Airport News November 2005.


TSA plan would allow sharp objects in carry-on bags. Travelers may soon be able to bring sharp objects such as scissors in their carry-on bags under a new plan by the Transportation Security Administration, the Washington Post reported, quoting unnamed sources. The TSA will announce the plan Friday. A TSA spokeswoman would not comment on the details but said the TSA will announce "a number of new initiatives that will have both a positive security and customer service impact." Nov 29, 2005

FAA to remain "vigilant": The relative safety of air travel is a credit to the Federal Aviation Administration and the manner in which it has changed its oversight practices to evolve with the airline industry, FAA Administrator Marion Blakey writes in this USA TODAY commentary. "Nearly a decade ago, the FAA took bold steps to move away from a "checklist" approach toward a risk-based system that emphasizes quality assurance programs and self-audits," Blakey writes. Nov 29, 2005

DHS has not completed threat database. Department of Homeland Security officials do not know when they will finish assembling a national asset and threat database. The database will list potential terrorist targets. Some lawmakers say they are frustrated with the slow pace of the database's development. Nov 23, 2005

Authorities to adopt new safety measures at Boston's Logan. The Massachusetts Port Authority and the Federal Aviation Administration have agreed on changes to prevent runway incidents at Boston's Logan International Airport. They will limit planes taking off from runways that are not part of usual takeoff patterns and require more training for air traffic controllers, among other things. They will also acquire a simulator representing Logan's runways and taxiways. Nov 23, 2005

Confiscated items help state generate revenue. Oregon's State Surplus Program is selling lighters and cigarette lighters confiscated from airline passengers at security checkpoints. Items are divided into groups, bagged and then offered on eBay. In 2004, sales generated $72,000. Nov 22, 2005

Airport screener shares key aspects of the job. Airport screeners commonly find lighters, pocket knives and sharp pointed scissors in travelers' luggage, TSA screener Armand Collins says in a Q-and-A with the South Bend Tribune. Collins occasionally encounters angry travelers, but says most people appreciate the screeners. Screeners must be able to lift bags weighing up to 80 pounds and pass vision, hearing and drug screening tests. Nov 22, 2005

Europe's Parliament approves safety blacklist. Europe's Parliament approved on Wednesday the creation of a blacklist of airlines that do not meet safety requirements. An airline will be added to the blacklist "if there is verified evidence of serious safety deficiencies," according to a Parliament statement. Parliament will review and update the list every three months. Nov 17, 2005

ATA says Canadian government rent policy threatens growth of airport as international gateway: U.S. airlines vehemently objected to a 6.9% increase in landing fees being instituted at Toronto Pearson International Airport. The Air Transport Association said the increase in fees at the important international gateway is a direct result of the Canadian government's increase in the crown rent it will charge the Greater Toronto Airport Authority. To read more of this ATA press release, click here. Nov 16, 2005

TSA has not assessed air cargo security. The Transportation Security Administration has not yet assessed the air cargo security system and has no schedule to do so, according to a Government Accountability Office report. The report said the TSA cannot adequately protect planes that carry cargo until it is aware of weaknesses in the security system. The TSA does not collect information on many registered companies that ship goods on passenger airliners. A TSA spokeswoman said the agency has increased the number of required cargo inspections and is testing new security technology. Nov 16, 2005

Europe wants more control over operations of foreign carriers: The European Commission wants to give the European Aviation Safety Agency more authority over foreign airlines. A new proposal would allow the agency to certify the airlines and control safety compliance. The proposal needs approval by EU governments and the European Parliament. Nov 16, 2005

NTSB: New technology needed to prevent collisions. Airports need new technology to reduce the number of near collisions, according to the National Transportation Safety Board. More than 324 near misses occurred in the year ended Sept. 30. "While the majority of incursions present little to no collision risk, a significant number of high-risk incidents continue to occur," said Sandy Rowlett, a deputy safety board operations chief. "There is an urgent need to reduce the hazard presented to the public by these events.". Firm develops shoe scanner for airport security. Quantum Magnetics has developed a scanner that can detect explosives without travelers having to remove their shoes. Quantum is based in Newark, Calif., and is a unit of GE Security. A traveler steps into the scanner and places her feet on the shoe-shaped pads. The device then uses magnetic fields to scan for explosives and other threatening objects. Airport officials say it could take years before scanners appear in airports. Nov 16, 2005

EU to vote on airline blacklist. Europe's Parliament will decide this week whether to create a blacklist of carriers that fall below safety standards. The lawmakers also want the European Commission to standardize the criteria that would be used to decide which airlines should be banned across the EU. Nov 14, 2005

Contractor overbilled FAA on air traffic contract. A government audit found Washington D.C.-based Crown Consulting overcharged the Federal Aviation Administration by $56,317 this year. The company was developing a program to manage air traffic, and the...

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