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Aviation security

- Five Fs, 4 Ds, 3 Cs, and 2 Bs. If you brought home a report card like this when you were a kid, you’d be grounded. The U.S. aviation security industry just brought home those grades, but don’t expect planes to be grounded any time soon. The “teacher” handing out these dismal marks is the Coalition of Airline Pilots Associations (CAPA), which brings together the 22,000-pilot-strong union membership of five airlines. The worst grades went to screening cargo, credentialing, crew training in self-defense, missile defense, and employee screening. In comments accompanying the report card, CAPA notes that “near total reliance” on the Known Shippers program for cargo screening is a “serious flaw.” Comments under credentialing note that the Transportation Security Administration has yet to deploy available biometric technology. Here’s the breakdown of grades: Barely receiving a passing grade of D were perimeter security, threat intelligence, federal flight-deck officers on passenger planes, and federal flight-deck officers on cargo planes. Grades of C went to passenger screening, federal air marshals, and classroom training for crew. Faring best, with grades of B, were bag screening and passenger flight-deck doors. “The reinforced doors are installed and appear to be working well,” say the comments accompanying the report card.@ The comments and the report card can be accessed via SM Online.

Secure Flight in Holding Pattern

- A government report, as well as its competing interpretations, has raised questions about when the latest passenger prescreening system for commercial flights will take wing. Secure Flight, the latest iteration of the scuttled Computer-Assisted Passenger Prescreening System II (CAPPS II), must overcome several serious challenges, according to a report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO). @ Link to the GAO report, the ACLU press release, the Leahy statement, and the Schneier blog via SM Online.

TSA May Have Tipped Agents Off to Security Test

- The Associated Press reports that the Transportation Security Administration appears to have thwarted a security test "by alerting screeners across the country that it was under way, even providing descriptions of the undercover agents."

Airport security

- A bill (H.R. 2688) introduced by Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY) would require the physical screening of all people, goods, property, vehicles, and equipment before they are allowed into the secure area of an airport. The bill would take effect 120 days after it is enacted. Until the measure took effect, the bill would require that the government conduct random screenings and inspections of such articles. Under the measure, the TSA would be required to report to Congress on ongoing efforts and projected timelines for developing screening standards for airport personnel, assessing available technologies for securing airport perimeters, and developing and implementing a standardized approach for conducting airport vulnerability assessments. H.R. 2688 has eight cosponsors and has been referred to the House Homeland Security Committee’s Subcommittee on Economic Security, Infrastructure Security, and Cybersecurity.patriot act.

Airport Hassles

- A survey polls travelers on airport passenger screening attitudes.

NASA Will Release Airline Survey

- Report was originally suppressed due to NASA fears it would harm the commercial airline industry.

Odd Carry-ons or Probing Attack?

- Experts differ on whether suspicious carry-ons were a terrorist trial run, but they are encouraged that scanners caught the objects.

Foreign Airport Repair Shops Present Security Risks

- Congress and security experts fear terrorists could stash explosives in plane parts and cavities.

Passenger Planes

- A proposed rule requiring passenger screening for private aircraft entering or leaving the United States, has been issued by the Department of Homeland Security.

Airport Security

- A bill (H.R. 1413) that would establish an airport security pilot program to screen airport workers with access to secure and  sterile areas of airports has been approved by the House Homeland Security Committee. To proceed, the bill must now be taken up by the full House of Representatives.

Safer Skies over Russia

- Russia’s Transportation Ministry has ordered airlines to improve customer service or risk losing their operating licenses

Jargon Watch

- Jargon Watch

Secure Flight Encountering Turbulence

- Several government groups have raised concerns about the viability of the latest proposals for passenger prescreening.

Beyond Print

SM Online

See all the latest links and resources that supplement the current issue of Security Management magazine.