Category Archives: CAA News Posts

Daily and Periodic News postings to the California Aviation Association new webring of subscribers.

LEO & Security Personnel Training

I’m very proud that we’ve has been selected by National Safe Skies Alliance Inc. (www.sskies.org) to create a comprehensive training resource for Airport Law Enforcement and Security Personnel. We are very fortunate to have put together a team of experienced Airport Law Enforcement/Security Management personnel. The SSi Team will be researching best practices and recommendations for a law enforcement/Security personnel training curriculum. A key objective will include creating curriculum that is scalable to a airport’s size, budget and needs. We will be reaching out to a number of airports seeking input from many stakeholders. Anyone wishing to share their best practices for Airport LEO/Security Personnel training, please feel free to reach out to via LinkedIn, Twitter DM or email. There are no better experts than found in this forum. Thanks Christopher Pheasant @Bill McAteer Don Zoufal @Duane McGray Scott Booth for rounding out the SSi TEAM. #training #research #airports #lawenforcement #securitymanagement

SSi Documenting the Emergency Training

Stay tuned for additional video updates as SSi begins its development of the airport-wide emergency training to protect all staff. Thanks for watching @WeTrainAirports

Residents rally against noisy air traffic

Citizens consider walkout, lawsuit

By Sara Hayden

Coastsiders and other Bay Area residents are banding together to combat air traffic noise wrought by the Next Generation Air Transportation System. The latest action follows in the footsteps of other communities across the United States that have found their voices are stronger together. They are getting a response from the Federal Aviation Administration.

FAA began to implement NextGen technologies and procedures in 2007 to modernize air transportation and increase safety, efficiency and predictability. In recent years, that’s come at the cost of residents who now live under rerouted flight paths. Some people argue that it’s actually decreasing safety by exposing them to airport noise and jet fuel particulate that has negative health impacts.

“Everyone all over the country is waking up to the same nightmare,” said Tony Verreos, of Brisbane. “It takes some time for people to get frustrated to a point where they do something about it.”

Now some are.

“I’m going to focus on suing the FAA because nothing else has worked,” said Verreos, who started a Facebook group called “STOP Jet Noise NOW! SFOAK North S.F. Bay Area.”

He’s working with other citizens to convince Bay Area cities such as his own, Pacifica, Daly City and Half Moon Bay to take the charge.

If a local lawsuit occurred, it would be one of more than 10 others across the nation regarding NextGen. The city of Phoenix won its case last August, which led to an agreement to redesign flight paths. The FAA also agreed to tweak flight paths around John Wayne Airport in Southern California, following individual lawsuits from Culver City, Newport Beach and Laguna Beach that were then consolidated as one case a year ago.

As cities consider action, residents of the unincorporated Midcoast don’t want to be ignored.

Erin Caslavka, of Montara, wanted to get involved when she realized there was little Midcoast representation at the SFO Airport/Community Roundtable, a committee to address noise impacts from San Francisco International Airport flights.

“I feel like we’re the redheaded stepchild. (Just because there’s no representative) doesn’t mean it’s not intrusive into our life as well,” Caslavka said

She started attending roundtable meetings and recording local flight traffic data from home. Over a two-week period in the fall, she counted 2,480 flights that passed over Montara from various airports in the area. Many exceeded the established noise threshold, and the bulk of them were from SFO.

At a Midcoast Community Council meeting, she encouraged people to direct their air traffic noise complaints to San Francisco International Airport at (650) 821-4736 or sfo.noise.

She agreed a lawsuit is worth a shot. “With a lot of lawsuits, you end up settling with the other party. Maybe that means you end up getting some of the demands we’re making to be implemented.”

Stanley Peng, of El Granada, said his goal was to raise awareness. He started a petition about a year ago that has since collected the signatures of more than 500 people calling for a ban from flying low over the Coastside. Peng works as a delivery driver for the Review.

Peng forwarded the petition to U.S. Rep. Jackie Speier, the FAA, local airports and others he wants to take notice.

