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AAAE Security SmartBrief February 16, 2012

April 11, 2012

30,000-Foot View

Underwear bomber faces mandatory life sentence 
The so-called underwear bomber will receive a mandatory life sentence today in federal court. Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab attempted to blow up a commercial jetliner. He pled guilty last year and admitted he was on an al-Qaida suicide mission. Prosecutors in a court filing noted that unsuccessful terrorist attacks still create fear among travelers. “In addition, the enormous cost of the augmented security measures adopted as a direct result of defendant’s unsuccessful terrorist attack are borne by the American public at large in both increased cost, inconvenience and wasted time at airports,” they wrote. The Boston Globe (tiered subscription model) (2/16)

Security Update

AAAE supports TSA on Pre-Check expansion 
AAAE continues to support the expansion of the Transportation Security Administration’s Pre-Check program. “Airport executives long have advocated for the adoption of a robust, nationwide trusted traveler program to better identify and scrutinize potential threats while improving passengers’ experiences at the airport,” AAAE President Charles Barclay said. “The recent announcement by TSA that the agency intends to bring its Pre-Check trusted traveler program online quickly at additional airports is welcome news, and airport executives are eager to play an active role in the successful deployment of the program at their facilities.” Airport executives hope that the program is expanded to accommodate as many travelers as possible, he added. Aviation News (2/14)

Screening program for pilots expanded 
A program that will speed up the screening process for airline pilots will expand next year. The Transportation Security Administration has tested the Known Crewmember program at seven airports since April. Airlines say they support the program, which has already been used to screen 340,000 pilots. USA TODAY/Today In The Sky 

rends & Technology

Eurozone crisis may weaken business travel, GBTA says 
Business travel may suffer a 9% drop in trips and a 16% drop in spending if the European debt crisis reaches severe levels, the Global Business Travel Association predicts. In its report, the association outlined three potential scenarios, with the worst case involving a possible breakup of the European Union and a dip of $88 billion in spending in U.S. business travel. “International outbound travel, which has played an outsized part in the revival of business travel since the recession, would be crushed by further deterioration in the eurozone,” the association said. Travel Weekly (2/15) TravelPulse (2/15)

United, Continental soon will achieve merger milestone 
United Airlines and Continental Airlines are moving closer to officially becoming United as the merger of the carriers continues to proceed. “We’re going to have one frequent-flier program, we’re going to have one website, we’ll actually be one airline from our customers’ perspective, which is really valuable to the customers and will give them much better customer service,” said Jeff Smisek, CEO of United Continental Holdings. Smisek has helped distribute $265 million in profit-sharing checks to employees, the equivalent of about 5% of their salaries. Houston Chronicle (2/15) Chicago Tribune (2/14)

Policy & Regulatory

Laser prompts FAA investigation 
The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating an incident involving a laser pointed at a commercial jetliner on Sunday. The jetliner was about to land at Lambert Airport in St. Louis. Authorities said no one was hurt or injured. St. Louis Post-Dispatch/The Associated Press (2/14)

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