Regional News - North America.

 
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New York (AirGuide - Regional News North America) Sep 11, 2011

Aviation security remains vulnerable despite spending Airport security costs have risen significantly since the 9/11 terror attacks. Air cargo, however, remains a weak point in security. Mandatory screening requirements apply to cargo leaving the U.S., but there is no requirement that incoming cargo be screened to the same standards. Meanwhile, some observers note the cost of screening passengers typically increases after a security breach. "Every time something happens, we add layers," said Robert Poole, director of transportation policy at the Reason Foundation. "It's a very labor-intensive model, and it's based on the underlying premise that everyone deserves to be scrutinized as a suspect." Sep 9, 2011

Americans should stay vigilant ahead of 9/11 anniversary, DHS says The Department of Homeland Security is urging Americans to "remain vigilant" as the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks nears. The warning was prompted by a "credible but unconfirmed terror threat" against New York or Washington. "We take all threat reporting seriously, and we have taken, and will continue to take all steps necessary to mitigate any threats that arise. We continue to ask the American people to remain vigilant as we head into the weekend," DHS said. Sep 9, 2011

Hotels, high-tech gadgets make business travel easier Half of business travelers consider life on the road much easier today than it was 10 years ago, thanks to better hotels and cutting-edge technology, a Harris Interactive survey found. Two-thirds of respondents also said they actively enjoy traveling for business and see it as a break from their day-to-day life and a chance to have some adventure. Sep 9, 2011

Obama includes public-works construction in $447 billion proposal President Barack Obama has urged Congress to pass a $447 billion economic proposal that would fund road and rail infrastructure and school-renovation projects, and also would cut the payroll tax, as a way to spur small-business hiring. The proposal would allocate $10 billion toward an infrastructure "bank" and $50 billion for construction of roads and highways. Sep 9, 2011

Friday freight rail quiz, win a train whistle Visit AAR's Facebook page and post your answer to the Friday Freight Rail Quiz. Today's question is: Freight rail is great for the environment, in part because if its fuel efficiency. But how many gallons of fuel does it take for a freight train to move one ton of freight 450 miles? The first correct answer wins a free train whistle. Sep 9, 2011

Growth expected in use of mobile coupons While the number of people using mobile coupons will rise from nearly 20 million in 2011 to an estimated 35.6 million in 2013, eMarketer notes that the numbers represent a relatively small portion of mobile phone owners. Noah Elkin, the firm's principal analyst for mobile, said retail sales associates need better training in handling mobile coupons to get more than one-sixth of mobile phone owners to adopt mobile coupon use. Sep 9, 2011

Leadership lessons from the World Trade Center rescue effort Coping with catastrophe requires collaboration and communication, not just a command-and-control leadership approach, says Joseph Pfeifer, who helped lead the 9/11 rescue and evacuation effort in the World Trade Center's North Tower. "Leaders during a catastrophic event do more than just manage the event. They do three other things: they connect, collaborate and coordinate," Pfeifer says. Sep 9, 2011

Con-way: A CSR leader that won't boast Trucking giant Con-way has quietly implemented speed-cap reductions that should save 6 million gallons of gasoline each year, and it is adding recycled trailers, LEED-certified depot buildings and energy-saving aerodynamics. Still, the company has not bragged about its achievements, says executive Randy Mullett. "We have been very careful to not get out in front of our sustainability initiatives in a way that could be construed as greenwashing," he said. Sep 9, 2011

How building safety is going green The advancement of construction's green movement has led to the development of building-safety solutions that are not just effective, but attractive and eco-friendly, say architects and building experts. New technologies allow for sustainable security features, such as outdoor lighting that can be adjusted based on moonlight levels. Newly designed outdoor areas "can be a pleasant place to have lunch, but can also stop speeding vehicles from ramming into a building," said architect Barbara Nadel. Sep 9, 2011

The problem with carbon credits Carbon credits have their drawbacks, critics say, whether purchased voluntarily by corporations or individuals as a way to offset carbon dioxide emissions or mandated by governments. "Essentially, carbon offsets work by allowing polluters to pay others to make their carbon reductions for them" -- possibly encouraging pollution-heavy ways, writes Stephanie Rogers. Also, many carbon-offset and cap-and-trade programs create debate over their credentials and management. Sep 9, 2011

