Category Archives: Uncategorized

Thank TSA employees for keeping us safe

by Jane Hemberger

7 hours ago
Ten years ago, the Transportation Security Administration began operations at Dane County Regional Airport. TSA was created after the tragedy of 9/11, and within a year, assumed responsibility for security at the nation’s airports.
Since 9/11, TSA has screened nearly 5 billion passengers. At the Dane County Airport we’ve intercepted more than 68,000 prohibited items, including firearms and other dangerous items. Today, every bag is checked for explosives and other threats, and every passenger is pre-screened against terrorist watch lists.
TSA also has deployed many other layers of security, including behavior detection officers and explosives specialists, K9 teams, federal air marshals, and continuously evolving screening technologies.
In the last year, TSA has moved toward a more risk-based approach to security, which has resulted in screening modifications for kids 12 and younger and passengers 75 and older.
But it’s our people who make the real difference. More than 50 percent of our officers at the Dane County Airport have been with TSA for more than five years, and almost two dozen have been with the agency since the beginning. Join me in thanking them for their service.
Jane Hemberger, TSA Federal Security Director, Dane Country Regional Airport

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Power outage at airport hits critical security operations

Power outage at airport hits critical security operations

TNN | Oct 8, 2012, 06.01AM IST

KOLKATA: A 40-minute power cut at the airport on Sunday disrupted normal functioning during evening rush hour. With even back-up power supply to critical security systems like baggage X-ray affected for half the period, passenger check-in was stopped, delaying at least one flight. The situation would have been immensely worse had supply not been restored while daylight was still there.

According to sources at the airport, power supply went off at 3.36pm, shutting off not just air-conditioning at the terminal and airline systems at check-in desks, even standalone X-ray machines used to screen checked-in baggage shut down, stranding all passengers who were carrying check-in baggage. Within minutes, serpentine queues before the X-ray machines clogged the departure terminal.

“Since passengers with luggage other than cabin bags could not proceed for checking in, the entire process was held up. Only passengers with cabin bags were manually checked in,” an airline official said. As more passengers walking in to catch flights got stranded, the check-in lounge became increasingly stuffy.
Fortunately, the back-up supply to the X-ray machines was restored after 15 minutes, allowing baggage screening to resume.

Airport officials said it had taken longer to switch on generators due to manpower crunch on Sunday. Though staff is deployed in shifts daily, there are fewer on duty during weekends. Airline staff had to deal with frayed tempers even after X-ray machines became operational as lengthy queues forced passengers to wait for nearly half an hour.

Full power was restored only at 4.16pm.

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SAJ: Skybrief

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October 08, 2012
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Photo by Shahn Sederberg

www.belfortinstrument.com

Idaho
Transportation Department Launches Free Airport Directory App – First in the Country

Pilots can now access Idaho’s Airport Facility Directory through a mobile application, created by the Idaho Transportation Department. The new iPad app provides visual flight rules and diagrams for 134 Idaho airports and aviation facilities. ITD employees created the app to allow for more convenience for the state’s pilots.

Read more: AASHTO Journal

Ogrodzinski Among Those to be Honored by NAASalt_Lake_45edit3.jpg

The National Aeronautic Association (NAA) announced the recipients of the 2012 Wesley L. McDonaldDistinguished Statesman of Aviation Awards. Henry Ogrodzinski, Keith Ferris, Dick Koenig, Christopher Kraft and Dr. Irving Statler will be honored at the NAA Fall Awards Banquet on Tuesday, November 13 at the Crystal Gateway Marriott in Arlington, Virginia.

Read more: State Aviation Journal

XCELAR_Banner_AD_for_NASAO_082712_copyedit.jpg

ERAM continues to undergo critical failures

The $2.4 billion En Route Automation Modernization air traffic control modernization software project has continued to experience critical system failures–so much so that the Federal Aviation Administration has made moves to extend the life of a backup system originally meant for only temporary deployment.

Read more: Fierce Government

Kansas
Rooks County Regional Airport Dedicated

The new Rooks County Regional Airport opened in April. It’s the first new airport built in Kansas since 1989. And that calls for a big celebration.

