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Category Archives: General Aviation Aircraft Operator Security

What Awaits Us With New Airline Technologies?

Airline passengers, airport managers and neighboring airport communities might expect to encounter new and advanced technology in the near future.

In the safety and security area, passengers should expect to see biometrics being implemented into the checkpoint, and eventually into the passenger boarding process. In the future, ideally, a passenger face or other biometric will be both their ID to get through the airport and their boarding pass.

Since the current x-ray machines and screeners are having a difficult time identifying prohibited items and distinguishing food from explosive materials, better technology is needed. TSA’s solution seems to include passengers removing more items from their bags but that’s a step backwards. We started using x-ray machines so passengers would not have to remove items from their bags. Expect larger machines in the checkpoint as the TSA begins limited deployment of their EDS (i.e. cat-scan) type machines that are used to screen checked bags to continue to improve their programs.

In the airfield, passengers may soon notice the use of drone technology. Some drones are already in use for airfield patrol and during emergency responses to provide a real-time video feed from the eye in the sky perspective. Some airports have also tested unmanned ground vehicles to conduct airfield inspections and possibly even snow removal.

One thing many homeowners will notice is a change in flight patterns at their nearby airport. With the implementation of NextGen technologies that allow new and more efficient types of approaches into airports, inbound and outbound flight paths may be changing. They are already seeing this in Arizona where I believe lawsuits have already been filed.

One thing is for sure. As the world evolves, so must security and airport management.


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Theft of Aircraft at SeaTac

Theft of Aircraft at SeaTac

This is an evolving situation so facts may change the information expressed below. The theft of an aircraft out of SeaTac’s airport has shined a light on a rarely considered area of aviation security, the potential threat from those with unfettered access to an airplane.  The last significant incident like this was the Germanwings first… Continue Reading

Flying into Washington DC: are the procedures to intercept good enough?

The recent intentional airspace penetration by a man in a gyrocopter and subsequent landing on the lawn of the U.S. Capitol, raises questions about the airspace around Washington DC. I was recently quoted in a USAToday article, but there are a lot of altitudes and issues here so I thought I’d provide some clarification, along… Continue Reading

A gyrocopter invades the Capitol

From the FAA: “The FAA is working with its aviation security partners in the DC area to investigate an incident involving an aircraft that landed on the west lawn of the Capitol this afternoon. The pilot was not in contact with FAA air traffic controllers and the FAA did not authorize him to enter restricted… Continue Reading

The Airport ID Badge

It goes by many different names. Officially it is called the Access/ID Media, but there are various forms. There are badges that only identify the individual, then there are those that identify the individual and allow them to access doors and gates around the airport property. There have been some recent media reports about personnel… Continue Reading

TSA’s Strategic Plan for Risk Based Security

Blogging live from the Colorado Airport Operators Association, Annual Conference, 2012, Vail, Colorado (paraphrasing as necessary) Douglas Hoffsass – Assoc. Administrator, Office of the Administrator, TSA The Right Reverend Hoffsass continues his nationwide tour to preach Administrator Pistole’s risk based security programs, most notably, PreCheck and Global Entry. I, Deacon Jeff, will attempt to pass… Continue Reading

Al-Qaeda “tweets” a panic attack

What does a woman in Mexico tweeting about non-existent school shooting attacks and a government warning about a plot by al-Qaeda to use small, explosives filled aircraft to attack U.S. targets, have in common? They are both efforts to create fear and panic, and to cause us to spend more money to chase our tails.… Continue Reading

Secrecy is not always bad

There seems to be a bad taste in the public’s mouth anytime someone decides to keep something secret or private. While not condoning the behavior of Tiger Woods or the rest of his ilk (I’m talking about cheaters, not professional golfers here), I’m one of those people that believe that somethings should still be kept private. Particularly when it comes to safety and security.

That’s the case with the recent debate about whether corporate aircraft operators have the right to keep their trips from becoming public. Continue Reading