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AAAE Security SmartBrief June 8, 2012

June 8, 2012

30,000-Foot View

Pistole: Travelers continue to join pre-screening programs
Travelers are joining pre-screening programs endorsed by the Transportation Security Administration on an almost daily basis, TSA Administrator John Pistole told lawmakers this week. Pistole also noted that the TSA cannot rush into new security procedures without a thorough analysis. “If we put something in place too quickly, as we’ve been so criticized in the past … and if it implicates security in a negative way, that’s the worst outcome,” Pistole said. “If a terrorist can take advantage of a vulnerability because of something we rushed to get out, then that doesn’t serve any of us well.” Las Vegas Sun/The Associated Press (6/7)

Security Update

Homeland security funding bill passes House
The House of Representatives this week passed a bill to fund the Homeland Security Department at a level of $46 billion. Under the measure, funding for the Transportation Security Administration will decrease slightly. The bill does not include a request by the White House to boost TSA security fees that are added to airline tickets. Chicago Tribune/The Associated Press (6/7)

Trends & Technology

Airlines’ expected banner year will benefit consumers, analyst says
Airlines are predicted to have a banner year in 2012 as fuels prices drop. “Having the airlines profitable, I think, is much better for the consumer in the long run” than a “stream of airlines going in and out of business,” said Robert Herbst, an industry consultant. National Public Radio (6/6)

Airline News Spotlight

United offers 6-course meal for international first-class passengers
United Airlines passengers seated in first- and business-class on international flights can now enjoy premium meals. United Global First passengers can enjoy a six-course meal, while United BusinessFirst passengers can dine on a five-course meal. “The changes come after many months of input from customers and our Congress of Chefs, as well as taste-testing sessions,” said Sandra Pineau-Boddison, vice president of food services for United. CNBC (6/1)

Southwest Airlines to open new call center in Texas
Southwest Airlines will open a new customer support center in San Antonio, Texas, on June 11. The facility will occupy 60,000 square feet and will create more than 300 jobs in the region. The new center replaces an older Southwest facility in San Antonio. American City Business Journals/San Antonio, Texas (6/7)

United, union reach tentative pact on Continental flight attendants
United Airlines and the union representing Continental Airlines flight attendants have reached a tentative agreement. The airline expects the flight attendants to vote on the agreement, which extends the current agreement by 28 months, in the next few weeks. Reuters (6/7)

Policy & Regulatory

LaHood says administration is debating EU ETS challenge
Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said the European Union’s emissions-trading scheme was a “lousy, bad policy” during a Senate hearing Wednesday. LaHood said the administration was debating whether the U.S. should challenge the ETS under Article 84 of the Chicago Convention, but there has been no decision. “The airlines, and the companies that build their airplanes … have done an outstanding job in trying to reduce emissions,” LaHood said. The Hill/Transportation blog (6/6) Google/Agence France-Presse (6/7) AviationWeek.com (6/6)

National airline policy would help the free market, Delta CEO says
Delta Air Lines is pushing for a national airline policy that would allow free markets to operate in the airline industry. “We’re advocating that the U.S. government … get serious about adopting a national airline policy,” said Richard Anderson, CEO of Delta. Other countries, such as China, have national airline policies in place. National Public Radio/The Two-Way blog (6/6)

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