Read more: Hays Post

Delta expands flight service to Paris

Delta expands flight service to Paris

Dayton Business Journal

Date: Monday, October 8, 2012, 7:12am EDT

Delta Air Lines is expanding its service to Paris with new flights from four American cities and enhanced business elite seating for customers on Paris flights to other U.S. cities. Courtesy of Delta Air Lines Inc.
Delta Air Lines is expanding its service to Paris with new flights from four American cities and enhanced business elite seating for customers on Paris flights to other U.S. cities.

Delta Air Lines is expanding its flight service to Paris starting next summer.

The expansions include new flights from Atlanta, Boston, Detroit and Newark to Paris, according to a press release from the airline. Beginning in 2013, the new Paris to Newark flight, as well as Delta’s existing flights from Paris to Cincinnati, New York-JFK and Seattle will feature full-flat bed seats in BusinessElite, offering each customer direct aisle access.
“Strengthening our network, while improving our customer experience both at the airport and on board, is key to our strategy. In our Paris hub, Air France and Delta customers will enjoy shorter transitions between the gates and concourses as we consolidate our airport operations,” said Bruno Matheu, Executive Vice President Marketing, Revenue Management and Network Air France-KLM and Chief Commercial Officer Air France.

At Dayton International Airport, Delta Air Lines posted the biggest gains in August with a 10.9 percent increase. The carrier also had the highest volume at the airport with more than 31,300 boardings.
Delta’s expanded and enhanced Paris service includes:

  • New nonstop service from Newark’s Liberty International Airport, complementing Delta and Air France’s existing service from JFK and Delta’s existing service to Amsterdam.
  • New summer seasonal service from Boston’s Logan International Airport, complementing the pair of existing Air France flights.
  • An additional flight from Atlanta’s Hartsfield Jackson International Airport, increasing the total number of daily flights between Atlanta and Paris on the joint venture carriers to four.
  • Upgauged and expanded service between Detroit’s Metro Airport, from seasonal 767-300 service to year-round A330-300 service.

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Newark Airport TSA Get Low Marks on Internal Report

Newark Airport TSA Get Low Marks on Internal Report

By GENEVIEVE SHAW BROWN (@gsbrownabc)
Oct. 8, 2012

If you’ve ever showed up at an airport security checkpoint with more than the allowed amount of liquid – three ounces in any one container — still in your carryon bag or make-up case, you’re not alone.
And if you’ve managed to get through that checkpoint without having those liquids confiscated, you’re not the exception.
An internal Transportation Security Administration report accessed by New Jersey’s Star-Ledger newspaper found that at Newark Liberty International airport, agents take appropriate action on prohibited items in only a quarter of all cases.
And it’s worse news when it comes to pat-downs: The report found agents properly executing standard pat-downs of passengers only 16.7 percent of the time. When it came to informing passengers of their right to opt out of a full-body scan in favor of a pat-down, the agents did not inform passengers even once.

The newspaper said the report was dated June 8 and was titled PACE Airport Evaluation. It compiled by “an undercover team of Transportation Security Administration employees from other airports who were asked to observe screeners at work at Newark Liberty.”
PACE is an acronym for Presence, Advisements, Communication and Execution. Observers who participate are TSA agents from other airports. It’s used at the nation’s largest airports to measure the level of standardization.
The program is designed to help improve TSA levels of customer service and performance. Other organizations, including airlines, have used similar programs.

But it’s not all bad news for EWR’s TSA agents. The agents were observed removing prohibited items during physical searches and exhibiting good listening skills 100 percent of the time.
In a statement to ABC News, TSA said, “TSA is an agency that evaluates its workforce constantly with an eye toward continuous improvement. PACE evaluation is designed to be a ‘snapshot in time’ to assess various areas of passenger interaction. TSA uses the results as a guide to educate its workforce on areas where its employees are strong and areas where it can improve.”

The report comes to light on the heels of an ABC News investigation on TSA theft. ABC News reported in September that a convicted TSA security officer says he was part of a “culture” of indifference that allowed corrupt employees to prey on passengers’ luggage and personal belongings with impunity, thanks to lax oversight and tip-offs from TSA colleagues.
“It was very commonplace, very,” said Pythias Brown, a former TSA officer at Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey who admits he stole more than $800,000 worth of items from luggage and security checkpoints over a four-year period.

