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AAAE Security SmartBrief March 16, 2012

April 11, 2012

30,000-Foot View

Airports have mixed views on switch to private screeners 
A new law makes it easier for airports to hire private screeners, but officials at some large metropolitan airports say they have no plans to switch from the Transportation Security Administration. Others, such as Larry Dale, president and chief executive of Florida’s Orlando Sanford International Airport, anticipate changing to private screeners soon. “We’ve visited a number of airports who have opted out of the TSA screenings, and no one wants to go back. We think this will be more efficient and customer-friendly for us,” Dale said. The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (3/15)

Trends & Technology

U.S. carriers report improved on-time arrivals in January 
The Transportation Department’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics reports that major airlines improved their on-time arrivals performance in January. The 16 reporting airlines recorded an on-time arrival rate of 83.7% during the period, up from 76.3% the previous year. The cancellation rate declined to 1.5%, from 3.9% in January 2011. The Wall Street Journal/Dow Jones Newswires (3/15) TravelPulse (3/15) The Plain Dealer (Cleveland)/The Associated Press (3/15)

Airline News Spotlight

United plans in-flight Internet on Australia-U.S. routes 
United Airlines hopes to have Internet access in place by the end of the year on its Boeing 747 flights between the U.S. and Australia. The airline says it is making Wi-Fi installation a priority for its Boeing 747s “because we especially want to improve the entertainment factor for our economy customers.” Australian Business Traveller (3/15)

AMR will give American Eagle plans to unions 
AMR Corp., the parent company of American Airlines, says it will submit plans to American Eagle unions for the regional carrier next week. AMR filed for bankruptcy on Nov. 29, and this year stopped flying some ATR turboprops for American Eagle. Bloomberg (3/14) American City Business Journals/Dallas (3/15)

Spirit urges Venezuela to allow flights 
Discount carrier Spirit Airlines is urging Venezuela to allow it to fly to Caracas. The carrier received the right to fly there from U.S. authorities in 2006, but Venezuela has not allowed the carrier to enter the country. Venezuelan carrier Sundance Air Venezuela has applied to begin service to the U.S. The Wall Street Journal/Dow Jones Newswires (3/14)

Policy & Regulatory

FAA will require retraining for air-traffic controllers 
The Federal Aviation Administration says that all air-traffic controllers will be required to undergo retraining periodically. Agency officials said the change in policy represents a “cultural change in air-traffic safety.” Separately, the FAA reported a slight rise in controller errors. The number of errors reported may rise again this year as a result of a new FAA data-collection process that expands “the area in which traffic is being monitored.” The Wall Street Journal (3/14) USA TODAY (3/15)

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