“I even sent it to Donald Trump, the president of the United States. I don’t know if it (will get there),” Peng said. But he wants to try. “Hopefully I can make as much of a contribution all the way from Pacifica to Half Moon Bay … We just want to try our best to see if FAA would make any substantial change.”

Congressional representatives, including Speier, are working to ensure that the FAA adheres to implementing noise mitigation recommendations that came out of a report released in November. But relief can’t come soon enough for some.

Laslo Vespremi, of El Granada, is organizing a representative walkout at a roundtable meeting to send a message to the FAA.

“If the representatives of these 2 million people (from more than 20 communities) say enough is enough, notice will be taken,” he said.

Half Moon Bay Vice Mayor and SFO roundtable representative Harvey Rarback said he wouldn’t participate in a walkout without learning more first.

“There’s a lot of concerned people on the roundtable, but the structure is such that it doesn’t have the teeth to do much. I certainly want to find out more about this,” Rarback said.

Policy would require commercial ground transportation operators at airport to have permits

Commercial vehicles for ground transportation would be subject to permits and fines if City Council approves

By Kevin Canfield Tulsa World Mar 28, 2018 “It’s the Wild West out there.”

That’s how Tulsa International Airport CEO Mark VanLoh describes the scene at the airport’s curb during peak periods. With business growing, so are congestion, maintenance needs and service demands at the airport.

To address those issues and others, the Tulsa Airports Improvement Trust plans to require that all commercial ground transportation vehicles have permits.“We are hoping these permits will be able to allow our police officers to enforce the curb,” VanLoh said.

The permits would be issued by the Airports Improvement Trust, which oversees airport operations. The fine for operating without a permit would be $150.

“This is the only airport that I know of that does not have this policy,” VanLoh said. “I caught it about a year ago. … So it is one of the things on my agenda to get a policy so everyone is treated fairly.”

The Airports Improvement Trust approved a ground transportation policy in February.

VanLoh briefed city councilors on the policy on Wednesday, and they will vote on the issue next week. The City Council would have to amend the city’s airport ordinance to reflect the new policy and attendant fine before it could be enforced.

The permit fees will be determined by the trust once the council approves the ordinance. The airport already charges taxi, Uber and Lyft drivers $1 per trip.

VanLoh said he’s met with the city’s hotel/motel association to present a fee structure. Under that plan, hotels would be charged 50 cents per room per month. A 100-room hotel, for example, would pay $50 a month for the right to pick up guests at the airport.

“We have been giving them a long grace period to be sure everybody is on board before we really start cracking down,” VanLoh told councilors.

Airport parking services, limousines and businesses such as Turo — where individuals sometimes take their personal vehicles to airports and rent them to people getting off planes — would also be covered by the ground transportation policy.

“It’s crazy,” VanLoh said. “Technology is just out of control. We have to try to keep up with it and make sure our police officers can see something happening and know that a person is getting into a safe vehicle.”

VanLoh said it is not unusual for airports to use ground transportation policies and the revenue they generate to help maintain facilities.

“We don’t collect any taxes. We are self-supporting, and airports get some revenue from these permit fees from the people who use the airport,” he said. “It helps them pay for the roadway repairs, enforcement, signage — things like that.”

In the past, airports could build those costs into the fees they charged airlines to use the airport, but those days are over, VanLoh said.

“They’ve stopped,” he said. “We want to keep our costs to the airlines as low as possible so they keep on coming.”

Leaving Las Vegas? Dump your pot at the airport first

Leave it in an ‘amnesty box’

(CNN) – After spending time indulging in the pleasures of Sin City, tourists heading back home may need to leave a thing or two behind — like their weed.

The sale of recreational marijuana has been legal in Nevada since last summer, but pot is not legal at Las Vegas’ McCarran International Airport.

So to keep travelers from getting in trouble in the airport security line, big green bins — dubbed amnesty boxes — were set up a week ago outside McCarran, allowing people to toss their pot before catching their flight. Twenty of the boxes were installed at McCarran and its car rental facility, Henderson Executive Airport and the North Las Vegas Airport.

The bins are about the size of a mailbox, bolted to the ground, monitored and designed to keep what’s tossed in them inside the box. In addition to pot, the bins can also be used to drop off prescription drugs.