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Thyssenkrupp Airport Systems Cited For Exposing Workers To Safety Hazards

Thyssenkrupp Airport Systems Cited For Exposing Workers To Safety Hazards
By Jim Douglas
October 6, 2012 – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited ThyssenKrupp Airport Systems Inc. with 28 serious safety violations at its Fort Worth work site for exposing workers to “struck-by,” fall, amputation and shock hazards while they were manufacturing airport passenger boarding bridges. Proposed penalties total $172,000.

OSHA’s Fort Worth Area Office initiated an inspection of the North Sylvania Avenue facility under the agency’s National Emphasis Program on Amputations and its Regional Emphasis Program on Safety and Health Hazards in the Manufacture of Fabricated Metal Products.

The violations involve failing to regularly inspect overhead cranes, hooks and slings; rate or inspect devices used for lifting; provide machine guarding for a press brake and belt sander; ensure that exits are not blocked and are properly marked; provide fall protection such as harnesses and guardrails; train workers on lockout/tagout procedures for the control of energy sources; and provide strain relief for flexible electrical cords.

A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known. “This company exposed workers to serious safety hazards that could cause amputations or electrocutions,” said Jack Rector, OSHA’s area director in Fort Worth. “OSHA will not tolerate an employer’s disregard for workplace safety.”

ThyssenKrupp Airport Systems, a subsidiary of Chicago-based ThyssenKrupp USA Inc., employs about 180 workers in Fort Worth. The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director or contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance.

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Airport Operators’ Choice For CHRC & STA Channeling Services

Why is Telos ID Airport Operators’ Choice for TSA Designated Aviation Channeling? Lower Costs and Reduced Wait Times.

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To learn more or to schedule a webinar please contact Dawn Lucini at dawn.lucini.

http://www.telos.com/identity-solutions/investigative-solutions/aviation-channeling/index.cfm

Airport making money, generating local support

Airport making money, generating local support
By MARCIA WALKER
Staff Writer

Salem’s airport project is moving along, perhaps not as fast as local leaders would like, but never the less moving forward.

That’s the assessment of Lowell Depoy, airport manager, who provided an update during the Monday, Oct. 1, meeting of the Washington County Council.

“You people have invested in it,” Depoy told members of the council. “That’s why I’m here … we need to communicate. We’re partners … we want to be partners with you people.”

Although it’s technically Salem’s project, the county is contributing $225,000 in Economic Development Income Tax dollars to help with the required matching funds. Two $75,000 payments have already been made.

The bulk of the price tag is being covered by funding from the FAA; cost estimates are as high as $24 million which includes the costs of a 5,000 foot runway and a new terminal building. This year, the FAA is providing $150,000 which Depoy said is being used to cover costs of utility placement for the new airport and a proposed industrial park near it. He said two people have indicated interest in that park.

And Depoy stressed the airport is self-sustaining, with income from fuel sales and rent from both hangars and office space in the terminal building. He predicted fuel sales this year would reach $65,000 and explained income will be used as match for federal and state funds. “Sometime down the road we’re going to need matching funds,” Depoy said. “We’re building that pot now.”

Depoy said the airport now has a mechanic and two part-time flight inspectors. He stressed that he intends for the airport to be service-oriented. “We’re Hoosiers, we’re known for our hospitality, the bar has been raised at our airport,” Depoy said, explaining when a pilot arrives, he offers to chock the wheels of the aircraft, to make phone calls and to arrange transportation.

He stressed that there is local support for the project. Depoy said local businesses came up with $4,400 when he sought donations to cover costs of runway issues and another $1,800 was received when he solicited donations to cover costs of the recent fly-in. “Is that not enough evidence to support a new airway facility?” Depoy asked.

Depoy said the existing airport is too small for today’s needs, with a runway of 2,500 feet. He explained that R.W. Armstrong, the engineering firm working on the project for the city, determined that the most feasible approach was a new facility rather than upgrading the existing airport.

The new airport will allow Salem to provide the same level of service as other airports in the region.

“Why?” He asked. “Accessibility. They don’t have to go to Clark County. Time is money to these corporations.”

“It is of concern to the council, what our funds are being used for,” Councilman David Hoar said. “For (the project) to continue, we need federal funds.”

Hoar said he wished there was something in writing indicating the FAA was comitted to continue providing money for the project.

“They (FAA) have over $1 million invested in it, they’re not going to let the project die,” Depoy responded.

