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.
United States Department of Homeland Security
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will begin testing and evaluating small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) this month near Lawton, Oklahoma, under a federal and state initiative to study UAS applications for emergency response. The DHS is also considering the use of small UAS by its constituent organizations: the Coast Guard and the Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) agency.
While the Iranian capture of the Sentinel caught public attention, it also allowed researchers to show that spoofing technology has been, and continues to be, closely investigated by a number of military and civilian facilities in the United States.
In the wake of a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report showing that foreign flight students can be cleared for flying lessons earlier than they would be cleared to fly commercially on U.S. airlines, the ranking Democrat on the House Homeland Security Committee has filed a bill to close a loophole in the Alien Flight Student Program (AFSP).
“The Aeronautical Repair Station Association (Arsa) has been quite clear…it does not see the need for security rules at contract repair stations,” Edward Wytkind, president of U.S. trade union the AFL-CIO’s Transportation Trades Department, wrote in a letter to Janet Napolitano, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
A recent Government Accountability Office (GAO) report stated that the FAA and DHS databases did not interact as expected when vetting flight training students.
TSA Administrator John Pistole announced the retirement of deputy administrator Gale Rossides last week , effective July 1. Rossides has been with the TSA since its inception 10 years ago and, according to Pistole, “was one of the original six hired in 2001 to build the TSA.” During the TSA’s first years, she built the foundation for the agency’s workforce planning strategy. She later served as senior advisor to the deputy secretary of DHS to assist in the stand-up of the TSA’s parent agency and returned to the TSA in September 2005.
Pilot Kelvin Romello Changur pled guilty in U.S. District Court in Miami on April 25 to falsifying his application for an FAA medical certificate and later attempting to use a U.S. passport containing some of the same false information.
Despite a current mission that calls for preventing terrorism and enhancing security, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is proceeding with plans to cut funding in half—from $25.1 million to $12.5 million—for the Federal Flight Deck Officer (FFDO) program.
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has approved a five-year extension of its partnership authorizing National Air Transportation Association Compliance Services (Natacs) to continue as a trusted fingerprint facility to process biological and biometric information for general aviation and commercial aviation worldwide.