• 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.