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AAAE Security SmartBrief February 8, 2012

April 11, 2012

30,000-Foot View

Pistole will work with Congress on private screeners 
Transportation Security Administration Administrator John Pistole said he will work with lawmakers to put a process in place for hiring private airport screeners. However, Pistole said he does not think private screeners will save money. “I didn?t see any clear and substantial advantage to expanding the program,? Pistole said. ?Congress has passed this law, and the president is intending to sign it, I believe, so I?ll work with the committee to figure out the best way to move forward.? Bloomberg Businessweek (2/8)

Security Update

Air marshal discrimination report will be released today 
The federal government will release the findings of an investigation of alleged discrimination against air marshals at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport today. The report found that 47% of the marshals at the airport believed they would face retaliation for reporting illegal activity. However, a Federal Air Marshal Service spokeswoman said the investigation found no evidence of widespread discrimination or retaliation, and she attributed the employees’ concerns to poor communication. The Cincinnati Enquirer (2/7)

Poll: Do you believe private screening should expand to more airports? 
  Yes. I think private screeners are more efficient.
  No. I think TSA screeners are adequate.
  I don’t know.

Trends & Technology

In-flight Wi-Fi is slow to catch on aboard commercial planes 
Although in-flight Wi-Fi on commercial aircraft was introduced four years ago, only 7% of passengers use the technology, estimates show. Some passengers are reluctant to pay for the service, which is free at many airports, experts say. “However, the service isn’t profitable at these levels, so everyone is hoping it improves,” said Amy Cravens, an analyst at In-Stat. Computerworld (2/6)

Airport Ops Spotlight

Port Authority gets 15 proposals for $3.6B LaGuardia terminal project 
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey received 15 responses to its request for information for the $3.6 billion project that will build a new central terminal and make infrastructure upgrades at LaGuardia Airport. Half of the respondents were international companies. The firms also needed to come up with a way to fund the project, most likely through public-private partnerships. Crain’s New York Business (2/1) GlobeSt.com (2/2)

Work starts on San Diego airport’s receiving, distribution center 
Construction started this month on a new receiving and distribution center at San Diego International airport. The 21,000-square-foot facility will become the central receiving center for airport food, beverages and retail products. San Diego Union-Tribune (2/6)

Policy & Regulatory

$63B, 4-year FAA bill could help start airport projects 
The Federal Aviation Administration bill that authorizes $63 billion in funding over the next four years was approved by the Senate and now moves to the White House for President Barack Obama’s signature. About $16 billion will go toward airport construction, modernization and expansion. The bill makes it harder to form unions and includes no passenger protections. The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (2/6) CNN (2/6)

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