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AAAE Security SmartBrief March 15, 2012

April 11, 2012

30,000-Foot View

TSA tests relaxed screening procedures for the elderly 
The Transportation Security Administration will be testing alternative screening procedures for airline passengers 75 and over, who will be allowed to leave light jackets and shoes on at security checkpoints and may be exempted from pat-downs. “These changes will allow officers to better focus their efforts on passengers who may be more likely to pose a risk to transportation, while expediting the screening process,” said Joseph Terrell, TSA’s Orlando, Fla., security director. USA TODAY (3/15)

Security Update

Column: Travelers pleased with PreCheck 
Many travelers enrolled in the Transportation Security Administration’s PreCheck program say they are pleased with the program, writes Scott McCartney in The Wall Street Journal. “It’s a completely different experience than what you’re used to,” said frequent flier Matt Stegmeir. “It’s really a jarring contrast. It reminds you just how much of a hassle the security procedures in place really are,” he said. McCartney also notes that travelers who participate in the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s “Global Entry” program can enroll in PreCheck, which has resulted in a sharp increase in Global Entry applications. The Wall Street Journal (3/15)

Philadelphia airport incident transferred to federal court 
A federal court will decide the fate of a 24-year-old man who allegedly drove an SUV onto the runway at Philadelphia International Airport. Authorities found that the incident was not related to terrorism. However, it disrupted airport operations. The suspect, Kenneth Mazik, remains in custody. The Washington Post (3/12)

Trends & Technology

Airlines trim capacity, lower profit guidance on fuel costs 
Two U.S. airlines have lowered profit guidance for the first quarter on rising fuel costs. Southwest Airlines and Delta Air Lines said fuel costs will hurt their bottom line for the quarter. United Continental expects to trim capacity by up to 1.5% in 2012 due to fuel costs. The Wall Street Journal/Dow Jones Newswires (3/13)

Commercial-aircraft fleet is down in 2011, FAA says 
The Federal Aviation Administration estimates that the U.S. commercial-aircraft fleet shrank to 7,185 by the end of 2011. “The decrease [in 2011] was driven by a 61-unit decrease by the remaining network carriers as they continued to prune their fleets in the face of uncertain economic growth and rising fuel prices,” the FAA said. “With the decline of the fleet in 2011, the mainline carrier fleet now stands at 16.7% below the level it was in 2000.” Air Transport World (3/13)

Policy & Regulatory

FAA searches for 6 sites to test UAVs 
The Federal Aviation Administration is looking for six sites to test unmanned aerial vehicles. The test sites would allow drones to share airspace with private and commercial aircraft. “The FAA has a proven track record of safely introducing new technology and aircraft into the [national airspace system], and I am confident we will successfully meet the challenges posed by unmanned aircraft system technology,” FAA Acting Administrator Michael Huerta said. Las Vegas Review-Journal (3/13)

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