• Airport securityTSA May Have Missed Thousands of Firearms at Airport Security Checkpoints in 2014-2016

    The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has reported that it found 4,432 firearms in carry-on baggage at airport security checkpoints in 2019, and more than 20,000 firearms since 2014. New research suggests that they could have found even more.

  • Public transportationAfter COVID-19, Public Transport in Intensive Care

    Many certainties fell victim to the COVID-19 pandemic. Director of forecasting for the French urban transport operator Keolis, Eric Chareyron is no exception to this reality. “The problem with public transport is that there is “public” or “communal” in the name, he says. The term “communal,” in a period when we are being urged to limit what we do in a communal manner, “inevitably, that handicaps us.” Eric Béziat writes in Le Monde [in French] that thought is being given in the public transportation sector to looking for a new, less anxiety-provoking name. This line of thinking is an indication to what extent the sector was hit by the crisis, and questions are being raised about its very foundations. The train, the metro, the bus, the tram are all enclosed and collective spaces, and as such are the designated victims of health vigilance.

  • Hydrogen planesQuiet and Green: Why Hydrogen Planes Could Be the Future of Aviation

    By Jonathan O’Callaghan

    Today, aviation is responsible for 3.6 percent of EU greenhouse gas emissions. Modern planes use kerosene as fuel, releasing harmful carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. But what if there was another way? One possible solution is to use a new type of fuel in planes that doesn’t produce harmful emissions – hydrogen. Long touted as a sustainable fuel, hydrogen is now gaining serious traction as a possibility for aviation, and already tests are under way to prove its effectiveness.

  • EpidemicsDHS Issues Restrictions on Inbound Flights with Individuals Who Have Been in China

    In response to the evolving threat of the novel coronavirus, and to minimize the risk of spreading within the United States, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has on Sunday begun to enforce restrictions for all passenger flights to the United States carrying individuals who have recently traveled from the People’s Republic of China. The restrictions began for flights commencing after 5:00 p.m. EST on Sunday, 2 February, and direct the arrival of U.S. citizens who have traveled in China within fourteen days of their arrival to one of seven designated airports, where the United States Government has enhanced public health resources in order to implement enhanced screening procedures. The administration is taking these actions to protect the American people.

  • PerspectiveInside America’s First All-Biometric Airline Terminal

    People still need more than their faces to enter and exit America on international flights, but Brandi Vincent writes that a growing number of early-stage facial recognition deployments that aim to screen passengers with little human intervention are rolling out at airports across the country.

  • Aviation securityStructures Near Airports Increase Risk of Airplane-Goose Collisions

    From mid-November 2015 through February 2016, scientists used GPS transmitters to track the movements of Canada geese near Midway International Airport in Chicago. They discovered that – in the colder months, at least – some geese are hanging out on rooftops, in a rail yard and in a canal close to Midway’s runways. This behavior increases the danger of collisions between geese and airplanes, the researchers say.

  • DetectionKeeping TSA Detection Systems in Check

    As the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) screens nearly two million people each day, officers are faced with the challenge of finding even the smallest sign of a threat. Microscopic particles of explosives can cling to a nefarious actor despite their best intentions to conceal any evidence of hidden contraband on their person or in their bags. S&T chemist Dr. Jim Deline developed a novel method to more efficiently test TSA detection equipment.

  • Security screeningFaster, Smarter Security Screening Systems

    By now, attendees to sporting events, visitors to office buildings, and especially frequent fliers are all quite familiar with the technologies used at security checkpoints. You arrive at the security checkpoint, check your bags, show your ID and maybe your ticket or boarding pass, throw away the coffee or water you’ve been chugging, and then wait in a long line until it is your turn to be screened. The security lines can be inconvenient. S&T and partners are working to help security screening systems, whether at airports, government facilities, border checkpoints, or public spaces like arenas, to work faster and smarter.

  • DirigiblesReturning Airships to the Skies

    The transport sector is responsible for around 25 percent of global CO2 emissions caused by humans. Reintroducing airships into the world’s transportation-mix could contribute to lowering the transport sector’s carbon emissions and can play a role in establishing a sustainable hydrogen-based economy.

  • DronesAssessing the Danger of Drone Strike

    The rapid rise in the number of drones worldwide has been accompanied by increasing reports of near misses with commercial aircraft. Bird-strike tests for aircraft are mandatory, but to date, however, there is no equivalent standard test procedure for collisions with drones.

  • TerrorismHezbollah operative collected sensitive information about Toronto Airport for potential future attack

    An operative for the Iranian-backed terrorist organization Hezbollah collected “detailed information” about Toronto’s Pearson airport, according to a report released by Canada’s air safety agency on Tuesday. The Hezbollah operative also scouted New York’s JFK airport and U.S government facilities, as well as identifying Israelis in the United States who could be targeted by the Iranian-sponsored terrorist group.

  • Airport security Shoe scanner may improve airport security

    The types of shoes you wear when flying matter. And not just shoe types. Size, material, soles and heels are also very important. Why? Shoes can become dangerous vehicles for terrorists’ plots. DHS wants to prevent future incidents, and this is why S&T is working on a millimeter wave technology for screening shoes as part of the larger Screening at Speed Program.

  • DronesHawk’s pursuit technique can help counter-drone defenses

    Hawks steer their pursuit of evasive prey using a feedback system that differs fundamentally from the missile-like interception system of falcons.

  • Flying carsFlying cars: automating the skies means playing with our lives

    By Jonathan Aitken

    Recent research suggests that flying cars could eventually be a sustainable way to free up roads. The first models are set to hit our skies in 2019 as personal playthings, while industry sees them as taxis and commuter vehicles of the future. But as Harry Potter’s encounter with the Whomping Whillow reminds us, flying cars can be dangerous. Before futuristic visions of three-dimensional sprawling city traffic can approach reality, there are some serious safety issues that need addressing.

  • Flying carsFlying colors: Assessing the role of flying cars in sustainable mobility

    A new study of the environmental sustainability impacts of flying cars, formally known as electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft, or VTOLs, finds that they wouldn’t be suitable for a short commute. However, VTOLs—which combine the convenience of vertical takeoff and landing like a helicopter with the efficient aerodynamic flight of an airplane—could play a niche role in sustainable mobility for longer trips.