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Showing posts from February, 2011

Will Rogers World Airport Gets New Federal Security Director

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Feb 24, 2011 — Last week the TSA named TSA-veteran Kevin Donovan as the Federal Security Director (FSD) for Will Rogers World Airport (OKC) in Oklahoma City. (TSA) "Previously, [Donovan] was the Acting FSD for the airports of the Eastern Washington District based in Spokane, Wash. He also served as the Assistant General Manager for Procedures in the Office of Security Operations at TSA headquarters. In this role, Donovan helped develop and coordinate national screening procedures and aviation security regulatory requirements."
Source: Planet Data

ICAO Members Adopt Security Roadmap on Aviation

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Feb 22, 2011 — Last week Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Administrator John Pistole was at the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Regional Conference in New Delhi, India, where the U.S. and 13 other member states in attendance adopted the "Security Roadmap on Aviation." (TSA) "The roadmap identifies the actions the member states will take to strengthen security screening procedures by ensuring that professionals are appropriately trained and equipped. Key elements include air cargo security and capacity building. This agreement will enhance existing aviation security harmonization efforts of countries in the region, as well as the concepts in the ICAO Declaration on Aviation Security."
Source: Planet Data

Would-Be JFK Bomber Gets Life in Prison

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Feb 18, 2011 — Convicted would-be terrorist, Russell Defreitas, on Thursday was sentenced to life in prison for conspiring to commit a terrorist attack at John F. Kennedy International Airport in Queens, New York, by exploding fuel tanks and the fuel pipeline under the airport. Defreitas, a naturalized United States citizen from Guyana, was arrested in June 2007. The prosecution considers him the originator of the plan, and the person who recruited the co-conspirators.
Source: Planet Data

CBP Finds 205-Pounds of Opium Smuggled on Flight from Thailand

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Feb 18, 2011 — Federal officials said Thursday that a shipment of 205 lbs of pure opium hidden in acrylic cats was seized on January 21 at JFK International Airport. The drug-filled figures were on a flight from Thailand and destined for an address in the New York area. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) estimates the opium is worth more than $9 million.
Source: Planet Data

North Korea Can Launch Missiles From Second Facility

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Feb 18, 2011 — Early this week, VOA News reported it has seen new satellite imagery that shows North Korea has completed a launch tower at its second long-range missile site at Tongchang-dong, which is only about 30 miles from the Chinese border. This launch facility was spied by satellites in September 2008.
Source: Planet Data

Heads Continue to Roll Over Moscow Airport Bombing

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Feb 8, 2011 — The Russian government continues to place blame for poor security that President Medvedev says allowed a suicide bomber to kill dozens of people at Moscow's Domodedovo Airport last month. First Medvedev fired the country's Federal Transportation Security Chief Andrei Alekseyev shortly after the terror attack. Then on Tuesday (2/8), the Federal Security Service announced that two senior Russian anti-terrorism officials have been relieved of duty over the attack, reports RIA Novosti.
Source: Planet Data

First Flight for Navy's Bat-Wing Fighter-Sized Drone

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Feb 7, 2011 — Last Friday (2/4) the U.S. Navy's new bat-winged X-47B unmanned aircraft successfully completed its historic first flight at Edwards Air Force Base (AFB), California. The first flight of the X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System Demonstration (UCAS-D) lasted 29 minutes. In a press release Northrop Grumman, which is the UCAS-D prime contractor, said the "event marks a critical step in the program, moving the team forward to meet the demonstration objectives of a tailless fighter-sized unmanned aircraft to safely take off from and land on the deck of a U.S. Navy aircraft carrier."
Source: Planet Data

TSA Grants Workers Limited Collective Bargaining Rights

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Feb 5, 2011 — The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) announced Friday that TSA Administrator Pistole has decided to allow Transportation Security Officers (TSOs) to vote on electing a union to represent them in "limited, clearly-defined collective bargaining within a framework consistent with TSA's security mission." (TSA) "TSOs will have the right to vote for or against union representation in a fair and transparent process, bringing closure to the question of union representation and bargaining."
Source: Planet Data

Business Executives Killed in Iraq Plane Crash

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Feb 5, 2011 — Seven people died in a small private plane crash Friday in Iraq's semi-autonomous Kurdish region. Among the casualties are two JPMorgan executives and the CEO of private equity group MerchantBridge reports Reuters. At this time officials do not know what caused the crash.
Source: Planet Data

France to Hunt for Wreckage from 2009 Air France Crash

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Feb 4, 2011 — French transportation secretary Thierry Mariani has announced that a fourth search for the wreckage of Air France Flight 447 will be conducted this spring and summer in the Atlantic Ocean between Brazil and Africa. The latest effort to find any debris from the Airbus A330-200 will employ underwater robots and submarines.
Source: Planet Data

Airport Security Mice Detect Explosives

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Airport sniffer mice are being used in a new security device created by an Israeli firm and demonstrated in public trials during the last few weeks.

Assembled by a firm called BioExplorers, the new airport security detector houses mice that are trained to pick out the smell of explosives and other potentially hostile threats to airport security.

According to information published on the BioExplorers website, mice can recall huge numbers of different smells, and they’re able to tell them apart. They have well over 1,000 olfactory receptors genes – close to 50 per cent more than dogs have.

