Travel Safety & Security Update June 2005.

 
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Hearing called to address stalled security clearance process. The White House is struggling to streamline the process for granting security clearance for federal job applicants and contractors, writes The Washington Post's Stephen Barr. Sen. George V. Voinovich, R-Ohio, called a hearing on the issue and said national security programs suffer when it takes applicants a year to obtain proper credentials. The White House also issued an order saying it would set up a process for complying with laws calling for a simpler clearance process. Jun 29, 2005

FAA: New tracking system will save airlines millions. A new tracking system will allow air traffic controllers to more closely monitor commercial jets flying over oceans, USA Today reported. The Federal Aviation Administration said the new system, which is scheduled be operational by year's end, will reduce airlines' fuel costs because planes will fly more direct routes. The FAA says the system could save the government and airlines $2.7 billion by 2013. Jun 24, 2005

Feds report dangerous pattern of airport incidents in Dallas, Los Angeles. Federal investigators have reported a pattern of potentially dangerous incidents at airports in Dallas and Los Angeles, according to media reports. At Los Angeles International Airport, jets were mistakenly parked on a runway used for takeoffs. In Dallas, regulators found some air traffic controllers were not reporting incidents of planes flying too close to each other. None of the incidents have caused accidents. The report said the Dallas incidents "represent safety deficiencies and undermine the public's confidence in the air traffic control system," USA Today reported. Jun 24, 2005

NTSB investigates near-collision at Boston's Logan: The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating two passenger jets that came within seconds of colliding at Boston's Logan International Airport, the Boston Globe reported. The jets were mistakenly cleared to take off at the same time on intersecting runways. Jun 24, 2005

U.S. must fix, secure infrastructure. Fixing and securing infrastructure is one of the nation's "most complex problems," said Barry R. McCaffrey, a national security expert and retired U.S. Army general. McCaffrey sees progress in homeland security, but said political leadership is needed to solve the problem, Construction.com reported. McCaffrey, along with other security and airport leaders, spoke at the Top Firm Leaders Forum this month in Chicago. Jun 24, 2005

Despite screening, lighters making it through airport security. Several travelers flying through Minneapolis say they have made it through airport security checkpoints with at least one lighter in their pocket or carryon bags, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports. A TSA spokesman said the system for detecting lighters is effective, and the incidents do not necessarily indicate failed screening efforts. Jun 24, 2005

Despite screening, lighters making it through airport security. Several travelers flying through Minneapolis say they have made it through airport security checkpoints with at least one lighter in their pocket or carryon bags, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported. A TSA spokesman said the system for detecting lighters is effective, and the incidents do not necessarily indicate failed screening efforts. Jun 24, 2005

Registered-traveler program gets off to a slow start. Computer glitches complicated the first day of a registered-traveler program at Orlando International Airport, the Orlando Sentinel reported. The program uses biometric information to speed travelers through security lines. But many applicants, who pay $80 a year to participate, arrived at the airport without the necessary forms of...

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