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AAAE Security SmartBrief

March 29, 2013

30,000-Foot View

GOP questions inclusion of Saudi Arabia in Global Entry
Republican lawmakers are questioning the Department of Homeland Security’s decision to include travelers from Saudi Arabia in Global Entry, a program to expedite foreign travelers through U.S. Customs. “We remain vigilant for vulnerabilities that our enemies can exploit to gain access to the homeland,” the lawmakers wrote in a letter to DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano. “Expanding Global Entry to high-risk countries may represent such a risk.” The Hill (3/28) Politico (Washington, D.C.) (3/28)

Security Update

Boxer arrested at JFK airport for carrying gun
Boxer Robert Guerrero was arrested Thursday at John F. Kennedy International Airport for trying to check an unloaded gun. He was not carrying any ammunition. The Wall Street Journal/Metropolis blog (3/28)

Program aims to make travel easier for autistic people
Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport has launched “Navigating Autism,” a program that aims to make it easier for autistic individuals and their families to travel. The program offers a mock walk-through of the airport as well as simulated security screening designed to better prepare children for sights and sounds at an airport. KMSP-TV (Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn.) (3/28)

Trends & Technology

U.S. airlines employ fewer people in January
The workforce for U.S. airlines dropped by 2.3% in January on a year-over-year basis, according to statistics from the Department of Transportation. The airlines employed 379,816 full-time-equivalent employees in January, compared to 388,800 in the same month of 2012. The Wall Street Journal/Dow Jones Newswires (3/28)

Airline News Spotlight

AA-US Airways merger receives green light from judge
U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Sean Lane has approved the merger between American Airlines and US Airways, helping to clear the way for the two carriers to form the world’s largest airline. Lane plans to issue a written decision on proposed employee compensation plans at a later date. The next step in the proceedings is to send the merger plan to creditors for a vote. The Wall Street Journal/Dow Jones Newswires (3/27) CNNMoney (3/27) Associated Press (3/28)

Mergers boost airline industry, United CEO says
United Airlines CEO Jeff Smisek credits mergers with helping the airline industry become more profitable. “I’ve been in the industry for 18 years and this is the first time that I have hope for this business,” he said. Fort Worth Star-Telegram (Texas)/The Associated Press (3/28)

Policy & Regulatory

FAA should allow 787 back in the air, Boeing CEO says
Boeing CEO Jim McNerney called on the Federal Aviation Administration to allow the 787 Dreamliner to return to the air. “They have the safety of the public in mind as I hope we do, which I think at this point means let’s get this thing back into service and get on with it,” McNerney said. Reuters (3/29)

Texas to take over funding of 13 airport towers
The Texas Department of Transportation said it plans to fund 13 air-traffic control towers in the state. The towers were slated for closure by the Federal Aviation Administration as part of budget cuts from sequestration. Houston Chronicle (tiered subscription model) (3/29)

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