New York Times | In the wake of the terrorism attempt Friday on a Northwest Airlines flight, federal officials on Saturday imposed new restrictions on travelers that could lengthen lines at airports and limit the ability of international passengers to move about an airplane.
The government was vague about the steps it was taking, saying that it wanted the security experience to be "unpredictable" and that passengers would not find the same measures at every airport—a prospect that may upset airlines and travelers alike.
But several airlines released detailed information about the restrictions, saying that passengers on international flights coming to the United States will apparently have to remain in their seats for the last hour of a flight without any personal items on their laps. It was not clear how often the rule would affect domestic flights.
ABC News | In a massive security breach, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) inadvertently posted online its airport screening procedures manual, including some of the most closely guarded secrets regarding special rules for diplomats and CIA and law enforcement officers.
The most sensitive parts of the 93-page Standard Operating Procedures manual were apparently redacted in a way that computer savvy individuals easily overcame.
The document shows sample CIA, Congressional and law enforcement credentials which experts say would make it easy for terrorists to duplicate.
The improperly redacted areas indicate that only 20 percent of checked bags are to be hand searched for explosives and reveal in detail the limitations of x-ray screening machines.
Flights in several major hubs across the nation were heavily delayed
early this morning by a glitch in an Federal Aviation Administration computer system that helps
manage air traffic. The snafu resulted in no accidents, but it raises an obvious question: could future such problems put passengers in danger?
The short answer, according to FAA spokesman Hank Price, is no.
“Radar coverage and communication with aircraft were never affected,”
he told me. “So it’s not a safety problem at all.”
What happened was that the system that automatically generates
flight plans crashed, forcing FAA personnel to input the data manually,
and thereby slowing down the whole system. Flight plans are electronic
documents that tell air traffic controllers where each aircraft is
going, when, and by what route, and are required for all commercial
flights. If an airliner’s crew can’t be issued a flight plan, it simply
has to sit on the ground.
Like many Americans, I have three names. Stuart Clark Mitchell. I like all of them, but they’ve led to confusion my entire life.
First of all, they could all be first or last names. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been called “Mitchell,” especially in situations where names on a roster are listed last name first. Secondly, my parents had the bright idea of calling me by my middle name (“Clark”). As a result, on the first day of every class in college, I had to explain that I was indeed “Stuart,” but “Clark” would be my preference. Then there’s the question of spelling—some, including a certain person on staff here at T+L, insist on making my name a little fancier by writing “Clarke,” even after years of correcting.
While all of this may seem trivial compared to keeping our country safe, the new TSA program, Secure Flight, which launches early next year, is bound to affect people like me.
There has been a bit of a fluster in the blogosphere in response to a video released yesterday by TMZ, showing Britney Spears passing through airport security at Los Angeles' LAX with a 7-Eleven Big Gulp in hand—and it wasn't confiscated by security, I might add.
The accusations were aplenty, most assuming the pop princess was granted special permission that allowed her to bypass common folk security regulations.