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AAAE Security SmartBrief February 15, 2012

April 11, 2012

30,000-Foot View

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Pre-Check arrives at Salt Lake City airport 
The Transportation Security Administration this week launched the Pre-Check Program at Salt Lake City International Airport in Utah. The program allows travelers who provide certain personal information to move more quickly through security. “It was easy, went right through. They said just keep everything in your pockets and go on. So that’s a bonus,” said Jeff Hunsaker, a frequent flier. KSTU-TV (Salt Lake City) (2/14)

Introducing Children to Aviation in a Play Area Calms Them Down for Flying “When a kid goes to an airport, it’s a giant event,” says David O’Niones, VP of Sales, PLAYTIME. “They’re excited but they’re also anxious. Play areas calm them down and wear them out, which is good for everyone on the plane.” (More)


Security Update

Camera shows man taking Rolex left by fellow traveler at Florida airport 
Security cameras at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport captured footage of a man stealing a $4,000 Rolex watch and bracelet mistakenly left at a security checkpoint by a fellow passenger. The owner of the watch, Gloria de Regalado, said she made eye contact with the suspect before realizing she left her possessions at the checkpoint. “He had an opportunity to do right by himself, he knew who I was and he could have redeemed himself, but he didn’t,” she said. Police are searching for the suspect. The Telegraph (London) (2/15)

Florida airport will use generic-image body scanners 
Southwest Florida International Airport will use body scanners equipped with automated target recognition software that display only a generic image of travelers. The Transportation Security Administration has already installed the scanners at 100 airports. “With the installation of the latest software, we are able to employ state-of-the-art technology while taking privacy to the next level,” said Robert Cohen, federal security director for the airport. The News-Press (Fort Myers, Fla.) (2/14)

Poll: Have you ever mistakenly left an important item at an airport checkpoint? 
  Yes. I have left items at checkpoints by accident.
  No. I am always very careful to retrieve my belongings.

Trends & Technology

Airlines achieve record results in 2011 for bag, passenger service 
The rate of mishandled bags by carriers reached an all-time low in 2011, Airlines for America reports, with 3.39 recorded incidences of mishandled bags per 1,000 passengers. Airlines also set an all-time low for the rate of bumped passengers last year, at 0.81 per 10,000 passengers. “Our members are committed to and are delivering levels of safety and customer service that no other industry, given its complexity, matches and the airlines are working to improve on that every day,” said Nicholas Calio, A4A president and CEO. CNN (2/14)

United-Continental unveils gift-card exchange program 
In an effort to attract more loyal fliers, United-Continental is offering awards miles for card cash balances above $25. It’s a flip-flop of the normal way these programs run, says founder Randy Petersen. “We are always looking for new and innovative ways for our members to engage with the MileagePlus loyalty program,” said United spokesman Charles Hobart. USA TODAY (2/14)

Column: More travelers seek authentic, “experiential travel” 
A rising trend known as “experiential travel” is growing in the industry, in which travelers eschew mass-market tours for more “real” experiences that enrich their lives and boost their feelings of self-worth, writes Tim Peck, chairman of OBM International. “Seeing the sights is not enough, and there is a move from simply seeing to truly experiencing and making the event transformational by being absorbed in that experience. There is a burgeoning desire to stray from that beaten path and understand how the locals live, work and play, and perhaps give something back in exchange for that understanding,” Peck writes. (2/13)

Airport Ops Spotlight

Study: Va. airport contributes $128.7 million to economy 
Charlottesville Albemarle Airport in Virginia contributed $128.7 million to the local economy in 2010, a recent study shows. Virginia is home to 66 public-use airports, including nine with commercial service. “When we take a look at what’s happening to the airport, we’re far more stable than some similar sized airports around the country,” said executive Barbara Hutchinson. The Daily Progress (Charlottesville, Va.) (2/11)

Wisconsin airport seeks to expand flights 
Austin Straubel International Airport in Green Bay, Wis., is looking for more carriers to service the region. “I think we’re still going to see some indecision on the part of the airlines as far as increasing the amount of service we have here,” airport Director Tom Miller said. Green Bay Press-Gazette (Wis.) (2/12)


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Policy & Regulatory

Obama signs FAA funding bill 
Disputes over aviation funding ended Tuesday when President Barack Obama signed a $63 billion bill into law that will fund the Federal Aviation Administration through 2015. Observers say the funding will speed up progress on a plan to replace the nation’s outdated air traffic control system. The Hill/Transportation blog (2/14) The Washington Post (2/14) San Diego Union-Tribune/The Associated Press (2/14)

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