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AAAE Security SmartBrief January 20, 2012

April 11, 2012

SA detected nearly 100 weapons at Dallas airport in 2011 
The Transportation Security Administration last year discovered 93 weapons at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, and 58 people faced charges. An airport spokesman explained that weapons such as knives, pepper spray and brass knuckles are less likely than firearms to lead to an arrest. “Those don’t necessarily lead to criminal charges,” said David Magana, airport spokesman. “They’re always going to lead to civil penalties from the TSA and the federal government.” The TSA detected 100 weapons at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport in 2010. The weapons led to 77 arrests. WFAA-TV (Dallas-Fort Worth) (1/19)

Security Update

Some lawmakers raise concerns about expedited visa proposal 
A White House proposal to speed the visa process for tourists drew praise from the airline industry but raised security concerns for some lawmakers. Airlines and businesses who say delays have hurt economic growth support the proposal. However, Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, said it contradicts laws put in place after the September 2001 terror attacks. “Once again, this administration is pushing the envelope and using their authority beyond congressional intent, allowing untold numbers of foreign nationals to bypass the in-person interview requirement, and risking national security in the process,” Grassley said. The Hill/Transportation blog (1/19)

Wisconsin airport gets generic image body scanner 
Wisconsin’s Austin Straubel International Airport this week installed new body scanners that reveal only generic images of travelers’ bodies. “They are faster than the previous (devices),” said John Stewart, assistant federal security director for screening with the Transportation Security Administration. “It streamlines the screening.” The TSA will install the machines at two more airports in the state in the coming months. Green Bay Press-Gazette (Wis.) (1/20)

Trends & Technology

October saw 1.5% drop in number of U.S. airline passengers 
U.S. carriers saw a 1.5% drop in the number of passengers in October compared with a year earlier, the largest such fall in more than a year, the Department of Transportation reports. Numbers of domestic and international passengers fell 1.3% and 3%, respectively. Traffic was down 1.3% as airlines have restricted seat capacity to match demand to help offset higher fuel prices. The Wall Street Journal/Dow Jones Newswires (1/18)

Airline News Spotlight

Southwest has a good year despite 34% hike in fuel costs 
Southwest Airlines says its 2011 fuel costs rose by 34%, yet the carrier managed to squeak above Wall Street estimates. Southwest recorded net income of $66 million, which equated to 9 cents a share — and that’s a full penny better than analysts forecast. “We accomplished everything we set out to do in 2011, with soaring fuel costs the only disappointment,” said Southwest CEO Gary Kelly. (1/19)

American Airlines aims to hold on to 21 jets 
American Airlines says in a notice filed with U.S. Bankruptcy Court that it will keep 21 planes, including Boeing 737-800s, as part of the restructuring of parent company AMR Corp. American and American Eagle have a fleet of 900 planes between them, but the company has said it doesn’t want to keep all of them under financing terms now in place. Bloomberg (1/19)

US Airways selects new airport management system 
US Airways group selected a new airport surface management system to help improve connections and minimize delays. The airline will use the Saab Sensis Corp. system at its hubs in Charlotte and Philadelphia. American City Business Journals/Phoenix (1/18)

Policy & Regulatory

EU is willing to make airline emissions deal with U.S. 
EU leaders say in a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that they are open to negotiating an exemption for U.S. carriers from its emissions-trading system on one leg of a round trip to the EU if the U.S. commits to reduce its airline emissions in some other way. The EU’s coverage of aircraft operators from the U.S. and other countries flying routes to and from the region under the EU carbon trading market has been a source of diplomatic tension. Forty-one countries have declared the unilateral rules in breach of international law, although the European Court of Justice has ruled them legal. The Wall Street Journal/Dow Jones Newswires (1/18)

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