Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agents confiscated 33 handguns at airports all over the U.S. in the week ending August 23, the agency reported. Thirty of the 33 handguns were loaded when they were discovered. The TSA also confiscated eight stun guns and five large knives in the same week.
United States Department of Homeland Security
As Janet Napolitano departs Washington for sunnier climes in California, some names have begun to surface on her replacement as Secretary of Homeland Security. One of those mentioned is Boston police commissioner Edward Davis.
International business travelers seeking simplified entry into the U.S. via the “Global Entry” program will have the opportunity to meet in person with U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents at this year’s NBAA Convention, which will be held October 22 to 24 in Las Vegas. Global Entry allows expedited clearance processing into the U.S. for pre-approved, low-risk travelers using automated kiosks available at 34 U.S. airports, eight pre-clearance airports in Canada and two pre-clearance sites in Ireland.
The Air Line Pilots Association praised members of the U.S. House of Representatives on June 5 for passing an amendment to the Homeland Security appropriations bill that continues funding the union-supported Federal Flight Deck Officer program (FFDO). The FFDO allows properly trained and certified airline pilots to carry handguns in the cockpit for protection against armed intruders. The amendment, which will return $12.5 million to the program’s $25 million annual budget, is revenue-neutral and has broad bipartisan support.
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.
Aviation industry groups in the U.S. and Europe oppose a U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) plan to establish a customs pre-clearance facility at Abu Dhabi International Airport that would spare passengers the inconvenience of waiting at a customs checkpoint upon arrival in the U.S. A bipartisan group of U.S. lawmakers also questions the plan and has requested more information from the DHS.
Aviation alphabet groups praised the appointment of Rep. Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ) to serve as the new chairman of the aviation subcommittee of the U.S. House of Representatives’ Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure during the 113th Congress. The subcommittee has jurisdiction over civil aviation in the U.S., including most aspects of the FAA, TSA and NTSB.
NBAA has joined more than 50 groups and organizations in petitioning the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to ensure that President Obama’s budget request includes adequate funding for U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) staffing at U.S. ports of entry. In a joint letter sent on Thursday to OMB acting director Jeffrey Zients, the signatories–which include the U.S.
The House of Representatives passed the “Aviation Security Stakeholder Participation Act of 2013” last month, requiring the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to permanently establish an Aviation Security Advisory Committee (Asac), a government/industry group that collaborates on security policies.
On October 6 Israel shot down a UAV over the northern Negev desert, south of Hebron and near the country’s nuclear weapons site at Dimona. The UAV entered Israeli airspace from the Mediterranean and was intercepted by F-16s from Ramon air base. According to Israeli media reports, the first Python missile fired at the drone missed, but a second was successful. The Israeli air force has released a video purporting to show the engagement.