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Airport Report Today, December 28, 2011

April 11, 2012
Sen. Reid Calls For Action On FAA Bill In January
FAA reauthorization legislation is one of the bills that must be addressed and completed in January, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said during a Dec. 23 press briefing. 
 
“We have to get this done,” Reid said, noting that passage of the reauthorization measure could generate several hundred thousand jobs.
 
While Congress could complete action in January on a multi-year FAA reauthorization bill, it is far from certain that lawmakers will actually meet that goal. Congressional leaders have not resolved all pending issues in the legislation, and both the House and the Senate are scheduled to be in session for only a week next month. FAA programs and aviation excise taxes currently are scheduled to expire Jan. 31 under the terms of a short-term extension – the 22nd – passed by Congress in September.  

 
FAA Issues Final Rule Setting Pilot Flight, Duty Times
FAA has issued a final flight and duty time rule for commercial passenger airline pilots that sets different requirements for flight time, duty period and rest based on the time of day pilots begin their first flight, the number of scheduled flight segments and the number of time zones they cross, among other things.
 
“This is a major safety achievement,” said DOT Secretary Ray LaHood. “We made a promise to the traveling public that we would do everything possible to make sure pilots are rested when they get in the cockpit. This new rule raises the safety bar to prevent fatigue.”
 
National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) Chairman Deborah Hersman praised FAA for its action, noting that fatigue has been on the safety board’s “Most Wanted List” of transportation safety improvements since 1990. However, she stated that board members are “extremely disappointed that the new rule is limited to Part 121 carriers. A tired pilot is a tired pilot, whether there are 10 paying customers on board or 100, whether the payload is passengers or pallets.” Hersman pledged that NTSB would work with FAA and the aviation community “to support the rule’s essential education and training components and to identify areas where additional measures are needed.”
 
The Independent Pilots Association (UPS pilots) filed a petition for review in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, challenging FAA’s exclusion of cargo operations from the final rule. “The IPA seeks to have cargo operations included within the scope of the rule because of the safety benefits provided by the rule,” the union said.

 
SW, AirTran Announce Seniority List Agreement
Southwest announced that a tentative seniority integration agreement has been reached between the carrier, the Transport Workers Union (TWU) 556 — the union representing Southwest Airlines flight attendants — and the Association of Flight Attendants (AFA) Council 57, the union representing the flight attendants of AirTran.
 
The agreement would integrate the two groups’ seniority lists. TWU 556’s Executive Board and AFA’s Master Executive Council both approved the agreement, which will allow the membership of each union to review the proposed agreement and ultimately put it to a ratification vote. Southwest Airlines finalized closing of the acquisition of AirTran Holdings, Inc., on May 2, 2011.

 
AAAE Security Summit Focuses On Risk-Based Security
AAAE hosted the 11th Annual AAAE/TSA/DHS Aviation Security Summit Dec. 12-13 in Arlington, Va. 
 
TSA Administrator John Pistole keynoted the program with remarks on risk-based security. Pistole noted how TSA’s work during the last 10 years in creating a multi-layered aviation security system has led directly to the agency’s ability to implement a more risk-based, intelligence-driven approach to aviation security. 
 
Pistole described the recently launched PreCheck initiative and its expansion to additional airports and air carriers; TSA’s partnership with the U.S. Armed Forces and the proof-of-concept pilot program at Monterey (Calif.) Regional Airport to read Common Access Cards issued to service members to help expedite screening; the Known Crewmember initiative to expedite screening for air carrier pilots at seven test airports; the expanded behavior detection effort being tested at Boston Logan and Detroit Metro Wayne County airports; and the nationwide changes to the security screening process for passengers up to 12 years of age. 
 
Other speakers from TSA and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) added to the discussion about risk-based security and how the model for a risk-based, intelligence-driven approach is being applied to cargo screening, technology development and deployment, and international partnerships with foreign countries. TSA and CBP speakers included CBP Deputy Commissioner David Aguilar; TSA Assistant Administrator for Security Capabilities Robin Kane; TSA Assistant Administrator for Global Strategies John Halinski; TSA Assistant Administrator for Transportation Sector Network Management (TSNM) John Sammon; TSA Deputy Assistant Administrator for Security Operations Mark Dolan; TSA TSNM Deputy Assistant Administrator Doug Hofsass; CBP Director of Trusted Traveler Programs Ken Sava; and TSA General Manager for Commercial Airports Paul Leyh.  
The attendees also heard from Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Ala.), chairman of the House Homeland Security subcommittee on transportation security, who commended TSA for its implementation of the risk-based security model.
 
AAAE would like to thank the following summit sponsors for their support: Birdi & Associates, Inc., L-3 Communications Security & Detection Systems, Lufthansa, Rapiscan Systems, Raytheon and Smiths Detection. AAAE also thanks the following exhibitors: AlertEnterprise; Aoptix; Aware, Inc.; Ghafari Associates, LLC; HGH Infrared Systems; HID Global; Integrated Security Corporation; ISCON Imaging; Kromek; MorphoTrak; NICE Systems; Quantum Secure; Schneider Electric; Southwest Microwave, Inc.; TSG Solutions; Transportation Security Clearinghouse; and videoNEXT.

 
U.S. Airlines Object To EU Greenhouse Gas Ruling
Airlines for America (A4A), formerly the Air Transport Association, said it is considering court action to challenge the recent European Court of Justice decision that upheld European Union (EU) plans to include international aviation in the EU emissions trading scheme (ETS).
 
A4A said that it opposes the application of the EU ETS to U.S. airlines, “as it imposes an exorbitant tax that takes away from aviation the very funds it needs to continue to invest in aircraft technology, sustainable alternative fuels and infrastructure advances to build on its strong record of fuel efficiency improvements and emissions savings.”
 
A4A added, “Today’s decision does not mark the end of this case and A4A is reviewing options to pursue in the English High Court. At the same time, the U.S. government and dozens of others around the world are increasing pressure on the EU to come back to the table to consider a global sectoral approach. In the meantime, A4A members will comply under protest and will continue to operate safely and efficiently to Europe when the scheme takes effect Jan. 1.”
 
 
TSA Launches Disabled Traveler Helpline
TSA has announced the launch of TSA Cares, a new helpline designed to assist travelers with disabilities and medical conditions, prior to arriving at the airport. Travelers may call TSA Cares toll free at 1-855-787-2227 prior to traveling with questions about screening policies, procedures and what to expect at the security checkpoint.

 
AAAE Offers Joint Use Issues Conference
The more than 60 attendees at the AAAE Military/Civilian Joint Use Issues Conference, held Dec. 11-13 in Destin, Fla., were given an inside look at a successful joint use airport operation on Eglin Air Force Base, as well as a rare opportunity to view five new F-35 Joint Strike Fighters.
 
FAA, AAAE’s conference partner, developed the program in cooperation with representatives of the Department of Defense. The presentations centered on the new ARFF inspection rules, airfield control, military airport program funding, eNotams and joint use agreements.
 
AAAE would like to thank the Northwest Florida Regional Airport Board and staff for their hospitality as program sponsor and conference host.
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