to report the incident.
Source: Planet Data
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TSA Gives Milwaukee Airport $20 Million for Baggage System

Earlier this week the TSA announced an award of approximately $20.3 million to Milwaukee's General Mitchell International Airport (MKE) for the construction of a new in-line baggage handling system. The TSA says the system is "designed to enhance TSA's efforts to strengthen security at airports."


Source: Planet Data
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Secret Caracas-Damascus-Tehran Air Link Cut

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Last month we had a post about the secretive, regularly scheduled air flight that U.S. intelligence believes has been transporting dangerous people and materials between Venezuela, Syria and Iran for years. Now Fox News is reporting that Venezuelan airline Conviasa abruptly has cancelled the every-other-Tuesday flights from Caracas to Damascus and Tehran.
Source: Planet Data
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Strike Over at Tel Aviv's Ben-Gurion Airport

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A strike by the Israel Airports Authority (IAA) employees union disrupted service at Tel Aviv's Ben-Gurion Airport for 8 hours Monday. The strike ended after the government reached an agreement on pension demands.


Source: Planet Data


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Survivors Reported in Venezuela Plane Crash

An ATR-42 twin turboprop airplane operated by Venezuela's state-run airline Conviasa, crashed Monday about six miles (10 kilometers) from Puerto Ordaz. The aircraft was carrying 43 passengers and four crewmembers. At this time it is being reported that there are survivors, maybe as many as 30.

Source: Planet Data


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ESTA Fee Begins for Travelers from Visa Waiver Program Countries

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This week people traveling to the U.S. from Visa Waiver Program (VWP) countries began having to pay a $14 fee for Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) applications. ESTA is the electronic travel authorization that all nationals of VWP countries must obtain prior to boarding a carrier to travel by air or sea to the U.S. under the VWP.


Source:Planet Data


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Mogadishu Airport Comes Under Insurgent Attack

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The main airport in the Somali capital of Mogadishu came under attack Thursday (9/9) by suspected members al-Qaeda-linked al-Shabaab, which the U.S. considers a terrorist organization. According to various reports, a car bomb killed at least eight people including a number of African Union peacekeepers before gunmen opened fire on the main entrance to the airport.


Source: Planet Data


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Bomb Threat Found on Thai Flight to U.S.

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There was a bomb scare aboard a Thai Airways flight from Bangkok to Los Angeles Tuesday (9/7) night. Surapol Isarakura na Ayutthaya, the head of crisis management at Thai Airways International, told The Bangkok Post that a cabin crewmember found a message written on a lavatory mirror warning there was a bomb on the plane. The aircraft landed safely at LAX and was taken to a remote part of the airport to be searched. According to various reports, bomb squads did not find any explosive device. Federal authorities are interviewing passengers and crew to figure out who is responsible for the threatening message.
Source: Planet Data
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Ryanair announces second route

LOW-COST airline Ryanair announced the opening of the much-anticipated second route out of Larnaca yesterday, which will be to Barcelona in Spain, it said. The new route will begin in December 2010 and follows the initial route to Charleroi Belgium which was announced last month. Ryanair said yesterday they expect the two new routes to deliver over 60,000 passengers to Larnaca and create up to 60 new jobs. Fares for flights to Barcelona start at €34.99 one-way, and are already on sale on www.ryanair.com. Melissa Corrigan, Ryanair sales manager for Cyprus said yesterday: “Ryanair is delighted to announce its second Cyprus route from Larnaca to Barcelona. Along with the route to Brussels Charleroi, it will provide consumers and visitors with really low fares for the first time. “Ryanair’s 60,000 passengers per annum to and from Larnaca will sustain 60 jobs”. Asked about the new route, Hermes Airports’ boss Alfred van der Meer said yesterday: “Hermes is pleased to see Ryanair proceeding with i…

CBP Aviation Security Program Operating in France

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U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is now partnering with the French Immigration Ministry as part of the Immigration Advisory Program, under which CBP deploys advisors to provide on-site training and technical assistance to foreign Customs administrations or border control agencies. (U.S. CBP) "The Immigration Advisory Program enhances border security as part of a layered security strategy by preventing high-risk passengers from boarding commercial aircraft destined for the U.S., disrupting alien smuggling and human trafficking air routes, combating the proliferation of fraudulent travel documents, and prevents improperly documented passengers from traveling to the U.S."
Source: Planet Data
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Cargo Plane Crashes in Dubai

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An American cargo plane crashed on Friday evening near the Emirates Road and Al Ain highway, killing two crew members.


Witnesses said the plane came down near Dubai Silicon Oasis. Official sources told Gulf News it crashed in a military camp. A statement by the General Civil Aviation Authority said two crew members had been killed and the plane crashed in an uninhabited area between Emirates Road and Al Ain highway.

