New truck, bay for CCFR airport crew

By KEVIN GULLUFSEN
Juneau Empire

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A youngster takes a ride in Capital City Fire/Rescue’s Aircraft Response Firefighting vehicle on Saturday. (Kevin Gullufsen | Juneau Empire)

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Firefighter Mark Fuette helps a child out of the Aircraft Response Firefighting vehicle after taking a ride at a barbecue and celebration for the airport fire station’s remodel on Saturday. (Kevin Gullufsen | Juneau Empire)

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Firefighter Mark Fuette shows off the fire hose in the new Airport Response Firefighting vehicle Capital City Fire/Rescue debuted on Saturday. The hose can spray water, foam or chemicals used to combat diesel fires. (Kevin Gullufsen | Juneau Empire) Firefighter Mark Fuette shows off the fire hose in the new Airport Response Firefighting vehicle Capital City Fire/Rescue debuted on Saturday. The hose can spray water, foam or chemicals used to combat diesel fires. (Kevin Gullufsen | Juneau Empire)

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Community members toured the newly-remodeled truck bay at Capital City Fire/Rescue’s airport fire station on Saturday as part of a celebration for its completion. (Kevin Gullufsen | Juneau Empire)

Capital City Fire/Rescue celebrated the addition of a new truck and the completion of a remodeled bay at their Juneau International Airport station on Saturday.

The occasion marked the completion of a $2.6-million expansion project funded by the Federal Aviation Administration, the City and Borough of Juneau sales and the state of Alaska.
CCFR staff lead tours of the updated facility, which was expanded 19 feet and remodeled to accommodate the addition of a third Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting (ARFF) vehicle to their fleet of fire trucks. CCFR keeps two specially-trained firemen on staff at the airport station at all times.
Aircraft fires pose specific problems for firemen, Assistant Fire Chief Ed Quinto said.

“Fort Lauderdale airport unprepared for shooting, outside review finds”

Fort Lauderdale airport unprepared for shooting, outside review finds

By Stephen Hobbs and Megan O’Matz
The South Florida Sun-Sentinel


Broward County released an outside review of the shooting at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.
officials weren’t prepared to handle a mass crisis, clashed with law enforcement, and some workers simply didn’t know what to do in the aftermath of the Jan. 6 shooting that left five dead at Fort Lauderdale airport, according to a review by an outside consultant released Tuesday.
The 82-page report found that the Broward Sheriff’s Office overstepped its authority by taking control of duties that should have been left to airport officials. Also faulted: the airport’s “inadequate” plans to care for and efficiently evacuate passengers in an emergency.
The review is the latest to reaffirm a Sun Sentinel investigation published in April. The Sheriff’s Office in June released a draft evaluation of its own response, also echoing the Sun Sentinel’s findings.


Among the major findings released Tuesday:

“ISIS getting smarter about penetrating Western security, anti-terror expert warns”

ISIS getting smarter about penetrating Western security, anti-terror expert warns

By Lukas Mikelionis
Fox News

The Islamic State group is getting smarter about circumventing Western security, and events like last month’s failed terror plot in Australia are likely to occur more frequently.

That’s the assessment of a former counterterrorism expert for Turkey’s national police following news reports last week that the Australian plot involved explosives and components that were shipped from Turkey.

Writing in the Wall Street Journal, Ahmet S. Yayla, an adjunct professor at George Mason University in Virginia, says the bomb materials used in the aborted attack likely arrived in Australia via air cargo – probably aboard a passenger jet — evading all security measures.

Although the Australian operation ultimately failed, it was the type of plot that Western nations can expect to see more often, says Yayla, who from 2010 to 2013 led the counterterrorism and operations department of the Turkish National Police in Sanliurfa.

“Make no mistake,” Yayla writes. “Islamic State jihadists will continue trying to carry out spectacular terrorist attacks in the West.”

Make no mistake. Islamic State jihadists will continue trying to carry out spectacular terrorist attacks in the West.” – Ahmet S. Yayla, Turkish counterterrorism expert

The reason: As ISIS fighters are driven out of places like Mosul, Iraq, and Raqqa, Syria, the terrorist group will be more likely to mobilize its sympathizers around the world, he says.

