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Airport Report Today, December 7, 2011

April 11, 2012
FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt Resigns
FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt resigned Tuesday following his arrest Dec. 3 for driving while allegedly intoxicated. 

Babbitt issued a statement late Tuesday that said, “Today I submitted my resignation to Secretary Ray LaHood and it has been accepted. Serving as FAA Administrator has been an absolute honor and the highlight of my professional career. But I am unwilling to let anything cast a shadow on the outstanding work done 24 hours a day, seven days a week by my colleagues at the FAA. They run the finest and safest aviation system in the world and I am grateful that I had the opportunity to work alongside them. I am confident in their ability to successfully carry out all of the critical safety initiatives underway and the improvements that the FAA has planned. I also want to thank Secretary LaHood for his leadership and dedication to the safety of the traveling public.”

News reports said that Babbitt was arrested by Fairfax County, Va., police for allegedly driving on the wrong side of the road. Babbitt was alone in the car and cooperated with the arresting officer, according to the reports.
Deputy Administrator Michael Huerta will serve as acting FAA administrator.  

AirTran Gains Rights For Mexico Routes
Southwest and its wholly owned subsidiary AirTran announced that the carriers received route authority from DOT for AirTran to operate international flights to new destinations in Mexico beginning as early as May 24, 2012.
AirTran’s new flights will include one daily roundtrip between Orange County, Calif., and Cabo San Lucas/San Jose del Cabo, and one daily roundtrip between Orange County and Mexico City. AirTran also will initiate four weekly roundtrip flights between San Antonio and Cancun, as well as one daily roundtrip flight between San Antonio and Mexico City.
Bob Jordan, Southwest’s executive vice president and COO and AirTran’s president, said, “The new service is another direct benefit of Southwest’s acquisition of AirTran as we take low fares farther by expanding our route maps to more places customers want to go.” 

Morpho Detection Wins TSA Contract
Morpho Detection said it has received a contract from TSA for maintenance of the agency’s explosives detection systems. 
The contract was awarded for a base year and three option years and is valued at a minimum of $71 million and a maximum of $466 million.  

American Announces Leadership Changes
American announced the retirements of two company officers, as well as a series of changes to the company’s global leadership team as part of its bankruptcy restructuring.
• Robert Reding, executive vice president-operations, will retire Dec. 31. James Ream is named senior vice president-operations, assuming additional responsibility for flight operations, operations planning and performance, operations finance and planning, and the safety, security and environmental departments, in addition to his current role overseeing maintenance and engineering;
• Mark Burdette, vice president-employee relations, will retire Dec. 31. Denise Lynn, currently vice president-flight service, will move to Burdette’s position;
• Monte Ford, senior vice president and chief information officer, has resigned, effective Dec. 31. Maya Leibman, currently president of the airline’s frequent flyer program, is promoted to senior vice president and chief information officer; and
• Beverly Goulet is named chief restructuring officer, in addition to her continuing role as vice president-corporate development and treasurer.

Frontier To Add Kansas City-Tampa Seasonal Flights
Frontier Airlines said that it will offer twice-weekly nonstop flights between Kansas City and Tampa this winter. The twice-weekly service will operate Feb. 15 through April 14, using 99-seat Embraer 190 equipment.

Boeing Reports Progress In 737-800 Production
Boeing reported that the company on Dec. 4 rolled out its first factory-complete Next-Generation 737-800 at the production rate of 35 airplanes a month.
Though the airplane still must undergo testing and painting, the milestone represents a major step in demonstrating that Boeing is on track to achieve its announced rate increase of the jetliner to 35 a month in early January, according to an announcement from the manufacturer.

U.S. Signs Open Skies Accord With Montenegro
The United States and the southeastern European country of Montenegro have concluded an open skies aviation agreement, DOT announced.
This is the first aviation agreement between Montenegro and the U.S. Previously, air rights between the two countries were governed by an agreement between the U.S. and Yugoslavia. Currently, no direct flights operate between the two countries. 

AAAE Completes Fall Security Webinar Series
AAAE’s Transportation Security Policy Department has completed its fall security webinar series.
Risk-based security, the first in the series, focused on TSA’s recent efforts to focus its resources and improve the passenger experience at security checkpoints by applying new risk-based, intelligence driven screening procedures and enhancing its use of technology.
The second webinar in the series focused on behavior detection and the added value that behavior detection can provide as an additional level of integrated airport security. The final webinar in the series discussed best practices for airport perimeter security and some of the newest technologies available to help airports enhance the security of their perimeters.
Registration is still open for the Security Resource Optimization Webinar scheduled for Dec. 16, at 2 p.m. EST. For information and to register, go to
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