The plane belonged to United Parcel Service (UPS), the world's biggest courier service. In a statement UPS said: "A UPS cargo plane has been involved in an accident in Dubai. At approximately 12 p.m. EST, (8pm UAE) UPS Flight 6 from Dubai, UAE, to Cologne, DE, a 747-400 with two crew members on board crashed on takeoff."
Some witnesses said they had heard a very loud explosion near Global Village and that the plane had caught fire soon after the crash. Other witnesses said the plane turned into a ball of fire while in the air. Some reports indicate tha…

Bomb Scare Closes Miami Airport for Seven Hours

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Miami International Airport was closed down for more than seven hours early Friday after TSA screeners found what looked like a pipe bomb in a man's checked bag. It is being reported that the item in question belongs to a 70-year-old scientist and that it was some type of "canister" that did not contain explosives, but is still being inspected by the FBI.
Source: Planet Data
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FAA Controllers to Use New Terminology Prior to Takeoff

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The FAA announced Tuesday (8/31) that "pilots authorized by air traffic controllers to taxi onto runways and await takeoff clearance will be instructed to 'line up and wait' rather than 'position and hold' beginning on September 30 under new terminology adopted by the Federal Aviation Administration." The new terminology conforms to what is used internationally under International Civil Aviation Organization guidelines.
Source: Planet Data
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Dutch Free Two Yemeni Men Held in Terror Probe

A Dutch judge ordered the release from custody of the two Yemeni men who were under investigation in Amsterdam after U.S. authorities became suspicious of their behavior and the contents of their airline luggage earlier this week. The two were not charged with any crime. It isn't clear if U.S. authorities plan to conduct any further investigation of the incident.
Source: Planet Data
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Cheap flights to Manchester from 2011

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LOW FARE airline Jet2.com has announced new routes from Larnaca and Paphos to Manchester from just €90.99. The two new direct flights bring to six the total number of routes offered by the company from Cyprus, following the existing routes from Paphos to East Midlands, Newcastle and Leeds and from Larnaca to Leeds. Tickets are on sale now for summer 2011 for all routes. The €90.99 offer applies to one-way tickets including taxes. Flights to Manchester from Paphos will begin operating on April 6, 2011, flying every Wednesday and Sunday during the season. Flights from Larnaca to Manchester commence May 14 and operate once a week on Saturdays. “We are delighted to confirm the expansion of our routes from Cyprus with these two exciting new routes to Manchester. These routes not only allow the people in and around Manchester to easily access the ever-popular island of Cyprus but will also allow residents on the island to experience a low cost, fast and efficient, award-winning service back to …

Entire U.S./Mexico Border Patrolled with Drones

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Beginning September 1, 2010 the entire southern U.S. border with Mexico will be patrolled by Predator Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) flights. Up until now there were no UAS flights on the entire Texas/Mexico border all the way to the Gulf. (U.S. DHS) "The new, border-wide use of the Predator aircraft, comes on the heels of the recently passed Southwest border security supplemental legislation, which will provide two additional UASs that will bolster these newly expanded operations."
Source: Planet Data
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Two Men on Flight from U.S. Detained in Amsterdam

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Police at Amsterdam's Schiphol International Airport detained two men on a flight from Chicago Monday night. One of the passengers was found to have suspicious items in his checked luggage including cell phones and bottles taped together. And while the items are not prohibited, the man's actions are extremely questionable and seem to indicate he was testing the integrity of U.S. aviation security.
Source: Planet Data
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Bomb Scare at Atlanta Airport

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Atlanta police are investigating a suspicious item found in a piece of curbside-checked luggage at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport Monday morning. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports police dispatchers said the device in question "looks like a pipe bomb."
Source: Planet Data
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TWIC Cards Acceptable for Airport Security Identification

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In an official Transportation Security Administration (TSA) blog post last week, TSA Administrator John Pistole addresses the confusion about whether or not the Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC card) that is issued to people requiring unescorted access to America's maritime transportation system, can also be used at airport security checkpoints. Pistole clarifies that indeed a TWIC card can be used for identification when passing through airport security. He also notes that he "will ensure that TSA officers receive the necessary refresher training to recognize TWIC cards."
Source: Planet Data
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JetBlue Plane Makes Hard Landing, Blows Four Tires

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A JetBlue Airbus 320 blew out four tires while making a hard landing at Sacramento International Airport on Thursday. After the plane came to an abrupt stop the emergency slides deployed and passengers evacuated the aircraft. Several of the 86 passengers were taken to local hospitals.
Source: Planet Data
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