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Travel Safety & Security Update.

Secure Flight Program to undergo audit, Registered Traveler criticized. The government is conducting an audit on Secure Flight, a program that has been designed to check the name of every domestic airline passenger against a government watch list. Transportation Security Administration Chief Kip Hawley said he has asked for a complete review of Secure Flight. The TSA is on schedule to launch the Registered Traveler program in June. Critics have raised questions about privacy protection and management of the project. "I don't want to see another airline pay for yet another failed program that doesn't work for everybody," Air Transport Association President and CEO James C. May said. May also said the airlines are unaware of any evidence that Registered Traveler will produce the tangible and widely available benefits to passengers envisioned in 2002. February 10, 2006

TSA requests funds to help retain workers. The Transportation Security Administration has asked for $10 million to help retain workers, Washington Post columnist Stephen Barr writes. One in five screeners leaves the agency, according to the TSA. The TSA will use the funds for extra pay, bonuses, and other incentives. February 10, 2006

Registered Traveler program faces sharp criticism. The Transportation Security Administration's Registered Traveler program is set to launch in June, but critics say travelers who participate may still be tapped for secondary screening. Air Transport Association President and CEO James May believes the program should be discontinued, and he noted airlines may be forced to pay for part of the program. May is scheduled to testify today in a hearing held by the U.S. Senate Committee on Science and Transportation. February 9, 2006

NTSB investigates fewer fatal air accidents. The National Transportation Safety Board is sending investigators to fewer fatal plane crashes. Former investigators say the NTSB may miss opportunities to improve safety. The NTSB is facing a backlog of cases and a tight budget. Acting Chairman Mark V. Rosenker said the NTSB wants "more safety payback" from the accidents it investigates. February 8, 2006

The Federal budget for the Federal Aviation Administration is down 4% to $13.7 billion. The FAA has proposed cutting funding for its Airport Improvement Program. The Air Transport Association said it supports the FAA's move to fund capacity improvements. February 7, 2006

FAA proposes cuts to Airport Improvement Program. Proposed funding. LAX to receive federal funds for runway safety. Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta said Los Angeles International Airport will receive more than $100 million in federal funds to fix runway safety problems. February 7, 2006

Confiscated items generate revenue for states. The business of selling or disposing of items confiscated by the Transportation Security Administration generates millions of dollars each year. The TSA allows state and local governments to donate or sell the banned items. Contractor Science Application International also collects the items under a government contract. February 7, 2006

Controller pay should be at "real world" levels. The Federal Aviation Administration and the union representing air traffic controllers have been negotiating a new contract for the controllers for six months. The union is using member dues to boost its lobbying effort, according to a Wall Street Journal editorial. Compensation for controllers has climbed 75% since 1998, and top controllers earn nearly $200,000. Controllers should be paid at "real world" levels, the board writes, and one solution is to privatize the air traffic system. February 6, 2006

Plan would allow FAA to charge user fees. A White House plan, which needs congressional approval, would force business jets to pay a larger share for upgrades to the air traffic control system. Airlines support the user-fee arrangement; in 2004, commercial airlines paid 90% of aviation taxes, but operated two-thirds of flights. "There's obviously a great disparity," said John Meenan, executive vice president of the Air Transport Association. February 6, 2006

Registered Traveler participants to pay $100 to reduce wait times. Participants in the Transportation Security Administration's Registered Traveler program traveling through Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport will pay $100 to participate and will give the government a variety of personal data. Airlines oppose the program and are urging the TSA to refocus its efforts. "As currently envisaged by some proponents, the program would appear to serve more as a revenue-generating scheme than a security program that would benefit passengers," Air Transport Association President and CEO James May wrote in a letter to the TSA. February 6, 2006

Midway International Airport

Officials scrutinize formula for stopping jets. The investigation of a crash at Midway International Airport in December found there are no required calculations for landing planes in snowy weather. Boeing issued a memo urging airlines to review how they calculate a jet's stopping distance on slippery runways. The National Transportation Safety Board will also review how airlines calculate the distance necessary for a jet to stop. February 9, 2006

Turkish Airlines

Turkish Airlines aircraft skids off runway at New York's JFK airport on Sunday. An Airbus A340-300 aircraft operated by Turkish Airlines skidded off a runway at New York's JFK International Airport yesterday February 12th. According to Steve Coleman, a spokesman for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, none of the passengers were injured. Turkish Airlines said that the aircraft went off the runway because of bad weather, The Associated Press reported. The flight was one of the few services operated yesterday as the airport was closed earlier in the day due to a record-breaking snowstorm. February 12, 2006

UPS

Fire forces UPS jet to make emergency landing. A fire in the cargo area forced a UPS cargo jetliner to make an emergency landing early Wednesday at Philadelphia International Airport. Authorities shut the airport after the plane landed, and it was reopened at 6 a.m. The plane's crew members were treated at a local hospital for smoke inhalation and released. The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the incident. February 8, 2006
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Publication:Airguide Online
Date:Feb 13, 2006
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