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AAAE Security SmartBrief February 17, 2012

April 11, 2012

30,000-Foot View

Some lawmakers question air marshal program 
Some lawmakers are questioning whether the federal government should continue to spend $1 billion a year to fund the air marshal program. ?The reality is the terrorists have adapted to our security measures and changed their tactics,? said Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Ala., chairman of the House Transportation Security Subcommittee. The government currently employees thousands of marshals, many of whom are retired law-enforcement officers. Meanwhile, a report released last week documented problems with the marshal program that included favoritism, discrimination and mistrust. Bloomberg Businessweek (2/16)

Security Update

U.K. airports stop using iris scanners 
Several airports in the U.K. are no longer using iris scanners to screen travelers because the systems take longer than manual screening. The systems, which were introduced in 2004, have already been removed from airports in Birmingham and Manchester. The Daily Mail (London) (2/17)

Documents accuse TSA trainer of taking bribe 
Documents released by prosecutors this week show that a Transportation Security Administration instructor at Philadelphia International Airport is accused of taking a bribe in exchange for giving a security officer a passing grade on a mandatory exam. Shannon Gilliam, who has been suspended, could face up to 27 months in prison. The Philadelphia Inquirer (2/16)

Trends & Technology

Orlando, Fla., airport aims to improve bag delivery, officials say 
Orlando International Airport in Florida is considering a $65 million upgrade to its baggage system, officials said. The airport handles around 50,000 pieces of luggage each day, spokeswoman Carolyn Fennell says. The goal is to deliver luggage to bag carousels within 15 minutes. Bags can travel up to 10 miles on conveyor belts around the airport. Orlando Sentinel (Fla.) (2/15)

Airline News Spotlight

Delta installs “slim line” seats, individual entertainment systems 
Coach passengers on the Boeing 747-400 jets flown by Delta Air Lines will soon have access to “slim line” seats that offer individual entertainment systems. Travelers in BusinessElite will be welcomed with full flat-bed seats. “These upgrades will make the 747 the premier aircraft in our international fleet and customers will immediately notice the improved experience,” said Glen Hauenstein, an executive vice president with Delta. USA TODAY/Today In The Sky blog (2/15)

Alaska Air Group CEO announces his retirement 
Alaska Air Group CEO Bill Ayer has announced that he plans to retire May 15. Ayer, 57, will continue to serve as the chairman of the board for the parent company of Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air. Brad Tilden, president of Alaska Airlines, will succeed Ayer as CEO. USA TODAY (2/16) Reuters (2/16)

AMR reports Q4 loss of $1.1 billion 
AMR Corp., the parent company of American Airlines, reported a fourth-quarter loss of $1.1 billion, compared with a loss of $97 million the same quarter a year earlier. The company posted a full-year loss of $1.98 billion. AMR also announced the retirement of Peter Dolara, the head of its Latin America operations. Unions representing employees from American Airlines urged the carrier to offer incentives for voluntary exits to reduce the number of layoffs. The Wall Street Journal (2/16) The Plain Dealer (Cleveland)/The Associated Press (2/15) Bloomberg (2/16) USA TODAY (2/16)

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