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New York (AirGuideBusiness - Regional News North America) Nov 27, 2011

More legislation isn't the answer for tarmac delays Consumer advocate and columnist Christopher Elliott says that the October tarmac delays in Hartford, Conn., could not have been avoided with more legislation. "All parties seem to agree that a variety of factors led to the lengthy delays, including weather, power outages, air traffic control and inadequate facilities," Elliott writes. More legislation will not prevent tarmac delays, he says. Nov 18, 2011

Step-by-step social media tutorials On AH&LA's revised social media section, easily learn how to use and manage Facebook, Twitter, blogs, RSS feeds and traveler-generated content. Through the expertise of AH&LA allied member TIG Global, we've created a portal for helping you execute a viable social media strategy to capture more market share. Check out executive blogs while you're there. Nov 18, 2011

Performance-based logistics awards presented The Joint STARS Total System Support Responsibility team and the Apache Sensors and Navy Performance-Based Logistics teams received the seventh annual awards for excellence in PBL at AIA's Fall Product Support Conference last month. Nov 18, 2011

Reports of laser strikes rise sharply in 2011, FAA says. The number of reports of lasers aimed at aircraft has set a record in 2011, according to the Federal Aviation Administration. So far this year, there have been more than 3,048 reported incidents of lasers being pointed at aircraft, up from 2,836 last year. "We don't want anybody laboring under the assumption that these are toys," FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt said. "They're not. They have the potential for doing a lot of damage." Nov 18, 2011

Lawmakers criticize TSA in report. Republican lawmakers criticized the Transportation Security Administration in a report issued on the agency's 10th birthday, and at least one lawmaker questioned whether it has improved aviation safety. "Americans have spent nearly USD60 billion funding TSA and they are no safer today than they were before 9/11," Rep. Paul Broun, R-Georgia. The report also described the TSA as bloated and inefficient. In response, TSA Greg Soule spokesman said aviation is "safer, stronger and more secure than it was 10 years ago." Nov 18, 2011

TSA boosts awareness of banned items with weapons exhibit. The Transportation Security Administration brought a variety of weapons -- including grenades, a pipe bomb, and a belt made of bullets -- to Newark Liberty International Airport this week to remind travelers that the items are not allowed on commercial flights. "A homemade slingshot," said TSA public administrator Lisa Farbstein. "Uncool at the airport. You donOt want to see that." The TSA has confiscated more than 1,000 firearms from travelers since January. Nov 18, 2011

Cargo security continues to improve, TSA says. The U.S. still has not met its goal of ensuring that all cargo that enters the country via international flights is screened. Some lawmakers say inadequate screening increases the risk of a terror attack. "America's aviation system is at the top of the terrorist target list," said Rep. Edward Markey, D-Mass. "TSA must close the gaping loophole that leaves billions of pounds of air cargo unscreened on passenger planes entering our country from overseas." Transportation Security Administration Administrator John Pistole said the TSA is negotiating screening agreements with countries that send 80% of the cargo that enters the U.S. The TSA screens all cargo traveling within the U.S. Nov 18, 2011

Despite concerns, TSA says cargo security continues to improve. The U.S. still has not met its goal of ensuring that all cargo that enters the country via international flights is screened. Some lawmakers say inadequate screening increases the risk of a terror attack. "America's aviation system is at the top of the terrorist target list," said Rep. Edward Markey, D-Mass. "TSA must close the gaping loophole that leaves billions of pounds of air cargo unscreened on passenger planes entering our country from overseas." Transportation Security Administration Administrator John Pistole said the TSA is negotiating screening agreements with countries that ship 80% of the cargo that enters the U.S. The TSA currently screens all cargo traveling within the U.S. Nov 18, 2011

U.S. Marines Corps ranks vehicle priorities. The U.S. Marine Corps has chosen the Amphibious Combat Vehicle and the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle as top priorities over Humvees. A House Armed Services subcommittee asked the service to identify its vehicle priorities in case of budget cuts. Nov 18, 2011

