Inside the Fence

Some thoughts from the road and from screening current events ...


Some thoughts from the road and from screening current events ...

The technical tour of the DFW in-line baggage screening system for this issue's cover story was given by Richard Bee, a senior project manager. A couple of outtakes from Bee ...

  • "TSA will tell you, hands down, that DFW is the most successful [installation], operationally. We have reduced the number of TSA personnel that were required when they were in the 'lobby' solution. We have reduced the number of what we call bio-devices."
  • "At some point you have to decide what you're going to build, with the amount of time and money that you have. We arrived at a system that stayed within that criteria, and that was sustainable."

Tour the DFW system and the main walk-away impressions are the need for a modern fiber optic communications network and a central coordination capability for the system/network. DFW had the first already in place; it learned the second on the job.

Another thing you learn is that TSA, in time, could actually monitor baggage screening at commercial airports across the nation from one central location. An interesting scenario.

In light of renewed terrorist threats to airliners, another impression is: How is that five years after 9/11 we still do not have in-line systems at all U.S. commercial airports, along with the infrastructure support?

* * *

This issue's Business Profile looks at Priester Aviation's foray into the Asian market. On the topic of the next wave of aviation — very light jets — COO Andy Priester has some reservations.

Says Priester, "I think there's going to be a wonderful market for the owner-flown, owner-operated airplane. I'm interested to see if that market will translate to air taxis, simply because I can't picture where the threshold of comfort is going to wind up crossing with the threshold of convenience and economics."

* * *

NATA continues the drumbeat to get EPA to ease up on mobile refuelers and secondary containment. A recent letter to the association from EPA says, "We appreciate your concern about the applicability of the upcoming Spill, Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure (SPCC) final rule secondary containment requirements for mobile refuelers at airports. We are still considering providing relief to mobile refuelers as discussed in the December 2005 proposed rule. We are in the process of developing and reviewing the final rule for promulgation in October of this year."

Don't bet on it.

Thanks for reading.

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