“We’ve had a variety of other things disposed of in the bins,” Christine Crews, McCarran airport’s public information administrator, told CNN. “For example, I was sent a picture of one of the bins containing pills, vape pens, rolled tobacco-looking products, prescription bottles and marijuana-infused drinks.”

These Are the Biggest Ways That 9/11 Changed Airport Security

Jess Bolluy February 05, 2018

  • If you fly even infrequently, we don’t have to tell you that airport security has changed dramatically since 9/11. You have to stand in long lines. You deal with invasive screenings. Plus, you have to remember weird rules. And you have to find a way to stand on the good side of the many grumpy TSA agents. In fact, Condé Nast Traveler reported in 2016 that the U.S. had spent almost $100 billion to secure airports and airplanes since 9/11. And you’ll see the result of lots of that spending both at the TSA airport security checkpoint.

Read on to check out the biggest ways that 9/11 changed airport security forever.

1. Congress created the TSA

A TSA employee speaks with a passenger at O'Hare AirportTSA is a relatively recent airport addition. | Scott Olson/Getty Images

You might not realize it when your fate seems to rest in the hands of the TSA agents operating the security checkpoint. But the agency didn’t always exist. So it wasn’t always in charge of airport security.
Condé Nast Traveler notes that the law that created the Transportation Security Administration passed a couple months after 9/11. The agency’s arrival on the scene has led to some of the biggest and most lasting changes at airport security and beyond.
Next: The TSA separates this kind of traveler from the rest.

2. The TSA separates the ‘known’ travelers

Transportation Security Administration employee at Oakland International AirportPreCheck expedites travelers who have submitted to a background check. | David Paul Morris/Getty Images

As Condé Nast Traveler explains, “A major aim of the post-9/11 overhaul was to harness better intelligence and more sophisticated pre-screening to separate the ‘known’ travelers from those who might warrant more scrutiny.” Officials created a “known traveler” program with TSA PreCheck.
PreCheck gives expedited treatment to travelers who voluntarily submit to a background check. It sounds like a great idea. But as Traveler notes, “Credit for this should really should go to Customs and Border Protection.” That agency “got there first with its Global Entry fast-track screening for arriving passengers, which showed the TSA how this could be done without invading people’s privacy.”
Next: The government didn’t always carry responsibility for airport security.

3. The government took responsibility for airport security away from private companies

Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officersIt put the government in charge of airport security. | Scott Olson/Getty Images

Airports today have tons of security personnel. But Condé Nast Traveler reports that on 9/11, “there were fewer than 20,000 airport screeners.” And most of them were “poorly-trained, minimum-wage contract workers who were hired by the airlines.”
The publication adds, “One of the very first responses from the government was to kick the airlines off the security beat, and to put the government in charge — that’s what gave us the TSA.” Now, the TSA has about 42,000 screeners, all federal employees. Yet the system isn’t perfect. And screeners do miss weapons at what Traveler characterizes as “a disturbingly high rate.”
Next: The TSA pays attention to these two important things.

4. The agency inspects bags and screens people

TSA Officer Beatriz Thompson processes airline passengers luggage thru an X-Ray machineThey know what to look for to keep travelers safe. | Paul J. Richards/AFP/Getty Images

TSA agents consider two important things as they try to keep travelers safe. As The Huffington Post explains, “TSA employees inspect bags for banned items and screen passengers for suspicious behaviors.” In other words, they scrutinize two things that never really got a whole lot of attention before 9/11.
TSA agents look out for things like nervous behavior from travelers. But we have to imagine that it’s difficult to tell when somebody’s anxious because they’re plotting something — or when they’re anxious because they have to go through stressful security screenings.
Next: Many relatively normal behaviors can get you in trouble with the TSA.

