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.
Next year’s Heli-Expo show in Las Vegas (March 4-7, 2013) will include the Helicopter Association International’s (HAI) new safety education initiative called the Rotor Safety Challenge. The seminar series will offer 30 different safety topics designed to enhance safety in the rotorcraft industry worldwide. The 60-minute sessions–offered at no charge to attendees–will focus on four different safety tracks; flight operations, maintenance, safety culture and leadership and safety management.
The NBAA Corporate Business Flying Safety Awards have been awarded to a number of member companies, the oldest of which, ExxonMobil, has flown 268,819 safe hours over the past 80 years. The top four recipients in the corporate category for the year 2011 are listed below, with the number of years of safe flying and the number of safe hours flown. AIN interviewed representatives of these companies to find out more about their operations and their safety successes.
80 years, 268,819 hours
Steve Buckner, a doctoral candidate at Northcentral University, is hoping you can help with research for his dissertation, titled “Examination of Safety Management Systems and Aviation Technologies in the Helicopter Emergency Medical Services Industry.” His anonymous survey examines the opinions and associations, if any, of air medical rotory- and fixed-wing pilots regarding their organization’s safety culture, the support of safety by management, and use of technology to enhance operational safety.
An article in AIN’s September issue addressed concerns that have been raised about the security of the ADS-B system, which is headed for widespread deployment around the world. ADS-B is designed to replace radar as the primary method for surveillance of airborne traffic.
Helicopter EMS provider Air Evac Lifeteam has entered the third level of the FAA’s safety management system (SMS) voluntary pilot project. Air Evac has 110 bases in 15 states and has been enrolled in the pilot project since February 2010. Dave Hardin, Air Evac’s director of safety, characterizes the company’s participation in the pilot project as a “challenging, but beneficial, process in the interest of safety.” Air Evac is only the third Part 135 operator to progress beyond Level 2, according to the FAA.
The FAA’s Inspector General this week begins an audit to review how well the agency is protecting its own Voluntary Disclosure Reporting Program (VDRP) against misuse.
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.
The ADS-B system that is the cornerstone of the FAA’s NextGen ATC modernization plan is at risk of serious security breaches, according to Brad Haines, a hacker and network security consultant who is worried about ADS-B vulnerabilities. Haines first outlined his concerns during a presentation he gave at the Def Con 20 hacker conference in Las Vegas in July.
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).