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Taking the Region to New Heights:

Roanoke Airport: we support many common customer airline concerns

October 5th, 2012 | Written by: Evan Jones

Roanoke Regional Airport officials say they are communicating regularly with airlines in hopes of addressing common passenger concerns on price and service. The Airport commissioned a study of public perceptions, one that says while most people spoke well of the airport, airline services and fares are among the most frequent complaints. WFIR’s Evan Jones has the story.

Here is the full Roanoke Regional Airport news release:
Taking the Region to New Heights:
Roanoke Regional Airport Commission Initiative Seeks to Engage Community
Research shows the region views ROA favorably, but misperceptions exist about airport operations
Roanoke, Va. (October 4, 2012) – The Roanoke Regional Airport Commission has released findings from 2011‐2012 research, conducted by Roanoke, Va.‐based agency Access Advertising & Public Relations, undertaken to better understand public perception of the airport and its service to the region.
Research findings demonstrate that in Southwest Virginia, communities overwhelmingly view Roanoke Regional Airport (ROA) as an asset and feel strongly that it is important to the future of their communities. However, there continues to be a definite desire for more flight and fare options.

Research consisted of one‐on‐one conversations with more than 50 regional business leaders, and a survey of a random sampling of 807 people throughout the airport’s service area.
According to Jacqueline Shuck, executive director for the Airport Commission, the research also revealed that the Airport Commission could do more to engage directly with its constituents and educate them about key differences between airport and airline business decisions. In order to do exactly that, the Commission is launching its Taking the Region to New Heights marketing and awareness initiative, which will focus heavily on community engagement and outreach.
“We weren’t sure what this research would reveal,” says Shuck. “What we learned is that our airport is viewed as a critical economic asset, but also that there are some common misperceptions about how we operate and about the limits of our control. Airlines, not airports, make decisions about flight costs and availability; however, it is a fundamental obligation of airport management to advocate for our region with our airline partners. ”

Some of the significant 2011‐2012 research findings from survey participants include the following:
• More than 91 percent listed the airport’s convenient location as their reason for selecting ROA

for air travel.

• Sixty‐seven percent of respondents indicated that when they choose to use other airports, they

do so because of cost.

• When rating ROA overall, more than 95 percent of respondents rated the airport as average to

excellent.

• The majority of respondents indicated that individual airport services such as transportation,

parking, and technology at ROA are average or above; concession services were rated the lowest

in satisfaction, but the majority of respondents still rated them as being average or above.

The findings are consistent with those from a 2011‐2012 national poll of registered voters commissioned by the Airport Council International‐North America (ACI‐NA). ROA local observations closely mirrored national findings, which found that cost concerns account for nearly one‐third of frustrations expressed by passengers, and concerns about reliability account for nearly one‐fifth of frustrations. The misperceptions related to airport responsibility continued at the national level, as between 20 percent and 47 percent of respondents nationally placed blame on airports for airline and vendor‐related issues, such as lack of flight options, cancelled or delayed flights, lost or mishandled baggage, long lines at security checkpoints and being stuck on the tarmac.

“Knowing that the frustrations and misperceptions that exist locally are felt on a national level helps put our own challenges in perspective. However, and most importantly, we recognize that we can do a better job of communicating the airport’s role as a driver of economic development and the Commission’s role as an advocate for the needs of our travelers, as well as our commitment to this region and pursuing opportunities for positive change and growth,” adds Shuck.
The Taking the Region to New Heights campaign, also created by Access and set to launch in early 2013, will emphasize direct communication with the airport’s key audiences, both business and consumer. Messaging will emphasize the airport’s advocacy for the region to the airlines and its economic contributions of nearly $225 billion annually, and will also promote and encourage an ongoing dialogue with constituents.

