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AAAE Security SmartBrief

April 10, 2013

House Democrats call on TSA to drop new knife policy
A group of House Democrats has written a letter to the Transportation Security Administration urging it to drop the policy reversal that would allow some small knives on planes. The Hill/Transportation blog (4/9)


Security Update

N.Y. man arrested for knife in belt buckle
Chaim Gruenzweig, 19, of Airmont, N.Y., was arrested Monday at John F. Kennedy International Airport after officials found a five-inch knife in his belt buckle. The man was traveling to Frankfurt, Germany, before Port Authority police arrested him. The Journal News (White Plains, N.Y.) (tiered subscription model) (4/9)

Charlotte airport calls for more security officers
The Charlotte-Mecklenburg police chief is calling for more security officers at Charlotte Douglas International Airport. In December, local police took over security at the city-owned airport. The News & Observer (Raleigh, N.C.)/The Associated Press (4/9)

Column: Head to east checkpoint at Dulles for shorter lines
An analysis of wait times for security screening at Dulles International Airport in Washington, D.C., showed the east checkpoint generally had shorter wait times. “Especially with the real-time screens, you’d expect a lot of travelers to move toward the checkpoint with the shorter line, but apparently not enough do to keep the two balanced,” writes columnist David Alpert. Greater Greater Washington (Washington, D.C.) (4/9)

Trends & Technology

Forecast: Business travel spending to rise 5.1% this year
Spending on business travel is predicted to rise by 5.1% this year, according to the Global Business Travel Association. “While there are still many factors that could hamper the economy again, from the impact of sequestration to rising energy prices, business travel spending is heading in the right direction so far in 2013,” said Michael McCormick, executive director of the association. Los Angeles Times (tiered subscription model)/Money & Co. blog (4/9)

Fliers slam airlines for food choices — or lack thereof
A YouGov survey found that other passengers’ smelly food was a top gripe among fliers, and a lack of free hot meals was the most common complaint. According to the survey, 27% of respondents say airplane food quality has declined during the past few years. CNBC/Road Warrior blog (4/9)

Other News

Airport Ops Spotlight

Phoenix airport debuts free Sky Train
Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport aims to please travelers with its latest amenity, the PHX Sky Train transportation system. The free train runs between Terminal 4, the East Economy Parking Lot and the Metro light-rail station at 44th and Washington streets. Trains run every few minutes seven days a week. The Arizona Republic (Phoenix) (tiered subscription model) (4/8)

United Airlines to invest $150M in N.J. hub
United Airlines announced a $150 million investment to Terminal C at New Jersey’s Newark Liberty International Airport. The carrier will upgrade the concourse areas and install a new baggage-screening system. United flies more than 400 flights daily from the airport, which serves as a hub for the carrier. Frequent Business Traveler (4/8)

Policy & Regulatory

Senators aim to block FAA from closing control towers
A bipartisan group of 18 senators has drafted legislation to prevent the Federal Aviation Administration from closing 149 air-traffic control towers. The legislation will “protect air traffic control towers and preserve aviation safety across America,” the lawmakers said. The Hill/Transportation blog (4/9)

GAO: FAA should work more closely with airlines on NextGen
The Federal Aviation Administration should work more closely with airlines on NextGen, according to a report from the Government Accountability Office. The airline industry is required to cover $6.6 billion of the total $18 billion cost of NextGen. NextGov (4/9)

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