• Study shows TSA security screeners are methodical, not slow

    A study by Duke University, partially funded by DHS, found that TSA screeners may be slower than amateur screeners when it comes to performing visual searches, but the TSA screeners are better at detecting contraband.

  • 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).

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • FAA may allow use of electronic devices on flights

    The Federal Aviation Administration may announce by the end of the year that it would relax the rules for Kindles, iPads, and other e-readers. Lawmakers say that since the FAA allows iPads as flight manuals in the cockpit, and flight attendants use the devices for information on flight procedures, it makes no sense not to allow passengers to use the devices.

  • 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.