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Category Archives: Commercial Aviation Airport Security

Message to the Aviation and Aerospace Science Graduating Class Fall 2020 – MSU Denver

A message from Jeffrey Price, professor MSU Denver and owner of Leading Edge Strategies, an aviation security and airport management training and consulting firm, shares a special message of hope to the 2020 graduating class of aviation and aerospace science.

To the graduates of the Department of Aviation and Aerospace Science Fall of 2020.

You’re graduating at a difficult time.

After 9/11, hundreds of thousands of aviation jobs were lost,

But they came back.

After the recession of 2008, hundreds of thousands of jobs in aviation we’re lost,

But they came back.

And after this pandemic with hundreds of thousands of jobs in aviation, again, lost.


They will come back.

Preparing for the future, being successful both during and after this pandemic means realizing the world we return to is not the world we left. That world no longer exists.

I am frequently asked why I include history in my books and training classes – the keys to our success are discovered by unlocking the past.

Take a look at the game changers in our industry. From the advent of the jet engine aircraft in the 50s, through the Deregulation Act in ’78, through 9/11 and the 2008 recession.

This pandemic is another major game-changer. Despite the sad loss of millions of aviation and aviation-dependent jobs, this also allows the aviation industry to do a lot of restructuring.

And speaking of waves, when I did a series of blog posts a few years back where I read 50 books in 50 weeks, blogging about each book each week, one of the best ones I read was Force of Nature, by surfer Laird Hamilton. I’m not going to leave you with pithy clichés about not being able to control the ocean but learn to swim (or whatever it’s various iterations are).

What I learned from Hamilton is more than a cliche. Hamilton became one of the world’s top surfers because of years of experience, learning to see how the ocean changes with the tides, the weather, the cycles of the moon, and numerous other variables.

Those of you in the aviation industry, you need to do the same thing. If you are out of the industry, take any job to get you back in. It’s always easier to look for a job when you’re within the industry than when you’re standing outside.

Join the trade association most closely associated with your industry. Get involved in the committees and projects. Stay tuned to the information they provide and what their members see in the real world. Subscribe to their newsletters, and other news feeds related to your chosen part of our industry.

Develop your own intel by getting out there and talking to people. No matter how much information you collect, there is always tremendous value in listening to the people on the ground doing the job.

To succeed in the future, you cannot prepare to succeed in a world that no longer exists.

Educate yourself, be real even though it might hurt, and prepare for the future you see coming.

Then be ready to adapt to that future as it reveals itself.


Jeffrey C. Price, Professor

Metropolitan State University of Denver

TSA Temperature Checks – A HORRIBLE IDEA!

TSA Temperature Checks – A HORRIBLE IDEA!

“Should or should we not, follow the advice of the galactically stupid?” Tom Cruise as Lieutenant Daniel Kaffee in ‘A Few Good Men.’ Since Congress is going back anyway, let’s ask them to take a few minutes and kill the Healthy Skies Act, sponsored by Reps. Ted Budd, R-NC, Ralph Norman, R-SC, and John Larson,… Continue Reading

Drone Wars: Is TSA Seriously Going To Shoot Down Drones Over US Airports?

Drone Wars: Is TSA Seriously Going To Shoot Down Drones Over US Airports?

On July 17 of this year, police responded to a drone with fireworks attached to it discovered on top of a building in downtown Los Angeles. Further details have not been released about the incident, but it does represent just one of the many threats drone operations can represent to airports, infrastructure and people. In… Continue Reading

Why Are More Guns Showing Up At Airports?

Why Are More Guns Showing Up At Airports?

Article Originally Published in the State Aviation Journal May, 2019 Why have gun seizures at US airports gone up by 357% over the past ten years? In 2008, TSA 926 seized guns at screening checkpoints. Last year they seized 4,239 and the rate continues to increase. If you haven’t heard, you can’t carry a gun in… Continue Reading

What will we do without the TSA?

What will we do without the TSA?

As the shutdown continues with no end in sight, some people are speculating that TSA screeners may go on strike. Or, that more TSA workers will continue to walk off the job, have “blue flu,” or find an employer that can make a payroll, resulting in massive air system shutdowns. While I think a strike… Continue Reading

Security Checkpoints Are Choke Points

Security Checkpoints Are Choke Points

Today, the aviation industry screens passengers and their carry-on bags essentially the same way it did in the early 1970s. While detection technologies have changed to better detect threats and move people through the checkpoint, training and performance standards for screeners has improved, and risk-based processes have been implemented, the fundamental process is still the… Continue Reading

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

Is Crowdsourcing A Component of Our Aviation Security of the Future?

Is Crowdsourcing A Component of Our Aviation Security of the Future?

Most of us have heard the phrase, “See something? Say something.” This phrase was adopted by New York City initially after the 9/11 attacks. The phrase was quickly adopted by the TSA as a mantra to encourage passengers and airport workers to report any suspicious activity, people and baggage. In theory, crowdsourcing an active watch… Continue Reading

Will Screening Detection Continue To Improve?

With repeated reports of detection failures during airport screening checkpoints, aviation security professionals discussed growing concerns during the AAAE/TSA/DHS Annual Aviation Security Summit in Washington DC in December 2017. The fact is that screening detection will continue to improve but likely will still not get a passing grade. The bad news is, a recent DHS… Continue Reading

How Will Checkpoint Screening Continue to Evolve?

We have all heard the reports of checkpoint screening led by the TSA failing at rates as high as 90%. During the AAAE/TSA/DHS Annual Aviation Security Summit in Washington DC in December 2017, industry professionals continued to debate methodology to improve our commercial aviation security screening protocols. In 2018, we will continue to see changes… Continue Reading