Airport Security Mice

BioExplorers believes the mouse detector can outperform other types of airport security including millimetre wave scanners, sniffer dogs and frisking techniques. And it’s possible that airport authorities might consider introducing airport security mice in response to passengers’ concerns over the full body image scannersnow in use at airports in the US and beyond.

The device rese…

Manchester Airport Holographic Security Trials

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Manchester Airport in the UK has unveiled the world’s first holographic, customer service-based security technology.

While making its airport debut, the same technology is well-known within other industries, such as entertainment.

As of 31 January 2011, Manchester Airport now has a pair of holographic customer services staff that brief passengers on security procedures, as they prepare to pass through airport security.

The new additions to Manchester Airport’s security network give passengers information on current airport liquid restrictions and ensure that their boarding cards are ready to be deployed.

Holographic Security Trials

Airport liquid restrictions have been enforced from 2006 onwards, as a result of a plot to blow up transatlantic airliners. The recentMoscow Airport explosion incident has, once again, brought the issue of airport security back into the public eye, and these holographic security trials are a new concept that’s now being tested.

Both holograms are modelled on…

New Scanning Software Offers More Modesty

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New airport security technology is aiming to overcome some of the concerns provoked by the controversial full body scanners now deployed at many hubs around the world, including 78 US airports.
In response to the American public reaction to these scanners – which provide an in-depth image of body shapes and, in particular, genitalia - the TSA has now introduced a different scanning technology that uses a template to represent the private parts of the passengers that pass through it.

This, essentially, gives the middle sections of all passengers the same profile, but the airport scanner reportedly performs as effectively as the older software, and highlights the presence of any suspicious-looking concealed objects by outlining them with red warning boxes.

New Airport Scanning Software

An example of this new airport scanning software was demonstrated to officials at the start of February 2011. “We believe it addresses the privacy issues that have been raised since the AIT [advanced imaging …

BA increases fuel surcharge again

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British Airways has announced its fuel surcharge will increase for the second time in three months, citing “the continuing substantial increase in the price of oil”.
BA last increased its fuel surcharge by £20 per return flight on long-haul routes in December, and the latest increase will take effect on February 8.
World Traveller and World Traveller Plus tickets will increase by £12 per sector (£24 return), while First and Club World tickets will increase by £17 per sector (£34 return). Full details of the new surcharges are detailed below.
The latest move means that World Traveller and World Traveller Plus return tickets will have increased by £44 since December, with First and Club tickets increasing by £54.
As was the case in December, there will be no increase in fuel surcharge on short-haul services.
In a statement BA said that the move “reflects the continuing substantial increase in the price of oil and a 14 per cent rise in the spot price of jet fuel since our last fuel surcharge …

TSA Hopes to Enhance Privacy with New Scanning Software

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Feb 2, 2011 — TSA Administrator John Pistole announced Tuesday that his agency is testing new software for its advanced imaging technology (AIT) machines that the TSA says "eliminates passenger-specific images and instead auto-detects potential threat items and indicates their location on a generic outline of a person." The software uses the same generic outline for all passengers, and if no potential threat items are detected, an "OK" will appear on the monitor with no outline.
Source: Planet Data

U.S. Travel Alert for United Kingdom and Gibraltar

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Feb 1, 2011 — The U.S. Department of State has issued the following Travel Alert to inform U.S. citizens traveling to or resident in the United Kingdom, including England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Gibralter; of the continuing high level of terrorist threat, including the potential for terrorists to attack public transportation systems, aviation and other travel infrastructure in the UK.
Travel Alert
U.S. Department of State -- Bureau of Consular Affairs
United Kingdom and Gibraltar (England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland) January 31, 2011 The Department of State has issued this Travel Alert to inform U.S. citizens traveling to or resident in the United Kingdom (UK) of the continuing high level of terrorist threat, including the potential for terrorists to attack public transportation systems, aviation and other travel infrastructure in the UK. U.S. citizens are reminded to maintain a high level of vigilance and to take appropriate steps to increase their security awarenes…

TSA Freezes Private Screener Program

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Jan 31, 2011 — Last Friday TSA Administrator John Pistole announced he has decided not to expand a program that allows airports to use private security contractors in place of TSA airport screeners. Pistole said, "I examined the contractor screening program and decided not to expand the program beyond the current 16 airports as I do not see any clear or substantial advantage to do so at this time."
Source: Planet Data

Japanese Volcano Causing Flight Disruptions

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Jan 31, 2011 — More than 1,000 people living near Japan's Mount Shinmoe were told to evacuate their homes and businesses on Monday following several days of volcanic eruptions, which began last Wednesday. This is the most active the volcano has been in nearly 300 years. Train service and air travel over the southern island of Kyushu have been disrupted.
Source: Planet Data

DHS Ditching Color Coded Threat Level Advisory System

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Jan 27, 2011 — DHS Secretary Napolitano today (1/27) announced the end of the much maligned color code threat level advisory system former President George W. Bush put in place after the 9/11 attacks. The current HLS Advisory System will be phased out and replaced in April 2011 by the National Terrorism Advisory System (NTAS). DHS says the new NTAS "will more effectively communicate information about terrorist threats by providing timely, detailed information to the public, government agencies, first responders, airports and other transportation hubs, and the private sector." DHS also has established a NTAS Twitter page.
Source: Planet Data