More precautions needed

As a precaution, governments across the West need to review the shipping and handling procedures for air cargo in their countries and enhance security measures to avoid plots similar to the one that occurred in Australia, Yayla urges.

He also suggests that NATO-member countries encourage Turkish authorities to crack down on jihadist cells operating in the country.

As Reuters has reported, two men – brothers Khaled Khayat and Mahmoud Khayat — have been charged with conspiring to commit last month’s failed attack in Australia.

The reasons why the bombing plan was aborted aren’t entirely clear, but at a news conference Friday, Australian authorities said Khaled Khayat intended to have his brother unwittingly carry an explosive device aboard an airliner, but ultimately decided to end the mission.

The plan was “one of the most sophisticated plots that has ever been attempted on Australian soil,” Australian Federal Police Deputy Commissioner Michael Phelan said during the news conference, as Fox News reported.

The suspects based in Australia received the explosive materials from Turkey and went to the airport with the bomb in their luggage, authorities said, but abandoned the plot just before reaching airport security screening.

The suspects instead began working on a separate device that could release highly deadly hydrogen sulfide toxic gas, Yayla writes.

The Australian authorities found out about the terror plot almost two weeks later, following a tip from a foreign intelligence service, Yayla notes.

A senior diplomat in a position to know directly about the incident confirmed to Fox News the specifics of the plot and the authorities’ actions.

‘Lone Wolf’s Handbook’

Meanwhile, Yayla writes, ISIS supporters in Turkey last month published a 60-page “Lone Wolf’s Handbook,” a manual for teaching terrorists how to make a bomb or drive a truck into a crowd of pedestrians.

But it is not only so-called “lone wolves” who are a threat, Yayla writes. The Australian bomb plot was coordinated with an ISIS commander, possibly in Raqqa, who “coordinated” and guided the Khayat brothers for more than three months.

The commander had the bomb assembled with military-grade and high-end explosives, Yayla writes.

House Approves DHS Authorization Bill

ACI-NA Security Notice July 20, 2017
House Approves DHS Authorization Bill

The House today approved by a vote of 386-41 H.R. 2825, the DHS Authorization Act, a bill to update programs and offices throughout the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and its component agencies, including the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). This is the first measure to reauthorize DHS programs since the department was created 15 years ago. The bill now moves to the Senate for consideration.

The bill includes provisions to ensure that TSA continues to staff exits lanes, maintains 30 VIPR teams, reimburses airports for providing local law enforcement officers to support checkpoint screening operations, and continues the Innovation Task Force — all programs that ACI-NA successfully worked to protect after the Trump administration proposed reducing or eliminating them in its Fiscal Year 2018 budget request. ACI-NA also worked closely with the bill’s sponsors to clarify the bill’s requirements and minimize the operational impact of these provisions on airport operators.

As a reminder, a summary of the airport-related provisions in the bill can be found below:

