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AAAE Security SmartBrief

June 1, 2012

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30,000-Foot View

U.S., EU reach agreement on air cargo screening
The U.S. and European Union have reached an agreement on mutual recognition of security procedures for screening air cargo. The agreement, which is expected to be announced today, will end duplication of security controls on air freight that enters the U.S. from Europe. European officials confirmed that the agreement “means that compliance with E.U. security rules also meets the U.S. requirement of 100 percent screening of air cargo.” Meanwhile, Transportation Security Administrator John Pistole said the agreement will ?strengthen security by ensuring that we share information and work together toward our common interests.? The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (6/1) The Wall Street Journal (5/31) Government Security News (6/1)

Security Update

TSA detects gun in carry-on bag at Tennessee airport
A Transportation Security Administration agent at Tennessee’s Tri-Cities Regional Airport detected a gun in a traveler’s carry-on bag this week. The gun was the first detected in a carry-on at the airport this year. ?From what I understand, the person was pulled aside ? investigated and all background checked,? said Melissa Thomas, the airport?s marketing director. ?It was determined he was not a threat, there was no [bad intent] there ? the person was allowed to continue on their journey.? TriCities.com (Johnson City, Tenn.) (5/31)

British airport operators oppose lifting liquids ban
U.K. airport operators who oppose lifting the European ban on carrying liquids in hand luggage next year say it will create “chaos” in the airports. “The latest significant trials show that the technology is still not mature enough to handle the vast numbers of passengers travelling through our airports,” said Darren Caplan, chief executive of the Airport Operators Association, which represents large U.K. airports. “If implemented as things stand, there would be chaos and confusion in airport central search areas. As well as being bad for passengers, we believe that it will put security at risk.” The Guardian (London) (5/31)

Trends & Technology

Amenity-packed airports could become travel destinations
A report by the technology company Amadeus predicts that airports will continue to add more amenities and evolve into “mini-city airport ‘destinations.'” By adding attractions such as IMAX theaters, workout facilities and world-class shopping, airports may become destinations in themselves “offering something for everyone, even if they’re not catching a plane,” this feature says. TerminalU.com (U.K.) (5/28)

Analysis: Q1 was mixed picture for business travel
An analysis by Travel Leaders Corporate found mixed results for business travel in the first quarter. “While the average cost of an international airline ticket declined year-over-year, we also found a decrease of 7.3% on the average cost per airline segment booked,” said David Holyoke, president of Travel Leaders Corporate. TravelPulse (5/30)

Airline News Spotlight

Column: Delta acquisition of oil refinery will provide benefits
Columnist David Urban says Delta Air Lines made a smart move by purchasing an oil refinery in Trainer, Pa. “Managing a refinery is a much different business than managing an airline, but if this purchase can provide the much-needed cost certainty, then the benefits will be both tangible and intangible,” writes Urban. Seeking Alpha (5/30)

JetBlue gets approval to expand JFK terminal
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey?s Board of Commissioners on Thursday approved a plan that will allow JetBlue Airways to expand at John F. Kennedy Airport. JetBlue will create a new international arrivals area in Terminal 5, which will expand the terminal by 145,000 square feet. The project is expected to cost more than $200 million. The Washington Post/The Associated Press (5/31)

United Airlines will trim operations at Bush airport
United Airlines has notified employees in a memo that the carrier plans to cut seating capacity at George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston by 10%. The move and others are in response to Southwest Airlines’ plan to add international flights at William P. Hobby Airport, also in Houston. Houston Chronicle (5/30) Bloomberg Businessweek (5/31)

Policy & Regulatory

FAA seeks to explore NextGen incentives
The Federal Aviation Administration was scheduled to hold a public meeting this week for input on offering incentives to outfit aircraft with NextGen equipment. The incentives would apply to commercial and general aviation aircraft. “The FAA is examining various methods of reducing the government’s risk and determining the extent of industry interest in the program,” the FAA said. Aviation Daily (5/30)

FAA plan for tower consolidation will be reviewed by House panel
A House committee will review plans by the Federal Aviation Administration to consolidate air traffic control towers. The FAA operates 402 control towers across the U.S., but plans to consolidate operations to prepare for NextGen technology. The committee will hear testimony from the FAA, the Department of Transportation and other stakeholders. The Hill/Transportation blog (5/30)

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