Tech Bytes
The Transportation Security Administration recently awarded contracts worth a total of $2.3 million to three companies to test their passenger screening systems at airport security checkpoints in Phoenix, Los Angeles, and New York. The contracts were awarded to: X-ray inspection technology firm American Science & Engineering; military equipment company L-3 Communications Holdings Inc.; and, electronics maker OSI Systems Inc.’s Rapiscan Systems subsidiary.

The technologies screen passengers without physical contact by showing an image of the body that detects weapons, explosives, and other metallic and non-metallic threats concealed under clothing, says TSA.

Each vendor will lease up to five of their systems to TSA for testing in airports for up to six months, with options for TSA to purchase additional units.
Backscatter technology, which is being provided by ASEI and Rapiscan, has been in place at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport since February, and passengers have been choosing it over a physical pat-down by a “wide margin,” according to TSA.

The new contracts allow TSA to expand the backscatter testing, and to use millimeter wave technology from L-3 for the first time. A millimeter wave image looks like a fuzzy photo negative and is created when electromagnetic waves are reflected from the body, explains TSA.

For privacy reasons, the officer on the scene will not view the image and the officer who does “will be remotely located and unable to associate the image with the passenger being screened,” according to TSA. The images also will not be stored, transmitted, or printed.
ASIS International (ASIS), the Alexandria, VA-based organization for security professionals worldwide, through its Commission on Standards and Guidelines and its Information Asset Protection Committee, releases the final version of its “Information Asset Protection Guideline.” The guideline is designed to help organizations develop and implement a policy and comprehensive risk-based strategy to protect their intellectual property, proprietary information, and other intangible assets.

In April 2005, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) awarded ASIS International a Designation for its Guidelines Program, under the SAFETY (Support Anti-Terrorism by Fostering Effective Technology) Act of 2002.

The guideline is organized into three primary sections. The first section offers a general framework and some guiding principles for developing an effective Information Assets Protection (IAP) policy within any organizational setting.

The second section proposes recommended practices that may be implemented into a high-quality IAP program. The third section consists of two appendices that provide useful tools such as a sample flow chart for assessing information protection needs.
This document is now available free of charge in its entirety at
Yet another move that demonstrates we live in a global airport world: 40 independent transportation companies in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, England, France, Italy, Scotland, and Spain recently launched what’s billed as the world’s largest door-to-door airport shuttle company, GO Airport Shuttle.

Serving 110 airports as geographically diverse as Kahului Airport in Maui, DFW in Dallas/Ft. Worth, and Charles De Gaulle Airport in France, GO boasts a fleet of 3,765 vehicles, carrying some 29 million passengers annually. The local companies, each of which formerly operated under a separate name, are currently converting their vans, motor coaches, and sedans to a uniform green and white GO identity.

A key component of the new company’s business model is a central, Web-based reservation system,, which customers can visit to book transportation to and from departure and destination airports, or call 877-544-GOGO (4646).

“The GO concept responds to a growing demand in the market for a single-source ground transportation company,” says John McCarthy, newly-elected president of GO Airport Shuttle and president of Continental Air Transport in Chicago, which operates GO Airport Express. Local operators will remain independently owned and managed.
HAI has enhanced its 2007 Helicopter Annual CD-ROM for HAI members and aviation professionals around the globe. More than 1,000 CDs have been distributed, software can be downloaded from the HAI website.

Version 2 of the CD updates HAI member information weekly. The updated program will routinely install all the updates each year, including PDF pages and new membership data.

The Helicopter Annual is published yearly and includes helicopter specifications, industry statistics, HAI membership directories by class and geographic matrix, listings of international civil aviation contacts, key Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) personnel, association committees, etc.
All pilots need to understand and interpret the three common aviation navigation charts. Enter Sporty’s, which introduces the Virtual Nav Chart, a program that explains in depth the World Aeronautical Chart, the Sectional Chart, and the Terminal Area Chart. Program features dozens of tips and little-known facts.

Fully animated tutorial uses 3-dimensional graphics to aid understanding of all the aspects of VFR charts. The program covers airspace classes, chart symbols, legal altitudes, ADIZ, Temporary Flight Restrictions, Military Operations Areas, laser warning signals, and more. Virtual Nav Chart [M144A] is a 90-minute program on two CD-ROMs.

Sporty’s also has added seven new titles to its library of downloadable programs for pilots who need the latest in flexibility and mobility.

Currently available: Airspace Review, Weather Format Review, Pilot’s Guide to Runway Safety, So You Want to Fly Helicopters, Helicopter Cross Country, Advanced Helicopter Flying and Advanced Helicopter Cross Country. Already available for download is the entire collection of 33 Air Facts™ programs, along with other programs on the Garmin G1000, the Garmin GPSMAP 396/496, seaplane flying, gliders and more.

Videos are easily downloaded to a PC, Mac, video iPod, Microsoft Zune, or other personal viewing device, says Sporty’s.