Transportation

  • Highly portable X-ray imaging system developed

    Los Alamos National Laboratory and Tribogenics have developed the MiniMAX (Miniature, Mobile, Agile, X-ray) camera to provide real-time inspection of sealed containers and facilities.MiniMAX is an alternative to the large, expensive, and fixed facilities presently required for security inspections using X-ray imaging. The complete MiniMAX portable radiography system weighs less than five pounds.

  • Chechen Islamic terrorists threaten February 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia

    Doku Umarov, a leading Chechen Islamic rebel, on Wednesday issued a call to Islamist militants throughout the North Caucasus to begin and plan for attacks to disrupt the February 2014 Winter Olympics which will be held in the Black Sea resort of Sochi. Security experts say that securing the games would be a daunting task.

  • NTSB recommends changes to FAA aborted landing rules

    The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has recommended changes to the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) rules for aborted landings after investigating five near-misses between commercial jetliners at major airports, three of which occurred at Las Vegas’s MaCarran International Airport.

  • FAA investigating use of Michigan state-owned planes

    The Federal Aviation Administration(FAA)is looking into the State of Michigan’s practice of leasing its passenger planes to athletic officials at Michigan State University(MSU).

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  • Radiation dose passengers receive from airport scanners is low

    An independent task force examining X-ray backscatter scanners at LAX airport determines that that people absorb less radiation from airport X-ray backscatter scanner than they do while standing in line waiting for the scan.

  • FAA to relax in-flight electronics ban

    A federal advisory panel debating whether to allow passengers on planes to use electronic gadgets during takeoffs and landings reached a consensus last Friday to lift some of the current restrictions.

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  • Airport screener union says TSA is violating contract

    In January, 45,000 airport screeners and their union reached an agreement with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) on the first collective bargaining agreement since the agency was created after 9/11. The American Federation of Government Employees union now says TSA management has violated the terms of the January agreement in several areas.

  • Former investigators pushing for new look into TWA flight 800 crash

    Former investigators want to reopen the case of the 1996 TWA Flight 800 crash off the coast of Long Island. They say that new evidence points to a missile strike that may have hit the jet. Theories of an errant missile being fired from a U.S. military vessel – advanced, among others, by Pierre Salinger, who was JFK’s press secretary in the early 1960s — were refuted, but a separate theory of shoulder-fired missile fired by terrorists has lingered.

  • U.K. nuclear disaster exercise reveals worrisome lapses in emergency response

    Up to six times a year, U.K. nuclear weapons are transported in heavily guarded convoys between production facilities in Aldermaston and Burghfield in Berkshire, where the nuclear bombs are manufactured, and the Royal Naval Armaments Depot at Coulport on Loch Long in Argyll. The trips are required because scientists must regularly examine the 200 Trident missile warheads in order to make sure they are operationally reliable and properly maintained. Every three years, the U.K. Ministry of Defense (MoD) conducts a drill aiming to test how various agencies respond to an accident involving the convoy carrying the nuclear warheads. An internal report on the last drill notes many problems in the response to the simulated accident, including five-hour wait for weapons experts, confusion over radiation monitoring, and ambulance crews refusing to take contamination victims to hospitals.

  • Airport baggage scanning: slow, steady pace yields better results

    Next time you are doing a slow burn in security screening at the airport, calm yourself with the assurance that a more deliberate baggage scanner may do a better job. Researchers find that systematic searching frees up memory to do a better job at scanning.

  • TSA’s behavior detection program not cost effective: DHS IG

    DHS Inspector General (IG) has released a 41-page report last week stating that the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) cannot ensure that its behavior detection program, known as the Screening of Passengers by Observation Techniques (SPOT) is objective or cost-effective.

  • TSA will continue ban on small knives

    The Transportation Security Administration, responding to pressure from lawmakers, flight attendants, and the public, has decided to abandon its plan to relax the prohibition on passengers carrying small knives on planes.

  • DHS debars scanner maker from government contracts

    The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has sent OSI Systems, the manufacturer of airport body scanners, a debarment notice which would prevent the company from receiving government contacts in the future. The notice was sent to the company after TSA determined that the company had failed to address security concerns about its scanners.

  • FAA gave bonuses to employees while flights were delayed or canceled

    Internal FAA documents show that in early February, while passengers got stranded at airports across the country because sequester-mandated cuts in the FAA budget which led the agency to furlough air-traffic controllers, FAA employees received bonuses for their performance on the job.

  • Saudi man arrested at Detroit airport with two pressure cookers in luggage

    Hussain Al Khawahir, a Saudi citizen, was arrested Saturday at Detroit Metropolitan Airport after CBP agents found two pressure cookers in his luggage, and a page missing from his Saudi passport. He said he brought them for his nephew, a university student, because his nephew liked to cook lamb in a pressure cooker and U.S. pressure cookers were just not good enough.