Knives allowed by TSA
March 5th, 2013
03:27 PM ET

TSA to allow small knives on flights

Beginning April 25, the Transportation Security Administration will allow knives with blades that are 2.36 inches (6 centimeters) or shorter and less than 1/2 inch in width on U.S. airline flights. Two golf clubs, toy bats or other sports sticks will also be allowed in carry-on luggage.

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FAA allows Dreamliner test flights
Battery problems have grounded Boeing's 787 Dreamliner fleet.
February 7th, 2013
08:07 PM ET

FAA allows Dreamliner test flights

After three weeks on the ground, Boeing's 787 Dreamliner soon will return to the skies - but only so engineers can test the plane's troubled electrical and battery systems, the Federal Aviation Administration said Thursday.

The FAA approved test flights for the Boeing planes with strict conditions to assure safety: Only essential personnel will be on board, crews must continuously monitor the plane for battery-related problems and tests will be conducted over unpopulated areas.

"These flights will be an important part of our efforts to ensure the safety of passengers and return these aircraft to service," the agency said.
Boeing spokesman Marc Birtel said in a statement that the company is "confident" the tests could be conducted safely, and said one Boeing aircraft has been designated for the test.

The Dreamliner is the first commercial aircraft to make extensive use of lithium-ion batteries, which can hold more electrical power in a smaller, lighter space. However, dangerous problems with batteries overheating have caused the 787 fleet to be grounded.

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Nothing ruled out as NTSB studies Dreamliner battery
The Federal Aviation Administration grounded all U.S. Dreamliners this month, and other nations followed suit.
January 24th, 2013
07:21 PM ET

Nothing ruled out as NTSB studies Dreamliner battery

As Boeing and airline officials sought to assure travelers of the overall safety of the world's newest jetliner, federal safety officials Thursday painted a graphic picture of a disaster averted, displaying the charred remnants of a battery that "spewed molten electrolytes" from its container shortly after landing in Boston earlier this month.

"This is an unprecedented event," National Transportation Safety Board Chairwoman Deborah Hersman said of back-to-back battery incidents aboard Boeing 787 Dreamliners in the United States and Japan.

"We do not expect to see fire events on board aircrafts. This is a very serious safety concern," she said.

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Fuel delivery to icebound Alaskan town complete
The tanker Renda transfers fuel to the northwestern Alaskan town of Nome on Monday.
January 19th, 2012
08:56 PM ET

Fuel delivery to icebound Alaskan town complete

A Russian tanker on Thursday morning finished delivering 1.3 million gallons of fuel to icebound Nome, Alaska, the U.S. Coast Guard said.

The tanker Renda, anchored more than a quarter-mile off Nome following a 11-day journey with an icebreaking Coast Guard ship, began transferring the fuel through hoses to an onshore fuel storage facility on Monday.

A company in Nome a town of 3,500 people contracted the Renda to deliver the fuel after ice formed over the Bering Sea following a ferocious November storm that prevented the last delivery of the season via barge.

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Alaska fuel convoy prepares for final push to Nome
The Coast Guard Cutter Healy, right, breaks ice around the Russian tanker Renda last week about 250 miles south of Nome.
January 13th, 2012
12:17 PM ET

Alaska fuel convoy prepares for final push to Nome

Two ships trying to break through ice to resupply ice-bound Nome, Alaska, are nearly there after a 10-day journey but have paused to identify the safest path into harbor, a U.S. Coast Guard spokeswoman said Friday.

The U.S. Coast Guard's only operating Arctic icebreaker, the Cutter Healy, and the Russian fuel tanker Renda were in the Bering Sea about eight nautical miles from Nome on Friday morning, Coast Guard Lt. Veronica Colbath told “CNN Newsroom.”

The Healy will have broken through nearly 300 miles of ice for the Renda, which is transporting 1.3 million gallons of fuel for Nome on a journey that began last week from southern Alaska’s Aleutian Islands. The ships’ leaders and an ice expert are discussing “the best way to proceed” to Nome on northwestern Alaska’s coast, Colbath said.

