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AAAE Security SmartBrief January 17, 2012

April 11, 2012

30,000-Foot View

Washington State airport may expand security area 
An increase in the number of travelers using Washington State’s Tri-Cities Airport could prompt the Transportation Security Administration to increase the number of agents at the airport from 35 to 50. Airport officials also say they expect the TSA to install full-body scanners sometime this year. Officials also hope to expand the airport’s terminal to make more room for security checkpoints. The News Tribune (Tacoma, Wash.) (1/16)

Security Update

Man gets life for conspiring in airport terror plot 
A federal judge last week sentenced to life in prison a man who participated in a plan to fire-bomb John F. Kennedy Airport in 2007 that involved an al-Qaida explosives expert. Kareem Ibrahim was found guilty of conspiracy. Three other men, including a former cargo handler, were also charged and sentenced. ABC News/The Associated Press (1/13)

TSA in Richmond, Va., airport finds loaded gun in passenger’s bag 
Transportation Security Administration agents detected a loaded pistol in a traveler’s carry-on bag at Richmond International Airport in Virginia. James Edward Horne, 68, was charged with carrying a weapon in an air-carrier airport terminal. Horne claimed he forgot that he had the gun; he was allowed to continue traveling to Atlanta. Richmond Times-Dispatch (Va.) (1/14)

Trends & Technology

Report: Economic uncertainty will soften travel spending in 2012 
A continuing economic slide in Europe and rising oil prices will pose a greater challenge for travel agents this year, as more consumers cut back on travel spending, travel researcher Atmosphere Research Group said in its first outlook for U.S. leisure travel. Travel agents will need to adapt to a continuing rise of online distribution channels and mobile commerce by providing better website content and faster client response through social media, the report says. TravelPulse (1/16)

Cost keeps many air passengers from using in-flight Wi-Fi 
Steep prices are responsible for the low number of air travelers who avail themselves of carriers’ in-flight Wi-Fi despite the large investments airlines put into these services, analysts say. “As more and more Wi-Fi is available in on-the-ground locations — at the airport, the hotel, the restaurant or cafe — for free, the consumer expectation is that Wi-Fi will be free even though it’s a totally different beast in-flight,” said Amy Cravens, a senior analyst at In-Stat. USA TODAY (1/16)


Policy & Regulatory

Feds say business travel expenditures are up across U.S. 
A Federal Reserve survey has found that business travel spending was indeed on the upswing in 2011. The numbers that were revealed in the latest Beige Book mirror the findings reported by the Global Business Travel Association. “Two districts, Atlanta and San Francisco, reported business travel levels that were well above rates from a year ago. Boston, which projects a 5% to 8% growth in travel spending, expects to see double-digit growth in hotel revenues for this year as well,” Alicia Ciccone writes. The Huffington Post (1/12)

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