Two ways to set the stage for product innovation Companies need to master two basic strategies to prime the pump for product innovation, David Peace writes. First, learn to get your technological and product-development teams pulling in the same direction, then make sure both are kept in the loop about what your customers are actually looking for. "Following best practices in working with customers, while strategically approaching the relationship between technology development and product development, can help a company achieve success in product innovation," Peace writes. Nov 17, 2011

Lack of firewall automation leads to shortcuts, failed configurations Firewalls remain one of the most valuable tools for network security, but a survey by Tufin Technologies finds that more than 20% of administrators in charge of maintaining firewalls know someone who has cut corners to pass an audit, while almost a quarter admit they've never even conducted one. The survey determined that many firewall configurations still are done manually, leading to hours spent on fixes and a spate of improper configurations. Nov 17, 2011

Class I's reach labor deal agreements with four unions this week The majority of the 132,000 freight rail employees affected by the current bargaining round are now covered with tentative agreements after Class I railroads and four unions came to terms this week. "Freight railroads now have agreements with six unions of the 13 in bargaining," according to Bloomberg news. After announcing settlements with three unions Tuesday, the National CarriersO Conference Committee, which bargains on behalf of the railroads, said Wednesday a tentative agreement with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers had been reached as well. Nov 17, 2011

Panetta objects to terrorism provision in defense bill. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta expressed reservations about some provisions for handling suspected terrorists in a defense bill. He objects to the taking of suspects into military custody because the action could hinder efforts by the FBI. The provision "restrains the Executive Branch's options to utilize, in a swift and flexible fashion, all the counterterrorism tools that are now legally available," Panetta wrote in a letter the Senate Armed Services Committee. Nov 17, 2011

Screening remains a top pet peeve for travelers. A new survey found that airport security screening remains one of travelers' top five frustrations. Travelers said they disliked the wait in security lines, unfriendly Transportation Security Administration agents and removing their belts and shoes. However, 66% of the travelers participating in the survey reported that they are somewhat or very satisfied with the overall performance of the TSA; 54.6% of frequent fliers who participated said they were satisfied with the TSA. Nov 17, 2011

Europe orders airports to remove X-ray scanners. New European rules require European airports to remove X-ray scanners because the scanners create health risks. The same type of scanners are used in U.S. airports. The Transportation Security Administration did not respond to the European rule. However, it has defended the safety of the scanners in the past. Nov 17, 2011

Surge in checked luggage creates more work for TSA. The number of carry-on bags passing through security checkpoints has surged since airlines began charging customers for checking luggage. Travelers carried on 59 million more bags in 2010 than the previous year, according to the Transportation Security Administration. TSA Administrator John Pistole said the increase in bags has created more work for the TSA. "One is the sheer volume of the bags, the carry-on bags. But then two, most are fairly densely packed because people are trying to get everything in," he said. Some observers say the surge in bags increases the likelihood that the TSA will fail to detect weapons. Nov 17, 2011

Holiday travelers will notice several changes to airport security.

Travelers who hit the road for the Thanksgiving holiday will notice several changes at airport security checkpoints. Children 12 and younger are no longer required to remove their shoes at checkpoints. About half of the scanners at U.S. airports now display stick figures instead of detailed body images. Transportation Security Administration agents are also making efforts to assess risks presented by travelers based on intelligence. The TSA hopes to identify high-risk travelers before they get to airports. Nov 17, 2011

U.S. Air Force opens up competition for space launches. The U.S. Air Force plans to hold meetings with companies interested in the launch sector for the U.S. government. The Air Force has released its first detailed guide for companies that want to bid for projects. "The whole idea of having competition is what has got us interested in doing this new-entrant criteria," said Lt. Gen. Ellen Pawlikowski, commander of the U.S. Air Force's Space and Missile Systems Center. Nov 17, 2011

Plan to cut submarine fleet does not hold water, Navy says. The Office of Management and Budget has asked the U.S. Navy to reduce its Ohio-class replacement submarine fleet from 12 boats to 10. However, Navy officers say that decreasing the fleet will make it more difficult to meet the requirement to always keep five boats...

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