“We have (had) … ice and weather challenges on this 300-mile journey, so we will not be rushing into the harbor of Nome until we have identified the best course of action to navigate in,” Colbath said.

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Alaska fuel convoy back on track
The Coast Guard Cutter Healy, right, breaks ice around the Russian tanker Renda about 250 miles south of Nome on January 6.
January 12th, 2012
05:48 PM ET

Alaska fuel convoy back on track

A Coast Guard icebreaker and a Russian tanker trying to resupply icebound Nome, Alaska, are once again advancing on the coastal town after a nearly two-day pause in the Bering Sea.

The U.S. Coast Guard's only operating Arctic icebreaker, the Cutter Healy, and the Russian fuel tanker Renda were about 67 nautical miles from Nome on Thursday morning, Lt. Veronica Colbath, a Coast Guard spokeswoman, said.

The vessels had made virtually no progress for much of Tuesday and Wednesday, when they were about 100 nautical miles out, according to the Coast Guard. The pause was due in part because the Healy had to free the Renda from an ice ridge on Tuesday, the Alaska Dispatch reported.

Officials are tentatively hoping the ships, carrying 1.3 million gallons of fuel, will arrive at Nome this weekend, Colbath said.

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FAA administrator resigns after arrest
Police arrested Randy Babbitt, 65, Saturday, on suspicion of driving while intoxicated.
December 6th, 2011
05:30 PM ET

FAA administrator resigns after arrest

Federal Aviation Administrator Randy Babbitt resigned Tuesday, three days after he was arrested on suspicion of drunken driving near his suburban Washington home.

In a brief statement released to the press, Babbitt said he had submitted his resignation to his boss, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, and that LaHood had accepted it.

Babbitt, a former airline pilot, said serving as FAA administrator had been "the highlight of my professional career."

"But I am unwilling to let anything cast a shadow on the outstanding work done 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by my colleagues at the FAA," Babbitt said.

The statement made no mention of the arrest.

Earlier in the day, LaHood told reporters he was "disappointed" that he had learned about Babbitt's Saturday night arrest only after police in the city of Fairfax, Virginia, released a press release about the incident.

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Officials confirm 'credible but unconfirmed' 9/11 threat
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said "there's no reason for any of the rest of us to change ... our daily routines."
September 8th, 2011
10:05 PM ET

Officials confirm 'credible but unconfirmed' 9/11 threat

[Updated at 10:05 p.m. ET] New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly told reporters Thursday night that authorities are "taking additional precautions" given "new threat information" tied to the 10th anniversary of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

These measures include "vehicle checkpoints around the city," more bomb-sniffing dogs around the city, increased towing of illegally parked cars and greater police staffing, according to Kelly.

[Updated at 9:56 p.m. ET] New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg told reporters Thursday night that while additional police will be deployed around the city amid reports of an "unconfirmed" terror threat to the city on September 11, "there's no reason for any of the rest of us to change ... our daily routines."

In an earlier statement, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo urged residents to be "cautious and aware" while adding, "There is no reason to panic." And D.C. Metro Police Chief Cathy Lanier said that authorities in the nation's capital are preparing for 9/11 anniversary events and noted "maintaining a certain sense of unpredictability is essential to the success of any security plan."

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Report: Lenient passport enforcement heightens border risk
December 20th, 2010
10:58 PM ET

Report: Lenient passport enforcement heightens border risk

The border patrol's lenient enforcement of a law requiring U.S. citizens to have passports when re-entering the country at land crossings has heightened the risk that an imposter might get in, according to a government report released Monday.

Under the law, which took effect in June 2009, U.S. citizens must show passports or some other authorized travel documents like a military ID when returning to the United States. Those who don't are supposed to undergo further screening to confirm their citizenship.

