Aviation and Airport

  • Model airplane hits federal building

    Last week a three-foot model airplane crashed into a federal building in Waltham, Massachusetts; federal investigators from DHS and the FBI promptly began investigating the incident, but so far no evidence exists to suggest any foul play; earlier this year a 26-year old man from Massachusetts was arrested for plotting to attack the Pentagon with a remote-controlled plane packed with explosives

  • New autopilot makes another 9/11 impossible

    A hijacking-proof piloting system for airliners is being developed to prevent terrorists repeating the 9/11 attacks. The mechanism is designed to make it impossible for terrorists who highjack a plane to crash the aircraft into air or land targets. The device enables the plane to be flown by remote control from the ground in the event of an emergency.

  • Court rules in favor of American Airlines in $30 million dispute with TSA

    On Tuesday a U.S. Court of Appeals ruled against DHS ordering the agency to review its decision to deny reimbursing American Airlines $30 million for the additional security procedures it had been asked to put in place by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) following the 9/11 attacks

  • TSA facing renewed criticism over racial profiling

    Accusations of racial profiling have triggered renewed criticism of the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) Screening of Passengers by Observation Techniques (SPOT) program

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  • Wearing shoes at airport checkpoints could be a new reality

    As part of its continuing efforts to make security procedures at airport checkpoints easier for travelers, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is actively seeking technological solutions that would allow passengers to keep their shoes on

  • U.K. launches program to improve aircraft, crew protection

    The U.K. Ministry of Defense says it has begun a development program to make aircraft better equipped in the hostile environments that U.K. aircraft are likely to encounter during future operations

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  • TSA chief says no new study needed on airport body scanners

    Weeks after agreeing in principal to an independent study on the health effects of full-body scanners, TSA administrator John Pistole told the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation that a new study is not needed to confirm the machines’ safety

  • Military personnel next in line to zip through airport security

    Members of the U.S. military could be the next batch of individuals the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) allows to bypass intrusive airport security checkpoint screening procedures; the agency is currently exploring such an option through a pilot program, launched last week, at a medium-size airport in California

  • LA airports to install biometric scanners

    Employees at three Los Angeles airports will be turning in their access badges and instead rely on biometrics to gain entry to secure areas

  • Europe bans the use of backscatter body scanners

    In its approval of full body scanners for use at airports last week, the European Union banned the use of scanners that relied on backscatter radiation due to safety concerns; these types of scanners are widely used in the United States and have been source of sharp criticism, yet the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has continued to insist that they are safe

  • New explosives detectors allow Aussies to carry liquids

    Travelers in Australia will soon be allowed to bring liquids on board airplanes thanks to sophisticated new explosives detection technology

  • Former presidential nominee calls for abolishment of TSA and DHS

    George McGovern, the former Senator from South Dakota and the Democratic presidential candidate in 1972, is calling for the abolishment of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) as well as DHS; in his new book, “What It Means to be a Democrat,” McGovern describes existing airport security measures as “ridiculous”

  • Security clearance holders could begin zipping through airport security

    With the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) moving towards a tiered airport security system, those holding federal security clearances could become the next in line for expedited screening at checkpoints

  • Ten years on, TSA continues to evolve

    As the ten year anniversary of the creation of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) approaches, TSA Administrator John Pistole says the agency is making the necessary moves to enhance aviation security while becoming more customer-friendly

  • TSA fires agent over sex toy comment

    A TSA security screener at Newark Liberty International Airport was fired after he left a sexually suggestive note in the bag of a woman passenger. The woman, a New York attorney who flew from New Jersey to Dublin, opened her bag when she arrived at her Dublin hotel, and found a note, written on a TSA Notice of Inspection form, attached to one of the sexual toys she was carrying with her in the bag. The note said: “Get your freak on!” TSA investigated, identified the offending screener, and fired him. The agency also apologized to the passenger.