The campaign comes at a time when ROA is investing nearly $4.1 million in a multiphase renovation project, which will address many of the needed improvements identified by survey participant comments, including enhancing accessibility and the in‐airport experience, and ultimately improving concessions.
“Needless to say, moving forward, activities undertaken by the Roanoke Regional Airport Commission will be much more visible through advertising, community presentations and outreach, social media and much more,” concludes Shuck.
The Roanoke Regional Airport is the primary air carrier airport for southwest Virginia. ROA moves over 625,000 passengers per year via four airlines with nonstop service to nine cities and with one‐stop service to over 500 cities worldwide

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Duluth Airport’s New Terminal Taking Flight

Duluth Airport’s New Terminal Taking Flight

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October 4, 2012 Updated Oct 4, 2012 at 7:04 PM CDT Duluth, MN (Northland’s NewsCenter) — The departure of the Duluth International Airport’s old terminal welcomes the arrival of a new one…and this state of the art facility is one that is becoming a new dawn of Aviation
We got a first-hand look at the new $77.5 million dollar terminal and shows us how the project is coming along.
The countdown begins….

“102 days, yes…were at phase three right now.”
On January 14, 2013, the new terminal opens…and with one more phase to go, it’s what many are already considering the ‘Premier Gateway to the Region.’
“This building is state of the art, it’s a green building, LEED silver certified, the efficiency for flow for passengers both in and out of the building, far surpasses than what we have in the existing terminal right now,” said Executive Director Tom Werner.

“It’s probably a project, for me, once in a lifetime, as far as the magnitude of what it’s going to do for the community,” said Senior Project Manager Mike Dosan.
To Cirrus Aircraft, Kestrel Aircraft and even AAR…the new terminal adds strength to the Northland’s soaring aviation hub.

“We hope the finished facility will attract new air carrier opportunities, we continue to grow our air service here and offer additional flights not only to current destinations, but additional flights for the region,” Werner said.
The Duluth Airport Authority recently received an Airport Improvement grant for almost 12 million dollars from the FAA and Minnesota Department of Transportation…comprised of approximately 8.5 million dollars of federal shares, 1.5 million dollars from state shares and almost 2 million dollars from local shares…but it wasn’t easy to obtain.

“Securing the funding through the FAA and other sources in order to fund this 77 million dollar passenger terminal project, timing doesn’t always coincide with other grants, so being very diligent and aggressive in obtaining those grants, was key throughout the project,” Werner added.
Although the new terminal is pleasing to the eye, it is important to consider all the hard work put into the job.
“Seeing everything come together, the quality of the craftsmanship that has gone into the project, the pride that everyone’s taken,” Dosan said.

In Duluth, Jenna Vogt, the Northland’s NewsCenter.
Phase four of the project will begin in February…A new parking structure with a skywalk connecting to the passenger terminal will be constructed.
Everything is expected to be completed in fall of 2013.

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Infrastructure Daily News 10.04.12

Transportation Sector

. October 3, Associated Press – (Oregon) TriMet bus driver stabbed in Oregon City. Police said a TriMet bus driver was attacked and stabbed by a passenger in Oregon City, Oregon, October 2 during fighting touched off by racial slurs. The Oregon City police said the attacker was shouting the slurs but it was not clear at whom. The driver managed to pull over. The attacker and another passenger fought outside the bus, police said, and then the violence spread inside. They said three passengers were injured, two stabbed five times, and the third bitten. The driver was stabbed in the stomach. The police said all are in Portland hospitals and expected to live. Police used a stun gun to subdue the suspect. He was booked on assault and weapons charges. Source: http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/TriMet-bus-driver-stabbed-in-Oregon- City-3915151.php

. October 3, Associated Press – (Wisconsin) Biker struck and killed by semi. A motorcyclist was killed in Trempealeau County, Wisconsin, when a semi driver lost control of his rig and flipped over. Sheriff’s officials said the motorcyclist was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash on Highway 54 in the Town of Gale October 3. The driver of the semi suffered minor injuries. The road was closed for about 7 hours. Source: http://www.wbay.com/story/19723433/biker-struck-and-killed-by-semi

. October 3, Associated Press – (Texas) AA jet returns to DFW due to landing-gear warning. American Airlines said a jet returned to Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport in Texas shortly after takeoff because of a cockpit indicator that showed a problem with the landing gear, October 2. An Airline spokesman said the landing gear was still working and the plane made a safe landing. He said the pilot of the MD-80 jet declared an emergency but passengers were not told to brace for a crash landing. Flight 1862 was carrying 121 passengers and 5 crew members. The airline said passengers were put on another plane for the trip to St. Louis. Source: http://www.wtop.com/628/3064251/AA-jet-returns-to-DFW-due-to-landinggear- warning

