• AviationNew inquiry into 2010 Smolensk plane crash suggests collusion between governments of Poland, Russia

    A new Polish commission, set up to investigating anew the 2010 plane crash which killed President Lech Kaczyński and ninety-five others, has released its report, accusing the previous investigative commission, which did its work in 2011, of doctoring evidence and documents and manipulating facts. The 2011 commission attributed the crash to errors by the Polish pilots who tried to land the plane in dense fog. The new commission, appointed by Kaczyński’s twin brother, who now leads Poland’s nationalist government, hints that the crash may have been the result of a collusion between the Polish government at the time and Russia.

  • BlimpsFreight airships may soon help Asian companies reach world markets

    The rise of freight airships could go down like a lead balloon with traditional aircraft companies, but could also represent a new high for Asian companies seeking to exploit new ways to reach world markets. Researchers explain how the reinvented technology of airships has come apace in recent years and is a far cry from the trial and error methods and primitive materials used to build the giant Zeppelins of yesteryear.

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  • DronesTechnical problems rather than operator errors cause most drone accidents

    Research has found that technical problems rather than operator errors are behind the majority of drone accidents, leading to a call for further safeguards for the industry. One of the researchers said the findings illustrated the need for further airworthiness requirements for Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS), as well as the mandatory reporting of all accidents or incidents. “Understanding what happens to drones, even those that don’t cause damage to people or property, is essential to improve safety,” he said.

  • Airport security3-D printed plastic gun discovered at Nevada airport

    Airport screening agents at Reno-Tahoe International Airport in Nevada last week confiscated a plastic handgun produced with a 3-D printer from a man’s carry-on luggage. Federal official said Wednesday this might have been the first time a 3D-made gun was discovered as a passenger was trying to bring it on board. Airport authorities said the white gun was loaded with five .22-caliber bullets, but that it was a replica that could not fire and.

  • Explosive detectionCan next-generation bomb ‘sniffing’ technology outdo dogs on explosives detection?

    By David Atkinson

    With each terrorist attack on another airport, train station, or other public space, the urgency to find new ways to detect bombs before they’re detonated ratchets up. What researchers have wanted to develop for a long time is a new chemical detection technology that could “sniff” for explosives vapor, much like a canine does. Many efforts over the years fell short as not being sensitive enough. My research team has been working on this problem for nearly two decades – and we’re making good headway. Inspired by the tremendous detection capabilities of dogs, we’ve made remarkable advances toward developing technology that can follow in their footsteps. Deploying vapor analysis for explosives can both enhance security levels and provide a less intrusive screening environment. Continuing research aims to hone the technology and lower its costs so it can be deployed at an airport near you.

  • Istanbul attackTurkey identifies the three terrorists as a Russian, Uzbek, and Kyrgyz

    Turkish security officials have said that the three terrorists who attacked the Istanbul airport were foreign nationals – a Russian, Uzbek, and Kyrgyz. The officials, who spoke with Western news agencies, said that investigators faced difficulties identifying the bombers from their limited remains, but a pro-government Turkish newspaper had said the Russian bomber was from Dagestan, a restless province which borders Chechnya.

  • Terrorism41 killed, 239 injured in three suicide explosions at Istanbul Atatürk airport

    Turkish authorities say that forty-one people have been killed and 239injured in a terrorist attack on Turkey’s largest airport, Istanbul Atatürk. The airport is Europe’s third busiest airport. The Turkish Ministry of Justice said that two terrorists blew themselves up outside the security checkpoint at the entry to the international terminal. A third terrorist blew himself up in the terminal’s parking lot. Recent months have seen an increase in terrorist attacks against Turkish civilians. These attacks have been carried out by both ISIS Islamists and PKK Kurdish separatists.

  • Airport securityLawmakers call for lifting “arbitrary,” “illogical” cap on the number of airport screeners

    The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), the union representing Transportation Security Officers (TSOs) at U.S. airports, says recent Congressional actions to reduce passenger wait times are a good step but that the permanent solution remains hiring an additional 6,000 full-time screeners.

  • AviationThe security effectiveness of TSA’s expedited screening can be improved: GAO

    In 2015, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) screened or oversaw the screening of more than 708 million passengers at more than 450 U.S airports. In two recent reports, the GAO addresses the extent to which TSA (1) has taken steps to improve the security effectiveness of expedited screening, and (2) uses screening personnel (TSO) performance testing data to enhance TSO performance in screening for prohibited items.

  • AviationData contained in the black boxes should be stored in the cloud: Expert

    Researcher in the field of networked electronic and radio systems say information stored in an aircraft’s flight data recorder (FDR) and cockpit data recorder (CDR) — the so-called black boxes — should be streamed to a safe cloud storage facility.

  • Airport securityAirport executives from forty countries to visit Israel for security lessons

    With concern rising after a string of terror attacks, airport representatives from forty countries will visit Israel’s Ben-Gurion International Airport next month to learn about Ben-Gurion’s security procedures. Ben-Gurion is one of the world’s safest airports — no flight departing Israel has ever been hijacked, and there has not been a terrorist attack at Ben-Gurion since 1972.

  • Terror & businessStudy probes impact of terror on business travelers, managers

    A joint study of terror’s impact on business travelers and business travel managers revealed surprising results, especially with regard to traveler fears and anxiety. Among other findings, the study found that 31 percent of business travelers worry that a reluctance to travel could hurt their career, and that 6 percent would not feel comfortable expressing their concerns to upper management.

  • Airport securityTSA’s head of security dismissed against backdrop of long waits at security lines

    Kelley Hoggan, TSA’s head of security, dismissed after a contentious Hill hearing on long airport security lines. Travelers in Chicago’s O’Hare Airport complained of two-hour waits. Questions raised about $90,000 in bonuses and awards given to Hogan.

  • AviationIs commercial aviation as safe and secure as we’re told?

    By Frederic Lemieux

    Commercial aviation is not quite as safe as we assume. The problem is that by limiting our measurement of security to fatal incidents, we narrow our appraisal of risk. Aviation from this perspective appears to be very secure. Crashes, after all, are rare events. However, if we take into account all the nonfatal incidents, which most people are not aware of, then the actual risk of accident in the airline industry is higher.

  • AviationSearch lead by Egypt's military finds plane wreckage north of Alexandria

    An Egypt-led search has uncovered “wreckage” and “personal belongings of passengers.” “Egyptian aircraft and navy vessels have found personal belongings of passengers and parts of the wreckage 290 kilometers (180 miles) north of Alexandria,” Egyptian army spokesman Mohammed Samir in a statement published on Facebook. Thursday’s even is but the latest in a troubling series of aviation crises in Egypt this past year.