• ARGUMENT: NEW ERA FOR AIRSHIPS NEARSCanada Should Develop Zeppelin Technology for Northern Resource Sector

    When we think of airships, images of the Goodyear blimp, the zeppelin, or the Hindenburg come to mind. But the technology which appeared to have peaked a century ago is making a comeback, with investors and researchers showing growing interest.

  • Port securityEnsuring Reliability of Air Cargo Screening Systems

    DHS, which is responsible for ensuring the security of air cargo transported to the United States, says the threat from explosives in air cargo remains significant. A new GAO report addresses how DHS secures inbound air cargo, and the extent to which TSA’s field assessment of a CT screening system included key practices for design and evaluation.

  • Air travel securityStudents to help DHS S&T tackle air travel security issues

    Students from James Madison University (JMU) will be tackling air travel security issues for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) as part of their spring semester of the Hacking 4 Defense (H4D) class. The H4D team will look for innovative approaches that will enable the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to be able to associate passengers with their personal belongings.

  • BlimpsNew House caucus to promote blimps as cost effective means for cargo transport

    To the general public, airships are familiar for their use as advertising blimps, but transportation engineers see airships as large, low-emissions transportation vessels which can carry large amounts of cargo into areas that lack infrastructure such as runways.The newHouse Cargo Airship Caucus aims to increase financial support for the use of lighter-than-air vehicles for carrying military cargo and humanitarian aid. “The unrealized potential [of blimps] is vast,” says one expert.. “Lack of funding is a big killer.”

  • Cargo securityTraceable fingerprints for freight items

    Security is a top priority in air freight logistics, but screening procedures can be time consuming and costly. Researchers intend to boost efficiency with a new approach to digital logistics, without sacrificing the security of air freight operations. The researchers are working, among other things, on a marker that can be used to verify whether a freight item has already been X-rayed — something that has not been traceable. The researchers are additionally developing an RFID seal in order to detect subsequent tampering with a shipment.

  • Air transportation securityModeling terrorism risk to the air transportation system

    RAND recently evaluated a terrorism risk modeling tool developed by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and Boeing to help guide program planning for aviation security; the Risk Management Analysis Tool, or RMAT, simulates terrorist behavior and success in attacking vulnerabilities in the domestic commercial air transportation system, drawing on estimates of terrorist resources, capabilities, preferences, decision processes, intelligence collection, and operational planning

  • Air cargo securityEU-U.S. security agreement allows cheaper, faster air cargo operations

    The European Commission and the U.S. Transport Security Administration (TSA) have declared that they mutually recognize their respective air cargo security regimes from 1 June 2012 on; this recognition, following extensive negotiation, will eliminate duplication of security controls and the need to implement different regimes depending on the destination of air cargo

  • Cargo securityU.K. certifies Morpho Detection’s Itemiser DX for air cargo screening

    The U.K. Department for Transport has certified the Itemiser DX desktop explosives trace detection (ETD) system from Morpho Detection for air cargo screening at U.K. airports

  • Cargo screeningCBP launches program to expedite air cargo screening

    Under a new pilot program, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) aims to streamline the entry process for air cargo; the new process, dubbed the “Simplified Entry Pilot,” is designed to reduce the number of customs holds that delay air cargo and help give shippers a better idea of when they can take possession of their goods

  • BiosecurityNew Zealand relaxes passenger X-ray screening requirement

    To save money and speed up the processing of international passengers, New Zealand no longer requires 100 percent screening of bags of passengers entering the country; Kiwi farmers are worried about the move carry the risk of introducing animal disease into the country; the 100 percent screening mandate was imposed after a foot and mouth outbreak in 2001

  • Air cargoAir cargo screening lagging

    The Government Accountability Office says the U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is still contending with issues reported last June that could affect the agency’s ability to meet an end-of-year deadline for screening all international cargo on passenger aircraft

  • OSI Systems to develop advanced cargo screening system

    Rapiscan Systems, the security division of OSI Systems, Inc., was recently awarded a $29 million contract with DHS’ Science and Technology Directorate to develop sophisticated new cargo screening systems; the program is designed to produce the next generation of non-intrusive cargo screening systems that will be capable of automatically detecting and identifying multiple threats and contraband including explosives, narcotics, and chemical weapons in cargo containers entering the United States by air, land, and sea.

  • Aviation securityMoscow airport blast to force security rethinking

    Experts say it is significant that those who masterminded the Moscow attack chose to bomb the arrivals hall of the airport — Moscow’s busiest — because it was an easier target than the heavily-policed departures area; one expert says: “Arrivals has always been thought of as the ‘soft’ area of an airport —- Nobody is flying anywhere, the baggage has all been screened, because it has been on planes already, and crucially, people are leaving the airport. It’s very rare that you ever saw somebody carrying a bag in to arrivals”; airports may begin screening people who come to meet friends and family at arrivals; “What will happen is that the barrier will get further and further back, so no longer is it just at departures, but at the airport door, or in some cases on the road as you drive up to the terminal,” says the expert

  • Air cargo securityTSA brings 100% cargo screening forward to 2011

    The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has brought forward its 100 per cent cargo screening target to 31 December 2011; the earliest possible implementation date for 100 per cent screening was initially thought to be 2013, given the complex challenges associated with screening international inbound cargo carried on passenger aircraft; now 100 per cent of the cargo that is uplifted on passenger aircraft bound for the United States must be screened by the end of this year

  • Air cargo securityCoping with tough air-cargo inspection requirements

    It has been four months since TSA began to implement the 100 percent air cargo screening requirement; two industries in particular faced added difficulties: agriculture, which relies on air transport to ship highly perishable, high value-added crops such as cherries, strawberries, asparagus, and more to overseas markets; and the art world: even the faint possibility of an airline inspector with a screwdriver uncrating a Calder sculpture or an early Renaissance tempera painting is enough to keep many in the art world awake at night