Aviation and Airport

  • Terahertz technology helps to see more with less

    Terahertz technology is an emerging field which promises to improve a host of useful applications, ranging from passenger scanning at airports to huge digital data transfers. Terahertz radiation sits between the frequency bands of microwaves and infrared radiation, and it can easily penetrate many materials, including biological tissue. The energy carried by terahertz radiation is low enough to pose no risk to the subject or object under investigation.

  • FAA oversight of jetliner repair stations is ineffective

    The FAA oversees 4,800 jetliner repair stations worldwide – in countries such as China, New Zealand, Peru, and Singapore – where American commercial airplanes are being repaired. The Federal Aviation Administration’s own watchdog organization reported that the oversight of U.S. jetliner repair stations is ineffective and does not focus on stations which are most likely to present security risks.

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  • Typo delays signing FAA budget bill into law

    Typically, Congress, the country’s deliberative body, tends to take its time when it comes to legislation. This tendency was not in evidence when it came to rescheduling sequester-mandated cuts to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) budget in order to allow air traffic controllers to work their full schedule without being furloughed. The president was supposed to sign the bill Friday – but in its rush to pass the measure, the version which was delivered to the White House contained a typo (an “s” was missing). The president will sign the bill today.

  • White House to take a second look at FAA furloughs

    The White House hinted Wednesday that it could accept legislation which would end Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) furloughs. Passengers have been in arms over lengthening flight delays and a growing number of flight cancellations, while GOP lawmakers accused the FAA of implementing the sequester-mandated budget cut in such a way so as to cause maximum inconvenience to passengers.

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  • TSA reverses course on knives-on-planes policy

    The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has abandoned, for now, its proposal to allow travelers to carry small knives on airplanes owing to significant opposition from lawmakers, air marshals, law enforcement officials, and flight attendants.

  • FAA furloughs begin with impact on flights slight so far

    Sunday was the first day of FAA furloughs, but commercial airline flights ran smoothly throughout the country. There were delays in New York area airports, but nothing that was considered significant. There were also delays in Florida, but they were caused by thunderstorms.

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  • FAA certifies Boeing 787 can fly again after fixes to over-heating battery

    The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has approved Boeing’s proposed improvements to the lithium-ion battery systems on its 787 passenger jets. The jets have been grounded since January and are now ready to return to the skies.

  • Airlines ask court to stop FAA furloughs

    The FAA’s annual budget is $16 billion. As part of the sequester, the agency must reduce its budget by $637 million between now and the end of September. The agency says that the only way it can achieve these saving is by imposing a 2-week furlough on its 47,000 employees – including 15,000 air traffic controllers. A coalition of U.S. airlines has petitioned a federal court to stop the furloughs, which began yesterday, saying they would leas to the cancellation of 6,700 flights a day.

  • Lawmakers want FAA to allow use of electronic gadgets during flights

    Lawmakers have questioned whether personal electronic devices interfere with the electrical equipment of an airliner’s cockpit, and they want the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to allow more such gadgets on planes.

  • FAA to inspect Boeing’s 737 planes for faulty parts

    Federal aviation regulators will order special inspections more than 1,000 Boeing 737 jets, and possibly replace improperly manufactured parts   which could cause pilots to lose control of the planes.

  • Texas legislators want TSA out to allow for anti-groping policy

    Texas lawmakers  are considering proposals  to opt out of federal protection at all airports in the state. One of the proposals calls for charging airport security officials who aggressively check passengers.

  • Lawmakers question TSA new uniform purchase

    Republican lawmakers want to know why the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has signed a contract worth  $50 million for new uniforms for the agency’s employees, at the same time that officials are complaining that budget cuts are causing staff shortages, flight delays, and longer lines at security checkpoints.

  • Lute to leave DHS after shepherding cybersecurity executive order effort

    Jane Holl Lute, the deputy secretary of DHS, will leave the department to pursue her interest in the international Internet business. Lute was involved in formulating DHS position on cybersecurity, especially with the shift in President Barack Obama’s executive order on cybersecurity from two months ago, in which the role of private industry and DHS in bolstering Internet security was emphasized, and the role of the National Security Agency (NSA) diminished.

  • Flight attendants not invited to Hill hearings on airplane security

    The House Transportation Security Subcommittee has scheduled an upcoming hearing on Thursday titled “TSA’s Efforts to Advance Risk-Based Security: Stakeholder Perspectives,” but the hearing will not include a representative of America’s flight attendants. This omission has upset the Coalition of Flight Attendant Unions.

  • FAA fines NYC airports for using untrained personnel for fire, emergency duties

    The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) fined LaGuardia, Newark, and John F. Kennedy airports $3.5 million dollars for failing to train firefighters and aircraft-rescue personnel.