  • TSA Administration and Acquisition
  • Adds the TSA Administrator to the roster of DHS officials and incorporates the position into the executive schedule.
  • Establishes an agency structure at TSA, including Office of the Administrator; Office of the Deputy Administrator; Office of Public Affairs; Office of Civil Rights, Civil Liberties, and Traveler Engagement; Office of Legislative Affairs; Office of Finance and Administration; Office of Chief of Operations; Office of Chief Mission Support; and Office of Chief Counsel.
  • Passenger Security and Screening
  • Establishes a pilot program for the biometric verification of the identity of individuals at PreCheck checkpoints.
  • Directs TSA to deploy at least 300 explosives detection canine teams dedicated to passenger screening in U.S. airports by the end of 2018.
  • Directs TSA to develop a staffing allocation model for passenger screening canines.
  • Requires DHS to establish a more effective process for addressing complaints from travelers who feel they were wrongly targeted for additional screening at airport security checkpoints.
  • Strengthens security standards for foreign airports with direct service to the United States.
  • Streamlines the application and agency review process for airports requesting participation in the Screening Partnership Program.
  • Authorizes $77 million for TSA to continue staffing exit lanes in Fiscal Years 2017 and 2018.
  • Authorizes $45 million for the LEO Reimbursement Program in Fiscal Years 2017 and 2018.
  • Formalizes the Innovation Task Force for TSA to collaborate with air carriers, airport operators, and other aviation security stakeholders to pursue innovations prior to the acquisition process.
  • Requires TSA to notify Congress of any changes to its Five-Year Technology Investment Plan for Aviation Security, and directs TSA to provide Congress annual updates on its plan.
  • Access Controls and Employee Vetting
  • Directs TSA to conduct – in consultation with the Aviation Security Advisory Committee (ASAC) of which ACI-NA is a member – a cost and feasibility study of airports deploying new employee screening systems at all access points.
  • Directs TSA to work with airports, air carriers, and vendors to assess credentialing standards, policies, and practices to ensure that insider threats to aviation security are adequately addressed.
  • Requires airports to alter their SIDA applications by requesting a social security number and adding a disclaimer that badged employees are subject to screening at all times.
  • Requires that all credentialed aviation workers currently required to submit to fingerprint-based criminal record history check be continuously vetted through the FBI’s Rap Back Service.
  • Directs TSA to provide local airports and air carriers with the results and recommendations concerning covert testing of employee inspection operations conducted by the TSA.
  • Directs TSA to establish a national database of employees who have had either their airport or aircraft operator-issued badge revoked for failure to comply with aviation security requirements.
  • Declares DHS as the lead interagency coordinator pertaining to insider threat investigations and mitigation efforts at airports.
  • Perimeter Security
  • Requires TSA to update its Transportation Sector Security Risk Assessment (TSSRA) for aviation and to follow up with an update to the intelligence information contained in the Comprehensive Risk Assessment of Perimeter and Access Control Security.
  • Requires TSA to update the 2012 National Strategy for Airport Perimeter and Access Control Security.
  • Directs TSA to conduct a system-wide assessment of airport perimeter security and access control points.

If you have any questions or comments, please contact Christopher R. Bidwell, Vice President, Security, at (202) 861-8081 or <a href="mailto:scusson, Director, Public Safety and Security, at (202) 293-4532.

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“Facial Recognition May Boost Airport Security But Raises Privacy Worries”

Heard on All Things Considered By Asma Khalid National Public Radio (NPR)


Charles Camiel looks into the camera for a facial recognition test before boarding his JetBlue flight to Aruba at Logan International Airport in Boston.

Passengers at Boston’s Logan International Airport were surfing their phones and drinking coffee, waiting to board a flight to Aruba recently when a JetBlue agent came on the loudspeaker, announcing: “Today, we do have a unique way of boarding.”

On flights to the Caribbean island, JetBlue is experimenting with facial recognition software that acts as a boarding pass. The airline says it’s about convenience. For the federal government, it’s also about national security. But for privacy activists, it’s an intrusive form of surveillance.

This is the first trial between an airline and Customs and Border Protection to use facial recognition in place of boarding passes.

“The practical side of that is you will not need to show a boarding pass and you will not need to take your passport out because your face will be essentially your boarding pass,” says Joanna Geraghty, JetBlue’s executive vice president of customer experience.

Michelle Moynihan, who was flying to Aruba for a wedding, says facial recognition would make her life easier.

“Typically when I travel I have my three kids with me and I travel alone with them,” she says. “They’re all under age 10, so flipping through multiple boarding passes on my phone, making sure I have all the kids, all the backpacks, all the suitcases can be cumbersome and frustrating.”

Moynihan gets in line and right before she gets to the jet bridge, there’s a camera that’s about the size of a shoebox. It takes her photo and she gets a checkmark, saying she’s good to go.

The whole process takes about 5 to 6 seconds.

“We’re basically capturing that picture at the boarding gate and then providing it to U.S. Customs and Border protection,” says Sean Farrell, who works for SITA, the company running this technology. SITA provides a lot of the IT infrastructure you see at airports.

“It’s actually the U.S. government that’s implementing the biometric matching system,” he says.

The government uses existing databases to compare a traveler’s face against all the other passengers on the flight manifest.

