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AAAE Security SmartBrief February 27, 2012

April 11, 2012



30,000-Foot View

TSA discovers inert mortar fuse, grenades in luggage 
The Transportation Security Administration found an inert mortar fuse, which was filled with wax rather than explosives, at Salt Lake City International Airport. The TSA also found several grenades, both live and inert, in checked luggage at airports around the country. “[E]ach time we find a dangerous item, the throughput is slowed down and a passenger that likely had no ill intent ends up with a citation or in some cases is even arrested,” the TSA said in a blog post. Government Security News (2/27)


Security Update

Terminal closed after travelers go through unattended checkpoint 
Five people walked through an unattended security checkpoint at Sacramento International Airport on Saturday. Officials closed the terminal for about an hour after learning the checkpoint had been left unattended. “All five individuals were located and were brought back to the checkpoint and rescreened as a precaution,” according to a Transportation Security Administration statement. Los Angeles Times (tiered subscription model) (2/26)

Misunderstood announcement prompts scare on commercial flight 
Some passengers on a flight from Baltimore to Long Island’s MacArthur Airport misheard an announcement by the plane’s pilot and complained to security officials. The travelers misunderstood the word “mom” for “bomb” during an announcement related to a traveler’s birthday. Two passengers were annoyed enough to complain, even though flight attendants explained that nothing was wrong. The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating. The Wall Street Journal/The Associated Press (2/25)


Trends & Technology

KLM tests program that uses social media to choose seatmates 
Dutch carrier KLM is testing a program that allows people on Facebook or LinkedIn to choose seatmates on flights, based on data from their social-media profiles. “For at least 10 years, there has been this question about serendipity and whether you could improve the chances of meeting someone interesting onboard,” said Erik Varwijk, a managing director in charge of passenger business at KLM. “But the technology just wasn’t available.” The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (2/23)

Airlines should focus on loyalty programs, analysts say 
Airlines could do more to maximize their customer loyalty programs, analysts say. “For most carriers their loyalty program is an under-leveraged asset,” said consultant Scot Hornick. Experts recommend that mileage-program executives report to the CEO instead of to the marketing department. (U.K.) (2/23)


Safety Matters Spotlight

Kentucky airports get new scanners 
Two Kentucky airports received new scanning machines over the weekend. Louisville International Airport and Lexington?s Blue Grass Airport are now among the roughly 140 U.S. airports with the scanners that show a generic image of travelers’ bodies. ?The vast majority of passengers that come through are simply going to see a green screen that says ok, and they?ll be clear to proceed to their flight,” Transportation Security Administration Jim Fotenos said. “The millimeter wave software does not use a passenger specific image. It uses the same image for all passengers, and it’s almost an avatar, if you will.? WFPL-FM (Louisville, Ky.) (2/27)

Oklahoma airport will get two scanners 
Will Rogers World Airport in Oklahoma City this week will receive two full-body scanners from the Transportation Security Administration. The screeners will become operational on March 7. KWTV-TV (Oklahoma City) (2/25)


Policy & Regulatory

Peruvian project tests navigation technology to save fuel 
The Green Skies of Peru project is a partnership among GE Aviation, Peruvian carrier LAN and Peruvian government agencies. The project is testing navigation technology from the U.S. that saves aviation fuel. LAN Peru CEO Jorge Vilches said the new technology was “big news for our country and will be of great benefit to all our passengers.” United Press International (2/23)

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