• British insurance firm building its own anti-pirate armada

    With pirate attacks hitting all-time highs, a British insurance firm is creating its own fleet of gunships to help prevent these costly disruptions; in the first quarter of 2011 pirate attacks reached record highs with 142 incidents occurring; to combat this growing threat, Jardine Lloyd Thompson, which insures roughly 15 percent of the world’s maritime cargo ships, is launching its Convoy Escort Program (CEP), which consists of a fleet of eighteen gunboats; so far no country has agreed to allow the private firm to carry out its plans and it lacks the ability to operate legally; the firm has already raised all the funds necessary and could be ready to begin escorting ships as early as this year

  • TSA launches smartphone app to make travelling easier

    To help make a passenger’s airport experience more pleasant and to minimize delays at checkpoints, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) recently launched its MyTSA smartphone app; the app will provide travelers with official answers to the most commonly asked questions regarding security procedures at airport checkpoints; it also allows users to determine what they can or cannot bring, see airport delays in real-time, and estimate how long waits are at checkpoints; it is currently available for free on the Apple iPhone

  • Critical safety and security flaws in airplane maintenance outsourcing

    A recent study found that airlines outsourcing their maintenance work could prove to be a major security gap and result in unreliable planes; the Transport Workers Union found that when major U.S. airlines outsource their work they have little training, oversight, or safety measures in place to ensure that the workers they hire perform quality work and do not pose a security threat; at least one member of al-Qaeda has been found working in a major maintenance facility in Singapore in 2003; the lack of training and certification could also result in shoddy airplane repair work; there are only 100 FAA inspectors for over 700 overseas maintenance facilities

  • Wyoming soon to get quieter railroad crossings

    Residents living near railroad crossings in Wyoming will soon be getting a break from the noise; this summer the Wyoming Department of Transportation (WYDOT) will begin analyzing the state’s noisiest crossings to determine what is needed to make these areas quieter; lawmakers appropriated $5 million to fund the improvements and local communities would be required to match anywhere from 5 to 50 percent of the project costs