5. You can get in trouble for a wide array of behaviors and traits

Passengers queue after flights have been cancelled as security officersThey recognize suspicious signs. | Philippe Merle/AFP/Getty Images

The Post reports that airports have screened for potential hijackers since 1969. In 1969, the FAA developed a profiling system to use in conjunction with detectors. But what’s new since 9/11 is the very broad list of behaviors and traits, obtained by The Intercept, that the TSA looks out for in travelers.
TSA agents look for “exaggerated yawning.” They also look out for travelers who are either “gazing down,” or have “widely open staring eyes.” Another red flag? A “face pale from recent shaving of beard.” They also don’t like to see “rubbing or wringing of hands.” And you may look suspicious if you’re “wearing improper attire for location.” Some of those traits, however, sound like they’d be common among tired or disoriented travelers. That doesn’t exactly inspire confidence in the agency’s methods.
Next: After 9/11, airports stepped up their technology.

6. Airports have better technology to screen for weapons

A Transportation Security Administration (TSA) worker monitors bagsTechnology has improved since 9/11. | Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Another crucial step in improving airport security post 9/11? Equipping airports with better screening technology. Condé Nast Traveler reports that before 9/11, most checked luggage “went straight onto the plane without being scrutinized for explosives.”
But after 9/11, airports installed detection machines in their lobbies. And together with airlines, the airports spent hundreds of millions of dollars to build underground bag screening systems. Those systems screen all the bags that travelers drop off at check-in.
Next: Airports also got new machines to do this.

7. They’ve also gotten new technology to screen people

security checkpoint in Terminal 2 of Incheon International AirportPeople are still worried about the body scanners. | Jung Yeon-Je/AFP/Getty Images

Condé Nast Traveler reports that airports quickly built efficient systems for screening baggage. But “the machinery to screen people has proved more of a challenge.”
The TSA had to scrap its first generation of controversial body-scanning machines. Additionally, the agency insists that the current machines are safe, even for frequent travelers. But some people still worry about the health effects of exposure to radiation at airport security.
Next: After 9/11, the TSA got to set its own rules.

8. The TSA sets the rules on what you can take through airport security

A Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) officer screens carry-on baggage at a passengerThe rules have changed a lot since 9/11. | Mario Tama/Getty Images

All travelers know that the TSA has extensive rules on what you can and can’t take through airport security. (Yet that doesn’t stop some people from trying to get through with some pretty bizarre baggage.) But the rules offer a pretty striking example of how much 9/11 changed things.
The Huffington Post reports that before the TSA was established, “you could bring blades up to 4 inches long aboard a plane. The Federal Aviation Administration did not consider them menacing.” Plus, most local laws didn’t prohibit them. Yet you can’t carry them onboard anymore. Baseball bats, box cutters, darts, and scissors were also allowed through airport security. But the TSA prohibits them now.
Next: The agency has changed its stance on liquids over the years.

9. The agency banned — and then limited — the liquids you can carry on board

BAA employee holds a plastic bag with liquid containersThe full ban was quickly dialed back. | Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images

The Huffington Post also reports that in 2006, the TSA briefly banned travelers from packing any liquids in their carry on baggage. Fortunately, that rule didn’t last long. But a few months later, the agency came up with its infamous 3-1-1 rule.
The Post explains, “TSA amended the rule and allowed passengers to carry on liquids, gels and aerosols in containers of 3.4 ounces or less in a single, clear, resealable 1-quart plastic bag.” The rule remains in place today. (Even if some travelers have found ways to get around it.)
Next: In a post-9/11 world, flying takes a lot more of your time.

10. All the rules require travelers to get to the airport a lot earlier

People arrive at John F. Kennedy (JFK) international airportSecurity takes more time now. | Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Many travelers remember that in the days before 9/11, you didn’t have to arrive at the airport multiple hours before your flight was scheduled to depart. Those days have long passed.
As The Huffington Post notes, “Accounting for the added time to screen for banned items and possible enhanced security now requires travelers to get to the airport hours earlier than they did before Sept. 11.”
Next: Americans’ attitudes toward this practice has changed after 9/11.

11. We’ve all become OK with racial profiling

Airport security handling MuslimAmericans seem to accept profiling at the airport. | Yoav Lemmer/AFP/Getty Images

When it comes to airport security, many Americans famously approve of racial profiling. That may come as a surprise to people concerned about our attitudes toward civil liberties, democracy, and the racism that persists in American society.
But the poll results really shouldn’t surprise anyone. Since shortly after 9/11, Gallup polls have shown that Americans condone racial profiling at the airport. (Even if they object to it, at least in theory, in other situations.)
Next: This scary outcome has only been a possibility since 9/11.

