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Category Archives: Current Affairs

Under the Spotlight

According to CBS News in L.A., TSA faces allegations that its employees at Los Angeles International Airport were caught on tape using drugs. The investigation began last year when a TSA worker was arrested for allegedly counterfeiting parking passes in the employee lot.

In South Carolina at the Greenville-Spartnburg International Airport, a bomb sniffing dog gave a possible alert that caused the evacuation of B concourse and a Delta flight. A bomb detection team found nothing.

In Newark, where recently a security breach caused the evacuation of Terminal C, the video camera that was supposed to see the exit lane where the breach occurred was not working. The breach resulted in thousands of passengers having to be re-screened and flights delayed.

I bring up these three incidents as newsworthy, but only newsworthy in the sense that we are once again keeping the spotlight on aviation security. I’ve tracked hundreds of these types of incidents. . . Continue Reading

Getting it right, getting it wrong

It seems that Rep. John Mica has joined the opposition to the appointment of Erroll Southers to the head of TSA. Mica is criticizing what he perceives is Southers lack of executive management experience. Among rumors that Southers was nominated only after more qualified candidates passed on the opportunity as being unwilling or reluctant to serve, Mica is blasting both Southers position on collective bargaining for TSA screeners and what he calls Southers “second-tier” leadership experience.

Meanwhile, an article ran today on The Daily addressing measures the Los Angeles International Airport is taking to increase security. LAX has been one of the airports on the forefront of aviation security taking additional measures, studying counterterrorism methods and employing them where appropriate. Did I mention that Erroll Southers is from LAX!

After hearing Erroll lecture to a classroom full of airport security coordinator trainees in a class I was training last June in Los Angeles, I was immediately impressed with his poise, knowledge and learned perspectives on aviation and transportation security. Continue Reading

Who is responsible for airline security?

Ask virtually anyone on the street “who is responsible for airline security,” and the answer will most likely be, “TSA.” Unfortunately, it’s not that simple and could mean that airlines will have to pay more and take on more security responsibilities for their international flights.

While TSA sets forth and enforces the regulations, there are many players and many layers within the aviation security system, and it’s important to know who’s who and what’s what because it could make a difference in the security of the plane you’re on.

Recently, after the failed Christmas bombing, TSA dished out several security procedures … Continue Reading

Security has a real cost

Finally, nine years after 9/11 and people are starting to understand the real economic impact of security.

Today, CBS news reported that a 2008 survey showed that 41 million trips were avoided due to security hassles resulting in a cost of $28 billion to the U.S. economy. Business travelers have options such as web casts, telecommuting, and even driving to shorter destinations. While corporate aircraft sales have not seen a real increase as a result of aviation security rules, it looks like there has still been an uptick in corporate aircraft travel through the use of fractionals and charter credit-style card usage.

Today, Transport Canada announced that only certain items would be allowed in carry-on baggage and are actively discouraging carry-on’s. This is THE problem. We have the technology, know-how and effective security practices, such as behavior profiling, to implement an aviation security system that does not require the passenger to conform to the rules, but the processes to conform to the passenger (sometimes still known as the “customer”).
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Playing with Fire

Absurd: wildly unreasonable, illogical or inappropriate. Pick one of these descriptors and they all apply to the recent news about Erroll Southers, President Obama’s appointee to head TSA.

So now some information has come out about Erroll Southers and that he forgot to tell Congress about an alleged misdeed he did about 20 years ago. Well, so what?

First, remember that this is how people are attacked today when someone has a beef and no legitimate argument to stand on. See, a certain Congressman has a problem with Southers’ views on TSA employees receiving collective bargaining so he has held up Southers’ confirmation to be the director of TSA. Rather than debate Southers on the subject, it seems it’s easier to just try to discredit him so people are digging for dirt. That’s nonsense considering that TSA desperately needs leadership right now. Continue Reading