• American Airlines cancels all Brussels flights until 7 April

    American Airlines announced it has canceled all flights to and from Brussels until 7 April. The carrier’s decision is in response to the 22 March suicide bombing attack at the Brussels airport. The explosion occurred near the American Airlines counter, and some of the thirty-two people killed in the blast were about to board an AA flight.

  • American Airlines cancels all Brussels flights until 7 April

    American Airlines announced it has canceled all flights to and from Brussels until 7 April. The carrier’s decision is in response to the 22 March suicide bombing attack at the Brussels airport. The explosion occurred near the American Airlines counter, and some of the thirty-two people killed in the blast were about to board an AA flight.

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  • Sniffing out a dangerous vapor for detecting fuel leaks, fuel-based explosives

    Alkane fuel is a key ingredient in combustible material such as gasoline, airplane fuel, oil — even a homemade bomb. Yet it is difficult to detect and there are no portable scanners available that can sniff out the odorless and colorless vapor. Engineers have developed a new type of fiber material for a handheld scanner that can detect small traces of alkane fuel vapor, a valuable advancement that could be an early-warning signal for leaks in an oil pipeline, an airliner, or for locating a terrorist’s explosive.

  • Terrorists have been targeting transportation hubs for decades

    More than 7,400 terrorist attacks worldwide between 1970 and 2014 targeted some form of transportation, including airports and aircraft, representing 5.3 percent of all terrorist attacks. More than 460 targets of terrorist attacks between 1970 and 2014 were airports, representing 6.4 percent of all transportation targets. More than 130 targets of terrorist attacks between 1970 and 2014 were subway systems, representing 1.9 percent of all attacks on transportation targets.

  • Islamist militants planning “near-term attacks throughout Europe”: U.S.

    The State Department has issued a warning to Americans planning travel to Europe, saying that Islamist terror groups are planning more attacks throughout the continent. In a warning unusual in its scale, the State Department said people should exercise vigilance when in public places or when using mass transportation.

  • Brussels attacks: a throwback to pre-9/11 terrorism

    By Steve Hewitt

    The terrible scenes in Brussels following a terrorist attack now claimed by Islamic State are a reminder of just how vulnerable airports can be. The most likely and realistic response is increasing security presence around airports with a greater number of random checks. There is no foolproof solution to this security issue, though, and that’s something governments are going to have to admit. Terrorists have the ability radically to disrupt transportation systems, potentially causing loss of life and economic damage in the process, and there is little that can be done to stop them. For some time, terrorists pursued the much more difficult task of attacking aircraft while largely ignoring easier targets. The attack in Brussels shows the reality of renewed efforts against “soft targets” with the potential to bring about chaos to transportation systems.

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  • Mathematics helps search and rescue ships sail more safely in heavy seas

    Fast ships deliver all kinds of services in fields such as disaster response, the fight against crime, the provision of supplies for oil and gas platforms, and the transportation of wind farm maintenance personnel. Each year, however, around 100 such ships worldwide are lost or damaged in heavy seas, with around 2,500 casualties in 2013. A unique new computer model built on highly complex mathematics could make it possible to design safer versions of the “fast ships” widely used in search-and-rescue, anti-drugs, anti-piracy, and many other vital offshore operations.

  • NTSB issues safety recommendations for on-flight lithium batteries

    The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) issued two safety recommendations Tuesday physically separate lithium batteries from other flammable hazardous materials stowed on cargo aircraft and to establish maximum loading density requirements which restrict the quantities of lithium batteries and flammable hazardous materials.

  • Passengers on trans-Atlantic flights will spend more time in the air as a result of climate change

    Planes flying between Europe and North America will be spending more time in the air due to the effects of climate change, a new study has shown. By accelerating the jet stream — a high-altitude wind blowing from west to east across the Atlantic — climate change will speed up eastbound flights but slow down westbound flights, the study found. The findings could have implications for airlines, passengers, and airports.

  • Faster airport lines with facial recognition

    More and more people are travelling by plane, so automating airport security checks makes sense. The use of biometric features is a way to identify people at airports. New technology detects and tracks you from the second you arrive at the airport until you’re out of the arrivals hall at your destination.

  • Navigations systems are vulnerable to hackers

    When it comes to route planning, drivers have almost blind faith in GPS. The technology plays an important role in identifying location and time in other areas, too. If hackers attack the system, they can cause great damage. Information security researches look to develop defensive measures.

  • Airlines could – and should – learn more from near misses

    When it comes to flight safety, U.S. airlines are pretty good at learning from accidents. But new research shows airlines should be learning more from accidents that never happen. A new study finds that airlines are flying past an opportunity to increase safety by ignoring too many “near misses.”

  • DHS extends deadline for Real ID-compliant driver’s licenses

    DHS on Friday announced that air travelers who are residents of several states which are yet to meet the Real ID federal security standards would still be able to use their driver’s licenses at U.S. airports until 22 January 2018. From that point on, if the traveler’s state does not yet offer a Real ID-compliant driver’s license, the passenger would be required to present an alternative identification document such as a passport. Five state and American Samoa were not given the extension, and must become compliant by January 2018.

  • ISIS can now use decommissioned shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles

    Weapon experts say that ISIS engineers have developed advanced new weapon systems capable of shooting down passenger jets. Different terror groups have had access to these missiles since the 1970s, but experts note that storing such systems for long periods of time requires the development of thermal batteries to power the missiles when they are taken out of storage and into the field. Developing such batteries and maintaining them requires advanced knowledge.

  • Israeli Jewish passengers demand removal of Arab Israeli passengers from flight

    Israeli Jewish passengers on an Aegean Airlines flight from Athens to Israel had asked Greek security officials to remove two Arab Israeli passengers from the airplane because these two passengers looked “suspicious.” The police was called to examine the two Arab Israelis’ papers and luggage, and check their names against European terrorist watch-list. The police found nothing unusual, but the Jewish Israeli passengers insisted on the removal of the two Arab Israelis, and the two accepted the captain’s offer to stay one more night in Athens at Aegean Airline’s expense.