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AEEE Security Smartbrief – TSA invests $245 million in body scanner technology

September 25, 2012

30,000-Foot View

TSA invests $245 million in body scanner technology
American Science and Engineering and L-3 Communications were selected by the Transportation Security Administration to develop next-generation body scanner equipment. As part of the $245 million project, the TSA hopes to create scanners that do not spur health concerns like the older scanners. CaliforniaWatch.org (9/24)

Security Update

Handgun found in carry-on bag at San Antonio airport
A passenger at San Antonio airport was arrested after officials found a .22-caliber handgun in his carry-on bag. The Transportation Security Administration found more than 800 guns this year, and 15 of them originated at the Texas airport. KENS-TV (San Antonio) (9/25)

Memphis airport gets $31.8 million FAA grant for upgrades
The Federal Aviation Administration will give Memphis International Airport $31.8 million grant for runway safety improvements. The funds also will go into a five-phase, $90 million project to revamp the aircraft parking ramp around the concourses. The Republic (Columbus, Ind.) (9/25)

Trends & Technology

Faster airport screening with Hotel loyalty program
Loews Hotels & Resorts has entered into a partnership with the Transportation Security Administration and U.S. Customs and Border Protection to become the first hotel brand to offer its customers free membership in the Trusted Travelers Network. Under the partnership, members of Loews’ YouFirst Platinum loyalty rewards program gain free entry into CBP’s Global Entry program and the TSA’s PreCheck program. The offer expires in 60 days. FoxNews.com/The Associated Press (9/24) Los Angeles Times/Money & Co. blog (tiered subscription model) (9/24) TravelPulse (9/24)

The future of in-flight entertainment
New York Times reporter Joe Sharkey attended APEX EXPO and offers his insights on the market for in-flight entertainment. He said airlines are at a crossroads to decide if they should invest in installed IFE systems, use tablets or let passengers stream content on their own mobile devices. The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (9/24)

Fort Lauderdale airport to expand international terminal
Next month, construction will start on a six-year, $450 million expansion at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. The project will expand Terminal 4 to better accommodate international travelers, doubling it in size and adding more service lanes, a bridge to Terminal 3 and direct access to Customs. Sun-Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) (9/24)

Safety Matters Spotlight

NTSB investigates two near-collisions at O’Hare
The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board is investigating two near-collisions that occurred in the same part of Chicago O’Hare International Airport in May and in August last year. In both cases, regional jetliners nearly collided at an intersection where arriving and departing planes cross. The NTSB released a report on the incidents Monday, but no probable cause for the incidents has been released. Bloomberg Businessweek (9/24)

Policy & Regulatory

House Republicans approve of Senate’s EU emissions compliance ban
An aide to House Transportation Committee Chairman John Mica, R-Fla., called the Senate’s passage of a bill banning U.S. airlines from complying with a European Union emissions penalty plan “a positive sign” in an e-mail Monday. The EU policy penalizes any airlines flying in European airspace that do not meet emission reduction standards. The House passed a similar bill last year, and the two bills will likely not be merged into legislation until after the November elections. The Hill/Transportation blog (9/24)

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