JetBlue is pitching this idea of facial recognition as convenience for customers. It’s voluntary. But it’s also part of a broader push by Customs and Border Protection to create a biometric exit system to track non-U.S. citizens leaving the country.

After the Sept. 11 attacks, there was a lot of talk about the necessity of a biometric exit system, but the tech and computing power just wasn’t good enough. Now, facial recognition experts say it’s more accurate.

And Farrell sees a future — not too far off — where our faces could be our IDs.

“The end game is that in a few years’ time you’ll be able to go through the airport basically just using your face,” he says. “If you have bags to drop off, you’ll be able to use the self-service system and just have your face captured and matched. You’ll then go to security, the same thing. … And then you go to the boarding gate, and again just use your biometric.”

But that worries people like Adam Schwartz, a lawyer with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a nonprofit digital rights group. He says facial recognition is a uniquely invasive form of surveillance.

“We can change our bank account numbers, we even can change our names, but we cannot change our faces,” Schwartz says. “And once the information is out there, it could be misused.”

Kade Crockford, director of the Technology for Liberty Program at the ACLU of Massachusetts, says she’s particularly concerned by the JetBlue program because of the government’s role.

“The biometric databases that the government is amassing are simply another tool, and a very powerful tool of government control,” she says.

Customs and Border Protection insists it will discard facial recognition photos taken of U.S. citizens at the airport, and only keep a database of non-U.S. citizens.

Back at Logan Airport, passenger Yeimy Quezada feels totally comfortable sharing her face instead of a barcode.

“Even your cellphone recognizes selfies and recognize faces, so I’m used to that technology already,” she says. “And, I’m not concerned about privacy because I’m a firm believer that if you’re not hiding anything, you shouldn’t be afraid of anything.”

Customs is running similar biometric tests at airports in Atlanta, New York and the Washington, D.C., area. The goal is to deploy facial recognition tech widely by early next year.

“Senate panel to reject Trump’s air traffic control plan in aviation bill”

By Melanie Zanona The Hill

A Senate panel has declined to include President Trump’s controversial proposal to separate air traffic control from the federal government in a must-pass aviation bill, according to the committee’s chairman.

Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), who leads the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, said the Senate’s long-term reauthorization of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will not include the spinoff plan, citing the lack of support for the idea on his panel.

Instead, Thune said the House will have to take the lead on efforts to transfer the country’s air navigation system to a private corporation.

“No, we don’t have the votes to pass that in our committee at the moment,” Thune told reporters on Tuesday. “We’ll see what the House is able to do and we’ll proceed accordingly. But if that issue were to get addressed, it would probably have to be on the floor in conference.”

Thune added that final touches are being added to the bill, with a committee markup likely to happen “next week.”

The FAA’s current legal authority expires at the end of September, and lawmakers in both chambers have been crafting separate long-term proposals to reauthorize the agency.

Earlier this year, Trump endorsed a plan that would put a nonprofit entity in charge of air traffic control operations as a way to speed up long-stalled modernization efforts. The FAA would maintain safety oversight, while the corporation would be in charge of operations and have the power to impose user fees.

But the idea received an icy reception from senators earlier this month, when GOP lawmakers raised concern over whether rural airports and general aviation users would be adequately protected and represented under the new model.

The spinoff proposal is generally more preferred by Republicans in the lower chamber, where the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee is preparing to unveil a long-term FAA bill soon that will include spinoff language.

A similar proposal was included in the House’s long-term FAA reauthorization last year, but it stalled amid opposition from GOP tax-writers and appropriators, forcing lawmakers to instead enact a short-term patch.

Senators have warned that the same thing could happen again if they pursue the spinoff plan, especially with a packed calendar and few remaining legislative days before the FAA’s legal authority expires.

“With the administration’s support of this concept, the chances of getting a long-term FAA reauthorization in my view have now been diminished,” Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) said earlier this month.

San Antonio Airport extends record streak as travel season approaches

San Antonio International Airport has hit the trifecta. In April, SAT experienced growth in passenger traffic, seat capacity and air cargo activity.
More than 737,000 ticketed travelers flew into or out of the North San Antonio terminals in April. That figure represents a 5.4 percent bump over the same month a year ago.

