Federal airport screeners still find four to five guns at checkpoints on a typical day, the Transportation Security Administration's chief told a Senate hearing Wednesday. "Yesterday we found six, including one at ... Bradley (airport in Connecticut) — a loaded gun with seven rounds in it, in a checked bag that (a passenger) was trying to get through," Administrator John Pistole said. Passengers typically say they forgot the weapon was in their bag, TSA officials said. But in one recent case, a passenger at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport tried to board a plane with two pistols, three ammunition magazines, eight knives and a hand saw in a carry-on bag, the TSA said. That passenger was arrested by local law enforcement.
Tag Archives | Air Travel
Get ready, the U.S. Government’s TSA is warning airlines of a new twist on suicide bombing that will undoubtedly lead to more intrusive searches at airports. Christi Parsons reports for the LA Times:
… Read the rest
The government has warned airlines that terrorists are considering surgically implanting explosives into people in an attempt to circumvent screening procedures, according to U.S. officials.
There is no indication of an immediate plot, but the new information could lead to additional screening procedures at the nation’s airports. Existing scanners would not necessarily detect bombs implanted under a person’s skin, experts said.
While the information suggests such a threat would come from overseas rather than domestic groups, federal officials are ordering precautions both in the U.S. and abroad, the official said.
The idea of surgically implanting bombs has been examined by intelligence agencies in the past, but new information has suggested that terrorist groups are seriously considering the technique, officials said.
SAN FRANCISCO — Days before a college football player was arrested on a US Airways flight at San Francisco airport following a dispute over his saggy pants, the airline allowed another man wearing skimpy women's panties and mid-thigh stockings to fly, according to a passenger and airline spokeswoman. Jill Tarlow, a passenger on a June 9 flight from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., to Phoenix, took a photo of the scantily clad man, which she provided to the San Francisco Chronicle. The newspaper published the photo in its Wednesday edition. The man flew six days before University of New Mexico football player DeShon Marman was arrested on a US Airways flight at San Francisco airport following allegations he refused to pull up his pants. Tarlow told the Chronicle she and other passengers complained before boarding the plane, but US Airways employees did not prevent the unidentified man from flying.
Ina Fried tries to answer the question that surely everyone who flies asks themselves, at AllThingsD:
… Read the rest
It seems hard for many to believe, but one air travel industry study has found that there may be some merit to the idea that small electronics could interfere enough with airplane navigation to cause a safety problem.
According to a confidential study unearthed by ABC News, a study by the International Air Transport Association trade group found some 75 incidents of potential interference reported between 2003 and 2009. The involved interference with everything from flight controls, to navigation to communications systems. The type of device suspected of causing interference varied, though the most commonly cited likely troublemaker was the cell phone.
Cell phone use is, of course, banned by the FAA during flights, though many people forget to turn off their devices or willingly ignore the warnings. It is increasingly common to hear a cell phone ring or an alert chirp well after take-off.
The Utopianist discusses one (slightly hellish) idea of what the city of the future may look like — the ‘aerotropolis’, in which the airport is at the city’s geographic and economic core, and daily life increasingly resembles being inside an endlessly sprawling airport:
… Read the rest
It’s a city that’s built around an airport, the bigger the better, with factories and/or traders, both dependent on air freight, close by, followed by a ring of malls and hotels, followed by a ring of residential neighborhoods. The airport isn’t an annoyance, located as far out of the way as possible, but the city’s heart, its raison d’être.
While the vision of a city based around an airport may seem novel, there are such aerotropolises already in existence, like Ecuador’s capital, Quito. We already have a few cities in the United States that roughly adhere to this model — Memphis, our nation’s major FedEx hub, and Seattle, the home of Boeing.
When an Airbus 380 from Dubai came in for landing at Heathrow Airport on a recent stormy night in London, it was struck by a giant bolt of lightning. The event was caught on camera, giving the world a rare glimpse of what's actually a common occurrence. "In the video, this is without a doubt a triggered flash," Mazur told Life's Little Mysteries. "You can see it's a dark sky, so you have rain and other evidence of a recent thunderstorm. Natural lightning had most likely ended already, but in decaying storms you have a very high electric field. It's enough to support the development of lightning, but there is no natural mechanism for initiating lightning discharge. When an airplane comes in, it acts as an artificial trigger."
KANSAS CITY, Missouri— A photo of two Transportation Security Administration agents doing a full pat down on a baby, approximately 8 months old, has gone viral. It happened at the Kansas City International Airport. A passenger, Jacob Jester, captured the image on his cell phone. Since he tweeted the picture on Saturday, it has had more than 200,000 hits. The photo shows the helpless baby being held up in the air by his mother while the TSA workers do their job. Jester has an 8-month-old son and would not want his son to be subjected to a hand search by TSA agents.
An airline is investigating the removal of two imams from a flight headed to North Carolina, ostensibly because passengers felt uncomfortable with their presence of the pair — both clad in Islamic attire. The incident occurred Friday on an Atlantic Southeast Airlines flight from Tennessee to North Carolina and it involved Masudur Rahman and Mohamed Zaghloul were wearing traditional Muslim dress, CNN affiliate WCNC reported. The two — who hold high religious positions in the Muslim community — were headed to North Carolina for a conference on prejudice against Muslims, or Islamaphobia. The meeting is sponsored by the North American Imams Federation. Rahman, who is a professor at the University of Memphis, told the affiliate that the incident reminded him of the prejudice Rosa Parks faced during the civil rights movement.
A Florida professor was arrested and removed from a plane Monday after his fellow passengers alerted crew members they thought he had a suspicious package in the overhead compartment. That "suspicious package" turned out to be keys, a bagel with cream cheese and a hat. Ognjen Milatovic, 35, was flying from Boston to Washington D.C. on US Airways when he was escorted off the plane for disorderly conduct following the incident. Monday's incident is another example of other passengers essentially becoming the authority on terrorist activity on planes. Recently, passenger complaints have resulted authorities taking action against innocent passengers who went to the bathroom too often on a flight and who were just being annoying.
Comedian Stephen Fry has said he is "prepared to go to prison" over the "Twitter joke" trial. Fry was at a benefit gig for a man who is appealing against his conviction for sending a menacing communication. Paul Chambers had tweeted: "Crap! Robin Hood Airport is closed. You've got a week... otherwise I'm blowing the airport sky high!"
Fry argued that Chambers' tweet was an example of Britain's tradition of self-deprecating humour and banter. Chambers' case has become a cause celebre on Twitter, with hundreds of people reposting his original comments in protest at the conviction. "This [verdict] must not be allowed to stand in law," Fry said, adding that he would continue to repeat Chambers' message and face prison "if that's what it takes".