Skip to content

Airport Report Today, December 21, 2011

April 11, 2012
Senate Passes Omnibus/DHS/TSA/CBP Funding Bill
In a rare Saturday session, the Senate on Dec. 17 approved a nine-bill omnibus spending measure to fund DHS and a host of other federal departments and agencies for the remainder of fiscal year 2012 that began Oct. 1.
The spending package was approved earlier by the House.
With House and Senate passage, the measure now moves to President Obama for his signature.
The omnibus spending package provides funding for DHS and its component agencies and for a number of airport security-related priorities, including explosives detection system installation in airports. The measure and accompanying “joint statement of managers” designates program funding levels and provides direction to DHS, TSA and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) on a host of important topics, including aviation security fees; airline checked baggage fees; TSA screening levels and a 46,000 screener cap; risk-based screening efforts; TSA’s Screening Partnership Program; passenger screening wait times; airport baggage system upgrades; advanced imaging technology deployment and checkpoint support; aviation regulation and enforcement; air cargo security; exit lane security; airport signage on circumventing screening; biometric air exit; transportation threat assessment and credentialing; federal air marshals; and CBP funding and facilitation of international travelers.  

FAA Announces Flight Diversion Initiatives
FAA said that it is moving forward with several initiatives to improve communication among air traffic controllers, airport operators and airlines during severe weather events. The action results from the agency’s Nov. 30 Diversion Management Forum.
Starting this month, FAA’s national Command Center in Warrenton, Va., will invite airports to participate in air traffic strategic planning and diversion information teleconferences if weather forecasts suggest diversion situations may develop. As part of this process, FAA also will ask airlines to identify likely diversion airports, so those operators can be included in planning calls.
If a severe or widespread storm system is forecast, FAA said it also may open up a dedicated diversion information teleconference line to enable air traffic controllers, other agencies, airports and airlines to exchange real-time airport condition reports, information about available facilities and equipment and other issues related to diversion situations.
FAA said it is working with airports, airlines and aviation groups to organize regional diversion forums and create a small working group to continue the dialogue about managing diversion events more effectively. The regional forums will help to share best practices for developing collaborative irregular operations contingency plans and will spread information about the new FAA initiatives.
Meanwhile, FAA said it is taking immediate action to improve communications to the airlines and airports about equipment outages that may play a factor in diversion decisions.

Airlines Expect Traffic Decline Over Holiday
Fewer persons will fly during the upcoming holiday travel period compared with last year, due to lingering concerns about the economy, according to Airlines For America (A4A), formerly known as the Air Transport Association.
A4A forecast that 43.3 million air travelers will fly on U.S. carriers’ domestic and international routes during a 21-day period — a 1 percent drop from the same period last year — or about 20,000 fewer travelers per day, on average. 
Daily passenger volumes are expected to range from 1.6 million to 2.3 million during the holiday. The busiest days are expected to be between Dec. 21-23, Dec. 26-30 and Jan. 2-3, based on sample data from the 2009 and 2010 winter holiday periods. On the busiest days, average load factors may top 85 percent, A4A said.
“This holiday season will see a traffic decrease consistent with the slowdown reported in recent months,” said John Heimlich, A4A vice president and chief economist. “Passengers still should expect to see full flights as many airlines have reduced capacity to match the decline in travel and increased cost of operations. Capacity reduction is one of the steps the industry is taking to preserve profitability.”

NTSB Schedules Air Show/Race Safety Hearing
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) on Tuesday announced the preliminary agenda for a one-day hearing on air show and air race safety. The hearing, which is open to the public, will be held on Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2012.
NTSB has invited to the proceedings, entitled “Air Race and Air Show Safety Hearing,” government agencies, aviation event trade associations, show organizers, and air show participants to serves as witnesses. During the hearing, participants will give presentations on regulations and oversight and aviation event operations. Following each topic area presentation, a question and answer discussion will be conducted by board members.
The purpose of the meeting is to (1) bring public attention to the safety issues involved in aviation event operations; and (2) provide NTSB members and investigative staff with a deeper understanding of regulations, protocols and practices used in the planning and operations of air shows and air races. Information gathered in the hearing will assist NTSB staff in the investigation of air show and air race incidents and accidents.
Organizations and individuals can submit written materials for inclusion in NTSB’s public docket for this hearing. Submissions should directly address one or more of the hearing’s topic areas and should be submitted to The deadline for receipt is Feb. 17, 2012. 

Frontier To Boost Denver-New York Service
Frontier said that it will expand its existing nonstop service between Denver and New York LaGuardia, beginning March 25, 2012.
The airline will increase its schedule to include three flights year-round, and, beginning April 16, will launch a fourth flight that will operate six days weekly during the summer season.
Service on the route will be provided on Airbus 319 and 320 aircraft.

JetBlue To Interline With Singapore Air
JetBlue and Singapore Airlines announced the launch of an interline agreement that will offer customers new travel options from JetBlue destinations in the U.S. to Europe, Singapore and beyond.
Singapore Airlines offers all-business class service each day from Newark to Singapore’s Changi International. In addition, the airline flies daily from New York’s Kennedy International to Singapore via Frankfurt. Beginning Jan. 16, 2012, the carrier will operate A380 superjumbo equipment on its daily service to JetBlue’s base at Kennedy International.

LEO Aviation Security Training Held
Forty-five law enforcement officials from across the country attended AAAE’s Dec. 13-15 training school held in Alexandria, Va.
The school was taught by Lawrence Gray, ACE, a retired captain of the Los Angeles World Airports Police Department and currently CEO of NextLevel Security Consultant Services. Gray spoke on innovative ways to respond to security and other emergency situations at airports.
Guest speakers representing the FBI’s Reagan Washington National office discussed their role in hijack response management and other types of emergencies.
No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s