. October 2, WSAZ 3 Charleston – (West Virginia) Tractor-trailer crashes have highway officials looking for answers. There has been no shortage of accidents involving tractor-trailers on the interstate in the Kanawha Valley of West Virginia, including a stretch of the West Virginia Turnpike. There was an accident October 2 along Interstate 77 near the Edens Fork. The truck spilled 49,000 pounds of lumber on I-77. The driver said he was heading north when the load he was carrying began to shift and spilled off the truck. Another crash happened just a few weeks ago in the same location. The parkways authority has taken measures to keep the turnpike safer, especially near the Cabin Creek exit. That area has seen four tractor-trailer accidents in the past 2 months. Not only has the authority put up signs, the agency also has enlisted some help. “We’ve talked to our state police and… they’ve indicated to us that they can beef up the patrols in the area in efforts to try to slow traffic down,” said the authority’s director of operations. Source: http://www.wsaz.com/news/charlestonnews/headlines/Tractor-Trailer-Crashes- Have-Highway-Officials-Looking-for-Answers-172362291.html For another story, see item 3

Postal and Shipping Sector
Nothing to report

Emergency Services Sector

. October 3, Evansville Courier & Press – (Indiana) Vandals’ graffiti targets include Evansville police office, liquor store. Vandals spray painted multiple buildings in Evansville, Indiana October 2 including the wall of the West Sector Office of the Evansville Police Department. During one of the incidents, a woman told police when she tried to confront the group, that one of the suspects showed a handgun and fired several shots. Evansville police said at least three buildings were vandalized. An Evansville police sergeant said investigators are working to determine if the symbols are associated with any known gangs. Source: http://www.courierpress.com/news/2012/oct/03/no-headline—graffiti/

. October 3, KTVI 2 St. Louis – (Illinois) Woman killed in accident with stolen east St. Louis police car. One person was dead after a man stole an East St. Louis, Illinois police cruiser and then slammed into two innocent victims, KTVI 2 St. Louis reported October 3. It happened when a man was being escorted off a Metro Bus by police. Authorities said that was when the suspect jumped into a police squad car and took off. Police pursued the suspect in a chase. The suspect slammed into two other cars near 70th and State Street. One person was killed. Another was injured and transported to an area hospital. The suspect was taken into custody. Source: http://fox2now.com/2012/10/03/woman-killed-in-accident-with-stolen-east-stlouis- police-car/

. October 3, CNN – (Arizona) Manhunt under way for killer of Border Patrol agent. Investigators were searching for suspects October 3 after a shooting that killed one Border Patrol agent and wounded another near the U.S.-Mexican border in Arizona. The agents came under fire near Naco, October 2 after responding to a sensor that had gone off near the border, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency said. The agent who was wounded was airlifted to an area hospital and with non-lifethreatening injuries. He was released from the hospital October 3, said an agent with the Tucson Sector of U.S. Border Patrol. The FBI is conducting a joint investigation with the Cochise County Sheriff’s Office. Investigators have not yet found the weapon used in the shooting, a law enforcement official said. Source: http://www.cnn.com/2012/10/03/us/arizona-border-patrol-violence/index.html

. October 3, Deseret Morning News – (Utah) Utah firefighter gets jail for setting blazes. An 18-year-old volunteer firefighter from Elk Ridge has been ordered to serve 180 days in jail after he was convicted of setting fires in central Utah the summer of 2012. He was sentenced October 1 for the fires started in June and July. Utah County officials said six fires were set in Loafer Canyon between Elk Ridge and Woodland Hills between June 25 and July 2. The convict was charged for three of them. Source: http://www.firehouse.com/news/10797797/utah-firefighter-gets-jail-for-settingblazes

. October 3, Associated Press – (California) Plea: Customs agent let convict relative into US. A Customs agent in San Diego pleaded guilty to allowing his brother-in-law, a convicted immigrant smuggler, into the United States, the Associated Press reported October 3. A U.S. attorney announced October 2 that the man pleaded guilty to concealing a person from arrest. He was a 9-year veteran of U.S. Customs and Border Protection. He admitted allowing the convicted immigrant smuggler into the United States from Mexico in April and entering inaccurate data about his car to help him evade arrest. The convict also pleaded guilty to collecting insurance money by claiming his pickup truck had been stolen when in fact he had driven it to Mexico. He agreed to pay more than $7,000 in restitution to Farmers Insurance. He could get 5 years in prison and fines of up to $250,000 when he is sentenced in December. Source: http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/plea-customs-agent-convict-relative-us- 17380758