12. You can land on a terrorist watch list

Undersecretary for Border and Transportation Security Asa Hutchinson (L) talks to a Transportation Security AdministrationIf you even make jokes about terror, you might end up on a watch list. | Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Everybody knows not to make jokes about bombs while wait to board the plane. But people have also started to wonder what they can Google or post on Facebook without landing on the terrorist watch list
That list constitutes a new development since 9/11. (Wired notes that it actually began in 2003.) As The Huffington Post explains, the government has “secret rules for putting individuals on its main terrorist database, as well as the no fly list and the selectee list, which triggers enhanced screening at airports and border crossings.”
Next: Airlines have made this change on their planes.

13. Cockpits have been sealed off

Captain Yann Lardet, General Manager of AATC AirbusSafety is much higher for the cockpits. | Roslan Rahman/AFP/Getty Images

Another major change since 9/11 is visible not at the airport, but on your plane. In the past, people could come and go from the cockpit easily. But that capability doesn’t exist anymore.
Condé Nast Traveler reports that pilots now “remain locked behind impregnable doors for the duration of the flight (with obvious exceptions for restroom breaks, but flight attendants are trained to protect the cockpit during those intervals).”
Next: You’re more likely to see one of these officials on your flight.

14. There are more air marshals

Women sitting on an airplaneThe number has increased dramatically since 9/11. | iStock/Getty Images

Condé Nast Traveler adds that the government has also increased the size of the air marshal workforce. That workforce “had dwindled to a minuscule number of guards — fewer than 100 — by 2001.”
But unlike some of the other changes to airport security, the government has less to show for this one. As Traveler explains, “the program has reportedly been plagued by low morale and high attrition, although the details of just how many are employed in this job are classified (it’s estimated to be more than 5,000).”
Next: Pilots can now carry these onto their aircraft.

15. Pilots can carry guns

Pilots of Mexican flag carrier airline Aeromexico chatPilots can acquire permits to carry guns. | Pedro Pardo/AFP/Getty Images

According to Condé Nast Traveler, pilots “have picked up some of the slack” in protecting their aircraft through the Federal Flight Deck Officer program. This program permits them to carry guns after they’ve undergone proper training.
According to an airport screening manual leaked by the TSA, these pilots receive training by the U.S. Marshals Service. They can carry TSA-issued firearms onto planes. However, these pilots can pass through the airport without a regular security screening only after they present their credentials and photo ID.

Signature Flight to purchase fuel facility at Santa Barbara Airport

Signature Flight Support is set to purchase and operate the only existing self-service fuel facility at the Santa Barbara Airport (SBA) in Santa Barbara, California, US.

The Self-Service AvGas 100LL facility is set to offer an additional option to recreational pilots for refuelling their aircraft.
Signature’s self-service customers will get benefits such as complimentary parking on its transient ramp for the day of fueling and pedestrian access to and from the airport operations area from its fixed-base operator facilities.
“Signature noted that the addition of the new self-service fuel facility at SBA is the 14th installation within its North American network.”
Signature Flight Support president and chief operating officer Maria Sastre said: “Signature’s thrilled to be able to offer pilots another opportunity, in addition to Signature’s Weekend TakeOff AvGas discount programmes, to save on their fuel purchases.
“We’re confident that this additional self-service AvGas facility further expresses our commitment to both the local Santa Barbara pilot community and general aviation community as a whole.”
Signature Flight Support is a BBA Aviation company. It has operated at the Santa Barbara airport for 20 years and continues to provide its service to all pilots frequenting the facility.
Signature noted that the addition of the new self-service fuel facility at SBA is the 14th installation within its North American network.
Located eight miles north-west of downtown Santa Barbara, SBA serves more than 750,000 passengers a year.
Featuring two 4,000ft-long parallel general aviation runways, the airport hosts a 20,000ft2 terminal building.