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AAAE Security SmartBrief April 23, 2012

April 23, 2012

30,000-Foot View

TSA to purchase 30 new ID verification machines 
New systems that the Transportation Security Administration is testing to verify travelers’ identification cost $100,000 each. The TSA is expected to spend $3 million on the first 30 machines, which are now being tested at Washington Dulles International Airport in Virginia. The Credential Authentication Technology/Boarding Pass Scanning System compares data on a traveler’s ID with the boarding pass and verifies that neither document has been altered. Supporters of the devices say incidents of travelers boarding planes without proper identification demonstrate the need for the machines. InformationWeek (4/20)

Security Update

Column: Protests at checkpoints lead to jail time 
In the past two weeks, two travelers have removed all of their clothing at airport security checkpoints in protest of Transportation Security Administration screening procedures, writes Andrew Chow. Both travelers were taken to jail. He notes that some travelers have stripped to protest what they believed to be invasive pat-downs; others who strip have appeared to suffer from mental instability. Reuters (4/20)

Trends & Technology

United will offer more optional services to travelers 
United Airlines will seek to boost revenue this summer travel season by selling additional services and products, said CEO Jeff Smisek. While he declined to specify about what they will be, Smisek told reporters he is confident that passengers will be impressed. “I’m not allowed to talk about it, but they’re going to be good and they’re going to be cool,” he said. Reuters (4/19)

U.S. prepares to launch $150M tourism marketing drive 
A $150 million campaign to encourage foreign travelers to visit the U.S. is set to begin in May, led by the U.S. Travel Association. The program spans a variety of media and marks the country’s fist coordinated attempt to market itself to the international traveling community. Los Angeles Times (tiered subscription model) (4/23)

Safety Matters Spotlight

Column: Tips for protecting your valuables at security checkpoints 
Travelers should avoid putting cash in airport security bins, and, if possible, avoid traveling with large amounts of cash, writes Genevieve Shaw Brown. She also recommends that travelers allow their bags to go through the screener before they pass through the metal detectors. Travelers should also keep their bags in sight at all times and count how many bins they use. “Theft often happens when someone forgets an item ? like a laptop ? and walks away from security toward the gate. In the time it takes to realize what you left behind, it may be gone,” she writes. ABC News (4/22)

Policy & Regulatory

Deadline looms for mandated plane diversion plans at airports 
Airports are developing plans for plane diversions as the May 14 deadline draws closer. Congress is requiring airports to devise procedures for disembarking, transferring and housing passengers in the event of a delay or airplane diversion. Airports have met with the Federal Aviation Administration over the past several months to develop plans. USA TODAY (4/22)

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