A security official confirmed to Fox News on Wednesday that it issued a bulletin to airlines this week urging them to use explosive trace detection swabs on shoes, citing “very recent intelligence” that it is considering credible.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security also confirmed Wednesday that it continues to share “relevant threat information” with U.S. airlines, referring to reports that surfaced of a potential shoe bombing threat could impact inbound U.S. flights from overseas.
“Out of an abundance of caution, DHS regularly shares … with domestic and international partners relevant threat information as we work to meet our mission of keeping the traveling public safe,” a safety official said.
The person added that “these types of regular communications,” as well as the DHS’s “security apparatus” that includes a number of both “seen and unseen” measures informed by the “latest intelligence” are all part of that important security priority.
“As always DHS continues to adjust security measures to fit an ever-evolving threat environment,” the official said.
When asked about reports of a shoe bomber, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration had no comment and pointed FOX Business back to the DHS. American Airlines said it “doesn’t comment on security matters” and pointed toward Airlines.org, which represents U.S. carriers.
United Airlines (UAL) said it works “closely with federal officials on security matters” but is “not able to discuss the details of those efforts.”
This wouldn’t be the first time the U.S. was faced
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SINGAPORE, Feb. 18, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Honeywell Aerospace (NYSE: HON) has signed a memorandum of understanding with Air China to begin testing GX Aviation on the airline’s A330 aircraft. Air China is the first airline to collaborate with Honeywell and Inmarsat to test the GX Ka-band connectivity solution, and joint testing is expected to begin in the second quarter of 2015.
GX Aviation represents a new era in cabin connectivity for commercial aircraft. Its unprecedented speed and bandwidth will bring Air China one step closer to providing customers with a home- and office-like wireless connectivity experience even at 40,000 feet. Passengers will have the freedom to do what they want online in-flight, from chatting on social media to streaming videos. With GX Aviation, passengers can expect a 60 percent improvement in download speed for their in-flight connectivity compared with current solutions in the market today.
“The airline industry is highly competitive, and airlines must constantly innovate with new and compelling value offerings to stay ahead of the competition. GX Aviation will enhance the in-flight experience for Air China’s customers, providing them with a superior level of in-flight connectivity,” said Brian Davis, vice president, Asia Pacific, Airlines, Honeywell Aerospace. “GX Aviation will undoubtedly establish new global benchmarks for passenger standards for the next two decades. True worldwide coverage and highest speeds are just some of the benefits that Air China can look forward to enjoying once the service comes into play in 2015.”
“GX Aviation is rapidly gathering momentum,” says Bill Peltola, Inmarsat vice president, Aviation. “The first satellite in the Global Xpress constellation is in place following a successful launch in December 2013.
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The value of airline tickets sold by U.S.-based travel agencies increased 2.83 percent year-over-year in the first month of 2014 compared to the same period last year, totalling $7.84 billion vs. $7.62 billion in 2013, reported ARC.
January 2014 ticket transactions increased 0.14 percent over the same period in 2013 to 13.3 million. Year-to-date passenger segments increased by 2.1 percent to 28.5 million compared to 27.9 million in 2013. More detailed information: https://www.arccorp.com/news/stat/2014-01.jsp.
ARC powers the U.S.-based travel industry with premier business solutions, travel agency accreditation services, process and financial management tools, and powerful data analytics. In 2013, ARC settled $86 billion worth of carrier ticket transactions for more than 9,400 travel agencies with 15,000 points of sale. ARC enables participating agencies and 191 carriers to focus on what’s important—increasing their revenue. Established in 1984, ARC is headquartered in Arlington, Va. arccorp.com
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A storm is brewing in the cockpit of U.S. airlines: a pilot shortage.
Thousands of pilots are nearing the mandatory retirement age of 65, just as it is becoming harder to be a commercial airline pilot.
New federal pilot-rest rules and tougher qualification standards requiring new pilots to have 1,500 hours of flight experience — up from 250 — have come at the same time that throngs of senior pilots will be retiring.
The new mandates were implemented in the past six months, in response to the Colgan Air crash near Buffalo on Feb. 12, 2009, that killed all 49 aboard the plane and one man on the ground.
National Transportation Safety Board hearings focused on whether the plane’s two pilots were properly trained and whether factors such as fatigue may have affected their performance.
Although job prospects for commercial pilots are bright, and regional airlines are scooping up newly minted aviators with signing bonuses, fewer young people are choosing aviation careers.
The reason: the cost of training and low entry-level pay — $20,000 to $25,000 a year.
New Jersey native Christopher Machado, 20, a junior at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Fla., has wanted to be a pilot since he was a boy, watching the planes overhead at the Newark, N.J., airport, not far from his home.
At 17, he had a private pilot’s license — before he drove a car alone. Machado said the cost of his education and flight training will be about $250,000 before he can sit in the first officer’s seat of a regional airline, where commercial pilots usually
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February 4, 2014 | 6:39 amBy the Caribbean Journal staff The government of the Cayman Islands says it is inviting each of the major cruise lines to engage in “bilateral discussions” on the development of the proposed cruise berthing facility in George Town. The British Overseas Territory’s Cabinet approved the Outline Business Case for the facility at the end of December. “Government has approached the FCCA and cruise lines as they will be the prime users of the berthing facility, and it is important that any specific user requirements they might have are determined early on in the process,” Tourism Minister Moses Kirkconnell said. “Once this has been accomplished, we will then look at the best ways to incorporate those needs, while ensuring value-for-money for the Cayman Islands.” The Tourism Ministry is overseeing development of the facility, and has already issued Requests For Proposals for a planned Environmental Impact Assessment. In a statement, the government said its intention was to carry out the impact assessment this year. “It is proposed that the EIA process, the discussions with the cruise line users and the subsequent procurement process will all proceed during 2014,” the government said.
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