. October 1, Boston Globe – (Massachusetts) Ambulance security tightened after potential drug tampering. Boston health officials said October 1 that security measures have been tightened aboard the city’s ambulances following the discovery of drug tampering, allegedly by a Boston Emergency Medical Services paramedic. The tampering with vials of pain medications and sedatives, discovered September 6, 2011, may have exposed as many as 64 patients to blood-borne infections when they were treated during summer 2011, officials said. The Boston EMS chief said that since the alleged incident, the agency has started a “very strict” inspection schedule of the ambulance medications and has improved packaging of the drugs. The Boston Public Health Commission, which runs the city’s ambulance service, began notifying patients over the weekend of September 29 and offering free medical tests to determine whether they were exposed to infectious diseases. Officials do not believe that the paramedic carried any infectious diseases, but they acknowledged that they do not know for sure. Source: http://bostonglobe.com/lifestyle/health-wellness/2012/10/01/security-has-beentightened- boston-ambulances-after-suspected-drug-tamperingparamedic/ SzpHxbHGYO99naSCs0yi4N/story.html For more stories, see items 24 and 33

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Speedy Airport Security

Should You Apply?

By STEPHANIE ROSENBLOOM

WHO hasn’t stood in an airport security line shoeless, beltless, clutching a Ziploc bag and inching grimly toward a full body scanner? A few weeks ago, I decided I’d had enough. I applied for the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Global Entry program, which expedites passenger screening and customs declaration processes for fliers willing to undergo background checks and pay a $100 fee. If you’re already a member, you’ll soon be zipping through more airports. If you’re not a member, get ready to see a lot more travelers scoot ahead of you in line.
“The applications have grown dramatically,” said John Wagner, executive director of Admissibility and Passenger Programs for Customs and Border Protection. When Global Entry, one of several Trusted Traveler programs, began testing at three airports in 2008, Customs and Border Protection was receiving a few hundred applications a month. Today the program receives 25,000 to 30,000 applications a month.
If you are accepted for Global Entry, which expedites customs, you are also automatically qualified for the newer domestic screening program, T.S.A. PreCheck, which often (but not always) means you don’t have to remove your shoes, belt and jacket or take your laptop and liquids out of your carry-on. PreCheck is thriving, too. More than three million passengers have been screened since the program began tests last October, and the Transportation Security Administration said it plans to screen about a million passengers a month in 2013. Currently in 26 airports, PreCheck is aiming to be in 35 airports by the end of the year, according to Sterling Payne, a T.S.A. spokesman. (For the basics about Global Entry and PreCheck and the nongovernmental screening program, Clear, check out the Practical Traveler column that was published on April 18.)
Some in the travel industry are making it more compelling than ever to apply. On Sept. 24, Loews Hotels & Resorts announced that it would be the first hotel chain to pay the $100 application fee for its approximately 2,400 YouFirst Platinum loyalty rewards members if they apply by Nov. 23. That will cost Loews about a quarter of a million dollars, according to a spokeswoman for the brand. But Jonathan Tisch, chairman of Loews Hotels and himself a Trusted Traveler, said it’s worth it. “We are keenly aware that traveling today is a difficult proposition,” he said. “And we thought that it was in the best interest of our loyal guests that we team up with Homeland Security and Customs and Border Protection to promote programs they have spent a long time figuring out that will speed up the travel process.”
Industry executives think more hotels will follow. Airlines, including American, Delta, United, Alaska and US Airways, have already promoted the programs. But many travelers and public interest groups have serious concerns. Should you apply? To help you decide, here are some of the most common questions about Trusted Traveler, and what the experts have to say.
Are we endangering our civil liberties by sharing our personal information with the government?
When Global Entry members return to the United States after an international flight, they do not fill out customs forms or wait in line to be interviewed by a customs official. Instead, they use an automated kiosk to scan their passports and their fingerprints. The kiosk has a touch screen that enables travelers to answer the customs declaration questions. Then it prints out a receipt for them to take to officials at the baggage claim.
To get this speedy service (along with the perks of PreCheck), you must submit a raft of personal data: your address, employment status, driver’s license, passport and travel history as well as proof of “admissibility,” like a birth certificate. If your online application is conditionally approved, you will then have an in-person interview with a Customs and Border Protection officer and have your picture and fingerprints taken.
