Browsing Tag: security

usairwaysa320First off there was no intention to use the gun for any “evil” purposes. That being said, it is crazy that this could happen. A USAirways airport employee on Thursday was trying to help someone he knew get a gun from point A to point B. The employee helped get a bag containing the gun through security and the bag was carried on after it cleared.

Others saw the transaction and reported the suspicious activity. The flight had already left the terminal and had to be called back to the gate and searched. Officials found an unloaded 9mm handgun in the overhead bin. Both men have been arrested.

Even though neither person intended to use the gun while on the flight, it obviously raises concerns of how easily weapons can bypass security.

Source: AP Image: mayorgreg
San Jose Police Department’s Officer Manny Vasquez, left, and Sergeant Luan Nguyen

San Jose Police Department’s Officer Manny Vasquez, left, and Sergeant Luan Nguyen

Two vacationing off-duty San Jose police officers, Luan Nguyen and Manny Vasquez, were on an Eva Air flight from Taipei to San Francisco, when the captain came on the intercom, “I have a situation on board. If there are any law enforcement officers on board, please identify yourselves to a flight attendant.”

 The unarmed officers went to give their assistance and found a mentally ill passenger where they had to use force, straps, seat belts, and belts to restrain the man.

The passenger had attacked a sleeping women, choking her until others were able to get him off her. The flight attendants cleared the last few rows, which left the unstable man by himself and also near the galley — which had knives among other items that could be used as a weapon.

When the officers approached the man he started fighting violently, kicking everything around him, including the cabin window. The officers were able to take control of the man and worked with passengers restraining him for the remainder of the 4.5 hours to San Francisco. After landing the man was placed into police custody and the officers received a round of applause.

Although the men didn’t have any of their standard equipment an officer on the ground would have, they did have their training and that was all they needed to resolve a messy and potentially deadly situation.

Source and Image: Mercury News
Oakland Airport Security Line

Oakland Airport Security Line

There are a lot of TSA stories out there recently. MMV “underwear” looking technology, have to put your shoes directly on the belt, and now you must use all three of your names when making airline reservations.

Some security measures I understand, but others leave me wondering if they provide real security or just a false sense of security? Ok, is it that much work for me to write out my middle name on my reservations? Or is it that hard for me to put my shoes directly on the xray belt? No, probably not, but I am a frequent traveller and try to pay attention to the newest rules.

Even though the “laptop in a bin”, your “3oz of liquids in a ziploc” and “have your boarding pass out so 2 people can check it” rules have been around a long time, many people still have a hard time understanding the rules. Are changing them frequently going to speed up the security lines? What happens for people that don’t have middle names? Are they going to be security checked?

The government contends these changes will increase security and will reduce mistakes. The three names will limit the mistakes of people being on the “Do Not Fly” list. Opponents worry that fliers will just be losing more privacy and not gaining any new security.

Hopefully this is the last TSA security changes until at least August when I get to blog about them requiring your birth date and gender when booking a flight too.

Image: tigerpaw511

Millimeter wave technology produces whole body images (woman at left, man at right) that reveal what's under your clothes, including Metallic or non-metallic devices and objects are displayed.

Remember those scanners from Total Recall? The kind that could see through your clothes and detect if someone is carrying something they shouldn’t? The future is getting closer and that has a few people worried about privacy.

L3 Communications is testing new Millimeter Wave (MMW) technology scanners at six airports around the country, with up to twenty airports planning to start using MMW technology later this year. Unlike the Total Recall’s “just walk right through” scanners, passengers still must remove jackets, metal items, and shoes and step into a small glass chamber. Sensors take about 3min to read the energy coming off the human body and can detect if there is anything that shouldn’t be on the person.

Even though the faces of passengers are blurred out and the technology does not allow printing or storing in anyway, the American Civil Liberties Union is arguing that this technology is too intrusive, showing catheters, underwear, and other non-natural items under a person’s cloths. Not to mention that it quite easily shows the curves of the person’s body which can be seen on the image with this blog.

 At this point it is being offerred by the TSA as an alternative to a traditional pat-down search. The TSA states that more than 99% of passengers given the choice are choosing the MMW technology, but I wonder if they know what the scan is doing. Passengers might think it is like the “sniffing scanner” which is mostly harmless.

Although the concept of this seems like a smart idea, actually seeing the images produced would make me feel uncomfortable being scanned with a MMW scanner. If you get a pat-down you can see the person and know they are being professional. How does one know what a TSA agent is doing with the images they are seeing via MMW in their “remote location.” Although images cannot be recorded, what stops someone from taking photos of the screen? I love technology and would hate to hinder the evolution of Total Recall type scanners. I think if people are informed what the scan fully entails (ie maybe have an example picture next to the scanners) and are given this as a choice, then I think this technology can work and keep people safe.

Thanks Jessica for the tip!

Source & Image:

American Airlines flight 535 in the 'penalty box' area at Miami International Airport.

American Airlines flight 535 in the 'penalty box' area at Miami International Airport.

When you are flying in an airliner, you don’t really want to look out and see some military jets escorting your flight.

American Airlines Flight 535’s pilot from San Juan accidentally turned his transponder to a frequency that let’s traffic controllers know the flight is being hijacked.

The flight got a nice escort to Miami where it was met by Fire and Police. The plane was held at a holding point and inspected before being released.

Even though this was probably quite scary and kind of annoying for those involved, it is nice to see that there was a quick and mighty reaction — in case next time it is was not an accident.

Source: Miami Herald via AirlineBizBlog Image: CBS4