Lone rebels never win, says Seventh Generation co-founder Seventh Generation co-founder and ex-CEO Jeffrey Hollender says that individuals and individual companies can have only a limited impact, and that broader systemic change is needed. "Even well intended businesses like Seventh Generation are embedded in a culture that creates inequity. ... Being an exception to the rules was not enough to generate sweeping change," he says. Sep 9, 2011

Air Force considers options for grounded F-22 Raptors The Air Force's F-22 Raptor fighters were grounded in early May after toxins were found in the bloodstreams of some pilots who had suffered "hypoxia-like" incidents. This week, the top uniformed officer in the Air Force will be briefed on options for lifting the grounding, sources say. Sep 8, 2011

TSA spends $44.8M on scanners that show generic images The Transportation Security Administration recently spent $44.8 million on 300 body scanners that display generic forms instead of detailed images of travelers' bodies. The TSA now owns 800 scanners. It is upgrading software in its older scanners so those scanners will also display generic images. Sep 8, 2011

Firm strives to commercialize fuel-conversion technology Houston-based Accelergy, an alternative-fuels startup firm, has developed technology to convert different combinations of natural gas, biomass and coal into liquid fuel. Now, the firm is aiming to commercialize such technology. Accelergy says its process is more environmentally friendly and efficient than traditional methods. Sep 8, 2011

Security improvements at LAX top $500M since 9/11 Security measures put in place at Los Angeles International Airport since Sept. 11, 2001, have cost more than $500 million, according to the Transportation Security Administration. The airport has the largest team of bomb-sniffing dogs at a U.S. airport, 22 body scanners and 811 law enforcement officers. It currently spends $127 million annually on security, up from $48.1 million in 2001. Sep 8, 2011

Some Muslims say they remain targets for additional screening Some Muslim travelers say the Transportation Security Administration continues to single them out for additional screening a decade after the September 2001 terror attacks. A recent survey found that 36% of Muslim travelers say they believe they have been singled out. The Department of Homeland Security is currently investigating complaints by Muslims but did not offer details other than to state that it does not tolerate religious discrimination. Sep 8, 2011

Security measures cause slight decline in air travel Security measures and additional fees put in place after September 2001 have contributed to a small but noticeable decline in air travel, according to a study. One expert said the decline has cost airlines $1.1 billion. Meanwhile, the Transportation Security Administration is testing programs that would speed up the security process for frequent fliers. Sep 8, 2011

Napolitano sees an end to shoe removal during airport screening The Department of Homeland Security will eventually phase out a rule that requires travelers to remove their shoes at airport checkpoints, DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano says. She did not say when new procedures would be put in place. Napolitano says the ban on most liquids will remain in place because technology is still not sophisticated enough to detect explosives. "In terms of what we see coming in the months and years ahead, it will probably be easier ... to deal with the shoe issue before we can lift restrictions on liquids," she said. Sep 8, 2011

Tax reform, added transportation funding needed, says BNSF CEO The best route to improved U.S. economic performance is through tax changes designed to allow companies to invest foreign profits domestically, said BNSF chairman and CEO Matt Rose. He also encouraged a federal "infrastructure bank," loan guarantees for transportation and increased revenue for the federal highway fund. Sep 8, 2011

Texas utilities seek longer to comply with EPA pollution regulations Power companies in Texas have appealed to the Environmental Protection Agency for a later deadline to conform with the agency's regulations for air pollution. The utilities warn of power outages, especially on hot days, should they be required to meet the January deadline. "Things can't happen fast enough to allow resource owners to comply with the rule without it having a negative reliability impact," said Trip Doggett, CEO of the Electricity Reliability Council of Texas. Sep 8, 2011

TV sets battle consoles, computers for viewers, study says Viewers are increasingly finding alternatives to conventional live TV broadcasts, according to a Knowledge Networks study. Pre-recorded DVR content, streaming online video and viewing via video game devices are gaining momentum, although DVDs remain the single...

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