For at least one colleague of mine, this engenders thoughts of secret police. Certainly, it concerns public interest groups like the Electronic Privacy Information Center, a research center in Washington that focuses on civil liberties issues. In written comments to United States Customs, the center said Global Entry raises “substantial privacy and security issues,” like who exactly has access to the information and whether the program satisfies fair information practices (like enabling travelers to see and amend their personal information and ensuring that it is being used only for the purpose for which they provided it). You can learn more at epic.org/privacy.
In a privacy impact assessment available at tsa.gov, the Department of Homeland Security says that the information it collects is necessary for national security, enabling it to ensure that applicants are not on any watch list and that they are not misidentified as someone who is. “It’s really no different than the data we would collect from any one of the millions of people who enter the U.S. each day,” Mr. Wagner said.
The impact assessment contends that the information will be accessed only by people who must see it to do their jobs and who have passed a background check and completed privacy security training. The Electronic Privacy Information Center has said the department’s definition of who can access this information is too broad.
I’m concerned about privacy. At the same time, with the electronic trail that we all leave in the information age, the Global Entry application seemed only slightly more exhaustive than forms I’ve filled out for things like online banking and renewing my driver’s license. Time will tell if I was too trusting.
Doesn’t clearing people as Trusted Travelers create an opportunity for criminals to slip through the cracks?
“We do a pretty rigorous background check,” Mr. Wagner said, ticking off the sorts of things the government probes like criminal records, watch lists, and customs violations. Applicants’ fingerprints are run through F.B.I. and Department of Homeland Security systems, he said. Additionally, members of the programs are still subject to random checks at the airport.
That said, the Electronic Privacy Information Center has noted that criminals with records could potentially collaborate with Trusted Travelers who do not have previous ties to terrorism.
A valid (and chilling) thought. Yet there is some comfort in knowing that even though Trusted Traveler makes navigating an airport less onerous, members and their bags are still screened to ensure safety. There is no bypassing the detectors.
If millions of people are eligible for expedited screening, will it really be all that fast?
Just as priority boarding lines have become interminable thanks to travelers with every kind of status imaginable, one wonders if something similar will happen as Trusted Traveler becomes widespread. The Global Entry process is supposed to take 60 seconds to complete. Not bad. While I have not gone through it myself, other travelers say this is fairly accurate.
As for PreCheck, after a year of testing the T.S.A. is expanding the program to the nation’s busiest airports. One of the biggest complaints about PreCheck is that members never know if they will be expedited. The program is not available at every checkpoint in participating airports (a list is at tsa.gov), and sometimes members are simply told to stay on the regular line. Still, David A. Castelveter, director of external communications for the T.S.A., said in a statement that “we have evaluated the results of the pilot program to ensure T.S.A. PreCheck is operationally ready for larger volumes of travelers.”
Here’s hoping.

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California Aviation Alliance: Airport News List E-mail
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Woman Shares Vodka At Airport Security

Before TSA Could Confiscate It

Posted: 10/03/2012 1:04 pm EDT

Well, that’s one way to do it. A woman at Washington, D.C.’s Dulles International Airport apparently needed to get rid of some vodka before airport security did it for her. So, she started handing it out to passengers, according to HyperVocal.

While we respect the sentiment of not letting things go to waste, turning the airport terminal into a martini brunch at 7:30 a.m. seems a stretch.
What do you think? Would you have shared your vodka? Leave your thoughts in the comments below. And, of course, you can brush up on the TSA’s prohibited items policy on the TSA website.

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California Aviation Alliance: Airport News List E-mail
Sent by AviaEd@netscape.net – Lorena de Rodriguez on behalf of CAA subscribers. Add your comments to these stories realtime online at https://aviaed.wordpress.com/.

To subscribe or unsubscribe to the Airport News List, send an email, from the email account you wish to receive or discontinue CAA posts on, addressed to imailsrv@californiaaviation.org and place only the following in the first line of the body of the message: Subscribe airport YourFirstName YourLastName YourJobTitle YourAirport/Company

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