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AAAE Security SmartBrief April 20, 2012

April 20, 2012

30,000-Foot View

Senator: Information sharing agreement will strengthen security 
Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., who chairs the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, said an agreement to allow the U.S. and Europe to share more airline passenger information will make air travel between the U.S. and Europe safer. “The agreement ensures that airlines will provide DHS access to specific passenger information 96 hours in advance of their flights to the U.S. — instead of the current 72 hours — so it can be compared to our terrorist watchlists and criminal and immigration databases,” he said. The Hill/Transportation blog (4/19)

Trends & Technology

U.S. airlines employed more people in February, DOT says 
U.S. airlines employed more people in February than in February 2011, data from the Department of Transportation show. The airlines employed a total of 586,010 full-time and part-time workers in February, compared with 570,705 a year ago. The Wall Street Journal/Dow Jones Newswires (4/18)

Fliers can bypass long waits at airports with new services 
Save time waiting in line at the airport, this feature says, by using immigration services such as Global Entry, which lets passengers check in at an electronic kiosk after a one-time background check. The Transportation Security Administration’s PreCheck service is free, but open only to frequent fliers on American Airlines and Delta Air Lines. The company Clear requires iris scans and fingerprints before issuing a card that makes wait times less than five minutes. The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (4/18)

Airline News Spotlight

JetBlue Airways, Emirates will code-share JFK flights 
JetBlue Airways and Emirates airline, based in Dubai, have announced a code-share agreement. The agreement will cover flights from John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York. Since 2010, the two carriers have had an interline agreement. TravelPulse (4/18)

Alaska Q1 profit narrows on higher fuel costs 
Alaska Air Group reported a profit of $40.8 million for the first quarter, a 45% drop from the same quarter of last year. The parent company of Alaska Airlines faced higher fuel costs of 19% for the quarter, which eroded profits. The Wall Street Journal/Dow Jones Newswires (4/19)

Southwest Airlines reports Q1 profit of $98 million 
Southwest Airlines reported earnings of $98 million for the first quarter, compared to $5 million for the same quarter last year. Without one-time gains from fuel hedging for the quarter, Southwest would have reported a loss. Separately, Southwest has signed an agreement with Amadeus IT Group to provide a system for international reservations. The Washington Post (4/19) The Wall Street Journal (4/19) Fort Worth Star-Telegram (Texas)/Sky Talk blog (4/19)

Policy & Regulatory

Drones raise concerns about privacy, lawmakers say 
Two lawmakers are questioning the privacy implications of a program that would allow unmanned aircraft to fly in U.S. airspace along with commercial airplanes. Reps. Joe Barton, R-Texas, and Edward Markey, D-Mass., recently urged the Federal Aviation Administration to consider how the drones will affect privacy. The mission of the drones is to strengthen security and assess natural disasters. “However, in addition to benefits, there is also potential for drone technology to enable invasive and pervasive surveillance without adequate privacy protections,” the lawmakers wrote in a letter. “We are writing to express our concerns about the law’s potential privacy implications and to requisition information about how the FAA is addressing these important matters.” The Hill/Transportation blog (4/19)

Lawmaker proposes fatigue rules for cargo pilots 
Rep. Chip Cravaack, R-Minn., proposed legislation this week to require cargo operators to adopt the same pilot-fatigue rules as those for passenger pilots. However, the cargo industry says it does not have pilots fly as many hours per month as passenger pilots. “Our segment of the industry is unique and it provides more and longer rest opportunities for its flight-crew members,” said Steve Alterman, president of the Cargo Airline Association. USA TODAY (4/1

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