Airport News August 2005.

 
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Airport security should be reprivatized. The government has gone overboard on aviation security, and the Transportation Security Administration should be abolished, writes Ivan Eland in an opinion piece in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Eland, a senior fellow at the Independent Institute, also writes that changes in passengers' responses to hijackings make terrorist attacks less likely. Aug 30, 2005

Airlines invest in elite airport lounges. Some major airlines are investing in their airport lounges as a strategy to hold on to their best customers. American Airlines added a new airport lounge in Honolulu in March, and United Airlines recently renovated its Red Carpet Club in Dallas. The airlines say the clubs generate revenue and keep customers loyal. The clubs are often used by business travelers who pay top dollar for their tickets. Aug 30, 2005

Airports close for Katrina; major delays, cancellations expected. Four airports have suspended flights because of Hurricane Katrina, a major storm that has hit the Louisiana coast. Significant disruptions are expected at other airports in the storm's path, including Atlanta, the world's busiest airport. The airports suspending operations are: New Orleans; Gulfport-Biloxi, Miss.; Mobile, Ala.; and Fort Walton Beach, Fla. Aug 29, 2005

Group opposes TSA proposal to lift ban on knives. Some family members of victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks oppose a plan by the Transportation Security Administration to allow travelers to take knives on commercial jetliners. A TSA panel has recommended lifting the ban on knives and scissors less than five inches long. One member of Families of September 11, the group opposing the changes, said the proposal indicates the government has become too relaxed on security issues. Aug 25, 2005

Annual airline traffic to double by 2020. A study by Airports Council International says the number of airline passengers flying each year will double to 7.4 billion by 2020. The study predicts airline traffic will grow 4.1% annually over the next 15 years. The group warned that the growth could overwhelm airport infrastructure, cause congestion and affect customer service. Aug 24, 2005

Travelers sue TSA over Secure Flight privacy issues. A group of Alaskan travelers has sued the Transportation Security Administration to find out what information the TSA gathered about them while it tested Secure Flight, a new terrorist-watch database. The plaintiffs also claim TSA violated the Privacy Act. Officials from TSA declined to comment. Aug 22, 2005

New radar system will detect tiny pieces of runway debris. A new radar system will detect tiny pieces of debris on a runway and help avoid accidents similar to the crash of the Concorde in 2000 at Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris, officials at Vancouver International Airport said. The Vancouver airport has purchased four Tarsier radar units. Next year, it will become the first airport in the world to operate them. Aug 19, 2005

TSA's "no-fly list" includes names of infants, critics say. Critics of the government's "no-fly list" say the list includes the names of infants and has prevented them from boarding airplanes. Since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the list has grown to include more than 100,000 names, The Associated Press reported, citing unnamed sources. Not all the names come with details that can help security personal identify the person on the list. The Transportation Security Administration said it has told airlines not to keep children under 12 from boarding, even if their name matches one on the list. Aug 18, 2005

TSA hopes to develop less invasive X-ray machines. The Transportation Security Administration has hired two companies to modify X-ray machines that it uses to search for weapons. Currently, the machines are able to detect weapons, but they also detect certain body parts. The American Civil Liberties Union has called the process "a virtual strip search." The TSA hopes to test modified X-ray machines in a few airports this fall. Aug 17, 2005

Complaints fall after TSA amends pat-down policy. The number of complaints about pat-down searches has declined since the Transportation Security Administration scaled back the practice. Complaints fell to 25 in July from 427 in November. The TSA changed the pat-down policy after many female passengers complained...

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