Last month, a student-faculty team from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University used a Ford Escape hybrid car equipped with a GrayMatter Autonomous Vehicle system, GPS and 64 lasers to successfully guide the vehicle around the perimeter of Florida’s Daytona Beach International Airport on a pre-determined track. The event is believed to be the first successful test of a completely autonomous, self-guided airport security vehicle that could be used to guard an airport perimeter.
The Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association (FLEOA) has condemned H.R. 2946 as a potentially fatal legislative stall tactic that would prevent the installation of secondary cockpit barriers aboard commercial aircraft. The bill, introduced by House aviation subcommittee chairman Frank LoBiondo (R-N.J.), directs the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to study and report on the risk posed to commercial aviation security if a cockpit door is opened during flight.
After nearly three months of pushback from pilots, flight attendants and aircraft operators, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) reversed its plan to allow small knives aboard airliners on June 5. TSA Administrator John Pistole’s March announcement that the agency would align U.S.
While the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) reviews a draft update of general aviation airport security guidelines, the agency is also running a series of exercises to bolster communications among airports, the local community and operators during times of increased security threats.
Airport perimeters are the weak links in the nation’s aviation security efforts, warns former Transportation Secretary Norm Mineta, now a vice chairman with Hill & Knowlton Strategies.
The ease with which anyone can penetrate an airport perimeter may shock those familiar with today’s elaborate security inside terminals, Mineta wrote recently in an op-ed article for The Washington Post. In Philadelphia last year, a driver crashed through a gate and onto a runway. There were similar “near-catastrophes” in Miami and Dallas, he said.
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has changed the rules and as of April 25 will allow small blades and sports implements such as golf clubs and lacrosse sticks to be carried on board by airline passengers. The rules would allow passengers to carry knives with blades shorter than 2.36 inches and narrower than half an inch, as long as they don’t have lockable blades. The existing rules prohibit most sharp objects, with the exception of scissors that are four or fewer inches in length, and also sports equipment. The TSA wants the rule change to harmonize U.S. security practices with those of other countries, which would make security screening more efficient. I’m not so sure about that.
A working group that counted 16 representatives from general aviation organizations, including NBAA, submitted a list of proposed revisions late last week to the Transportation Security Administration’s security guidance for GA airports. The document, originally published by the agency in 2004, contains voluntary guidelines and recommendations for GA airport owners, operators and users to address aviation security concepts, technology and enhancements.
The number of airline crewmembers processed through the “Known Crewmember” (KCM) security screening program at U.S. airports doubled after it expanded to include flight attendants in October. Last summer, when only pilots could participate, the TSA screened 55,000 to 60,000 crewmembers at KCM checkpoints each week. Since flight attendants became eligible, the number jumped to 120,000 weekly, according to Douglas Hofsass, TSA assistant administrator in charge of “risk based” security initiatives.
U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) executives said they will use new approaches to increase enrollment in “Pre-Check,” a program that pre-screens airline passengers for security risks and helps smooth the flow of people through airport security lines. Airport executives complain the program has gone underused.
A federal grand jury in Philadelphia indicted Joseph Picklo on August 23, charging him with possession of an explosive in an airport and carrying an explosive on to an aircraft. Federal investigators said that on March 29 this year Picklo attempted to pass through security screening with explosives in his backpack at Philadelphia International Airport (PHL). Airport security officials searched the backpack and confiscated two M80-style fireworks, flash-powder in a concealed container, a lighting wick and a flammable lighter.
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