San Antonio International Airport continues to log a record number of passengers flying into and out of the Alamo City terminals.

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San Antonio International Airport continues to log a record number of passengers flying… more
CARLOS JAVIER SANCHEZ | SABJ

More impressive is the fact the airport has continued to attract larger passenger counts despite some of the disruptions caused by ongoing facility improvements, including work on a roughly $160 million consolidated rental car facility that will connect to both terminals.
San Antonio Aviation Director Russ Handy expects the recent addition of nonstop flights to Toronto via Air Canada, coupled with new service to Mexico City, Guadalajara and Cancun, will continue to drive up activity at SAT.
San Antonio Tourism Council President Marco Barros, who is in a runoff for the District 9 City Council seat, said the added international service is critical.
“It opens up and connects us with the rest of the world,” Barros told me.
SAT’s extra busy April follows a first quarter in which the airport attracted more than 2 million passengers. That was the largest first-quarter traffic count on record for the Alamo City facility.
In fact, SAT has now set new passenger records for 10 consecutive months. That could drive more debate about the city’s future airport needs.
A good deal of credit for the new flights and increased passenger activity goes to Brian Pratte, air services administrator for the city. He’s worked to identify airlines open to expanding service to and from San Antonio.
Previously, San Antonio officials relied on assistance from outside consultants to help navigate the pursuit of airlines and flights.
Barros said San Antonio is directly benefiting from having someone in Pratt’s role who can get Handy the timely intel he needs to “analyze the data” as airport officials continue to fine-tune their game plan.

USDOT announces $528M in airport improvement grants

  • AUTHOR Kim Slowey @kimslowey PUBLISHED June 5, 2017
  • The U.S. Department of Transportation will release $527.8 million in funding for the Federal Aviation Administration’s Airport Improvement Program.

  • Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao announced the grants, which will be allocated across 584 airports for infrastructure improvements like runway repairs, lighting, fencing and marking.
  • Also included in the grant is discretionary funding for 38 airports where capital needs have exceeded existing funding amounts, which are determined according to each airport’s passenger traffic.

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Dive Insight:

One of the largest discretionary grants, $60 million, will go toward adding a $649 million sixth runway at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago. Project officials said the new runway will provide the capacity equal to a third airport and create 6,000 jobs along the way. The runway should be ready for use in 2020.
Other major grants include $8 million for taxiway improvements at Columbia Metropolitan Airport in Columbia, SC, and $18 million for a temporary runway, lighting and navigational aids at Asheville Regional Airport in Asheville, NC. Grants will also be used for much smaller items, such as a $350,000 noise monitoring system at Boise Air Terminal/Gowen Field in Boise, ID.
This latest FAA funding is sure to be welcome news for airport officials that are struggling to maintain their infrastructure. However, according to a recent Airports Council International—North America report, it would take about $100 billion over five years to make the necessary repairs and upgrades at the country’s airports.
The FAA’s AIP budget is about $3 billion annually, but that doesn’t include the giant terminal replacement and associated commercial expansion projects the industry has seen kick off in the last few years.
For instance, at Tampa International Airport, officials are underway with a $2.3 billion multiphase expansion. The $971 million first phase has started and includes retail, restaurants, a new people mover system and a new rental car facility.
The Hillsborough County (FL) Aviation Authority announced last week that it had approved the second phase of the project, which is projected to cost $543 million and will include 17 acres of commercial development around the airport, part of the authority’s plan to create long-term revenue streams to support airport operations. The third phase is estimated at $798 million and will see the construction of a 16-gate international and domestic terminal.

Recommended Reading:

FAA Awards Flagstaff Airport $7.8 Mil Grant To Restore Runway By Kathy Ritchie

The Federal Aviation Administration awarded Flagstaff airport a $7.8 million grant to restore the small hub’s more than 8,000-foot runway.
Allen Kenitzer is a spokesman with the FAA. He says the annual grants are given out based on need.
“In this case its restoring the structural integrity. Runways are thick, they’re generally made of concrete and they have to be built to a certain standard to handle certain aircraft,” Kenitzer said.
Work is scheduled to being this fall and should be completed in early 2018.