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AAAE Security SmartBrief

June 6, 2012

30,000-Foot View

Suspicious bag prompts evacuation at LAX
A suspicious bag in a terminal at Los Angeles International Airport prompted a partial evacuation on Tuesday morning. A bomb squad examined the bag, and the owner was interviewed. Travelers were allowed back in the airport around 11:30 a.m. CBS News/The Associated Press (6/5)

Security Update

Des Moines, Iowa, airport adds security lane
The Des Moines International Airport in Iowa will add a new security lane by next month, officials said. Airport General Manager Kevin Foley said the new lane is needed because the planes that serve the airport carry more passengers. Also, the new lane may help ease congestion when Southwest Airlines starts service at the airport in the fall. The Des Moines Register (Iowa) (6/6)

FedEx creates new employee security checkpoint at Memphis hub
FedEx has created a new security checkpoint at its Memphis, Tenn., hub designed to reduce the amount of time it takes its employees to pass through security. The new checkpoint is located near the employee parking lot. “Basically, it eliminates the need to have to transport people from the parking lot to the screening facility,” said spokesman Jim McCluskey. “It’s a very efficient way for employees to and from their shift.” The Commercial Appeal (Memphis, Tenn.) (free registration) (6/5)

Poll: Have you ever been present during an airport evacuation?
  Yes. I have been in an airport during an evacuation.
  No. I have not been in an airport during an evacuation.

Trends & Technology

New wave of restaurants elevating airport cuisine
More and more airports are offering upscale restaurants with high-quality food, with some of the chefs involved having won Michelin stars. Standouts include Hung’s Delicacies in Hong Kong, One Flew South in Atlanta and La Moraga in Malaga, Spain. This CNN feature lists some of the restaurants that are raising the bar with fine dining. CNN (5/30)

Airport Ops Spotlight

Boston airport tests free bus program
In an effort to lessen car usage and parking demand at Logan Airport, Boston is offering free bus service from the airport to downtown. The three-month pilot program, which waives the $2 public transportation bus fee, is a response to parking shortages at the airport. A spokesman from the state agency that operates the airport explains, “Logan has tried various ways to curb parking demand and wean passengers from driving to the airport…Logan cannot build new garages to meet demand.” Reuters (6/5)

Colo. airports receive infrastructure grants
More than $15 million in federal grants will fund infrastructure improvement at 17 Colorado airports. “Improving Colorado’s transportation network is one of the most important things we can do to support our local communities and local businesses,” said Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo. “These grants are important down payments on maintaining the connections that our global economy requires.” The Denver Post (6/5)

Construction starts later this month on South Carolina runway
Construction will start later this month on the main runway at South Carolina’s Charleston International Airport. The $50 million project will close the runway for up to a year. The Air Force, which owns and operates the runway, does not expect any service disruption at the airport. The Post and Courier (Charleston, S.C.) (free registration) (6/5)

Philadelphia chooses managers for $6.5B airport expansion
Philadelphia officials have chosen three companies to manage the expansion at Philadelphia International Airport. CH2M HILL will serve as the lead company, and will partner with Delon Hampton & Associates and CMTS Inc. The $6.5 billion expansion could take up to 15 years to complete, city officials say. (Philadelphia) (5/31)

Policy & Regulatory

Immigration staffing raises concerns at Miami airport
Officials at Miami International Airport are concerned that there are not enough federal officials to staff the airport’s new immigration and customs facility. Officials said that 72 lanes are scheduled to start operating in the North Terminal by the end of next month but noted that the airport may have to close 36 lanes operating in the Central Terminal because of the staffing shortage. Federal officials, however, do not foresee an issue with staffing. ?Our position is, if they build it, we will come,? said Migdalia Travis, public affairs officer for Customs and Border Protection. ?We will do whatever is needed to man that facility.? The Miami Herald (free registration) (6/2)

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