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AAAE Security SmartBrief January 31, 2012

April 11, 2012

DHS aims to expedite low-risk travelers through security 
The Department of Homeland Security plans to expedite screening for low-risk travelers in the coming months. ?Not every traveler or piece of cargo poses the same level of risk to our security,? Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said Friday. ?Think of it this way: If we have to look for a needle in a haystack, it makes sense to use all of the information we have about the pieces of hay to make the haystack smaller.? For example, she noted that DHS believes certain travel routes may attract high-risk travelers. This information may lead it to more aggressively screen travelers who fly those routes. The Christian Science Monitor (1/30)

Security Update

Pipes found at LaGuardia Airport create confusion 
Transportation Security Administration agents at New York’s LaGuardia Airport called a bomb squad Monday to investigate two pipes believed to be homeopathic medical devices that had been set aside by an agent on a previous shift. The screener on the first shift discovered the items in a traveler’s carry-on bag, determined that they were not a threat and set them aside. Agents on a later shift could not identify the items. “No one could give a good account of what it was, so we did the safe thing and called (the) NYPD bomb squad,” said Port Authority Police Department spokesman Al Della Fave. CNN (1/31)

Trends & Technology

Business-travel spending will rise 4.6% in 2012, forecast says 
Spending on business travel will increase by 4.6% in 2012, a recent forecast shows. While the number of business trips is predicted to decline by 0.8%, higher prices and more international business travel will boost spending. “All indications are that business travel is holding up very nicely” in January, said Southwest Airlines CEO Gary Kelly. The Denver Post (1/29)

NYC-area airports contribute in large part to flight delays 
During the first half of 2011, the New York region’s major airports helped to account for 12% of the nation’s traffic and about 50% of delays. “When New York sneezes, the rest of the national airspace catches a cold,” said Paul McGraw, an operations expert with Airlines for America. The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (1/27)

Industry must unite to boost travel to the U.S., leaders say 
Leaders in the travel and tourism industry praised President Barack Obama and his new plan to promote travel to the U.S. while also stressing the need for the industry to do its part by aggressively promoting the country to foreign tourists. “It’s important for us now to unite and compete like we never have before. We have to sell America, not just the idea of America … but we have to sell the destination on all the possibilities that we offer business travelers, all the possibilities that we offer families and leisure travelers,” Brand USA CEO Jim Evans said. (1/30)

Policy & Regulatory

Some lawmakers continue to push for private screeners 
Some lawmakers continue to support using private companies for airport screening. ?I know they perform better ? I?ve seen the results when you do a fair test,? said Rep. John Mica, R-Fla, who chairs the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. He said he has also received initial reports that suggest advanced imaging technology scanners used by the TSA have been “unsuccessful.” Meanwhile, a study suggested that the government could save $1 billion over five years if it switched to private screening firms at the 35 largest U.S. airports. The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (1/30)

More Americans have passports now than ever before 
More than a third of all Americans hold passports. That’s twice as many as in 2000. That doesn’t mean Americans have developed a new taste for exotic and far-flung destinations. Think back to 9/11 and the resulting regulations that heightened security measures for travel. “Implemented in 2007 for air travel and on sea and land borders in 2009, [the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative] required passports for U.S. citizens entering from Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Bermuda,” Andrew Bender writes. Forbes (1/30)

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