But, during a phase-in period that now has stretched over 18 months, very few travelers have been referred to secondary screening, the report from the Homeland Security department's inspector general's office found. That assertion, the study concluded, "increases the risk that someone could enter the U.S. under false pretense of citizenship."

The federal Customs and Border Protection agency, though, contends that the program is working, adding that it believes it is better to encourage compliance gradually then to enforce it right away.

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November 9th, 2010
06:34 PM ET

Air marshal sidelined for 'culturally insensitive' remark

A senior administrator with the Federal Air Marshal Service has been removed from his leadership position while the agency investigates a "culturally insensitive" remark he made on a recent conference call, CNN confirmed Tuesday.

John A. Novak, assistant director of the service, dismissed a black colleague's suggestion that the agency hold regional meetings to improve communications by saying such meetings are "nothing but traveling minstrel shows with people with banjos and guitars," said a senior government official familiar with the investigation.

The reference to minstrel shows, in which white performers in blackface lampooned African Americans, was offensive, the senior official said.

"It was dumb. It was stupid. It was egregious," added the official, who spoke on condition of not being identified by name. The official was not authorized to speak about the case publicly.

Read the full story on CNN.com.

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May 13th, 2010
02:26 AM ET

Judge upholds firing of federal air marshal

The Transportation Security Administration was within its rights when it fired a federal air marshal for leaking sensitive information to the media, an administrative judge has ruled.

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May 5th, 2010
02:50 PM ET

Security Brief: Terror Watch List folks who seek guns get approved, GAO says

Suspects on the government's Terror Watch List attempted to buy firearms or explosives 1,228 times in the past six years and won government approval in the vast majority of cases, according to a government report.

In 1,119 cases - 91 percent of all the requests - the government granted approval for the persons to proceed with the purchase, according to the General Accountability Office.

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April 30th, 2010
06:21 PM ET

In ironic twist, BP finalist for pollution prevention award

Call it a tragic irony.

BP, now under federal scrutiny because of its role in the deadly Gulf of Mexico explosion and oil spill, is one of three finalists for a federal award honoring offshore oil companies for "outstanding safety and pollution prevention."

The winner of the award - chosen before the April 20 oil rig incident - was to be announced this coming Monday at a luncheon in Houston. But the U.S. Department of Interior this week postponed the awards ceremony, saying it needs to devote its resources to the ongoing situation resulting from the Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion and fire.

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March 30th, 2010
05:49 PM ET

Feds: Two aircraft nearly collided over San Francisco

A United Airlines B-777 jetliner came dangerously close to striking a small aircraft over San Francisco on Saturday, with the two planes coming an estimated 200 to 300 feet from each other, according to federal officials who launched an investigation into the incident Tuesday.

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March 24th, 2010
05:14 PM ET

TSA nominee says he'd allow screeners to unionize

President Obama's second nominee to head the Transportation Security Administration signaled Wednesday that he would support unionization of the nation's 40,000 airport screeners.

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March 18th, 2010
08:10 PM ET

NTSB: Wayward Northwest pilots awake but distracted

The pilots of Northwest Flight 188 did not fall asleep when they overflew their destination by more than 100 miles in October, the National Transportation Safety Board said Thursday in a detailed report on the wayward flight.

The two pilots "became distracted by a conversation" about the airline's new work schedule system and by laptop computers they were using in violation of company policy and did not communicate with air traffic control for about 1 hour and 17 minutes while they cruised past their Minneapolis, Minnesota, destination at 37,000 feet, the NTSB said.

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March 18th, 2010
05:59 PM ET

FAA proposes fines against American Airlines

Federal aviation officials are proposing to fine American Airlines $300,000 for flying an airplane with a broken instrument on four occasions early last year in violation of Federal Aviation Administration regulations.

The proposed fine comes one week after the FAA proposed fines against the airline totaling $787,500 for three other alleged maintenance violations.

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