»»Full Body Scanners Could Soon Be Deployed at European Airports

Full body scanners could soon be rolled out to European airports. Aviation experts are expecting the scanners to be approved by the European Commission for permanent use, based on the recent study from the EC’s Committee on Emerging and Newly Identified Health Risks (SCENIHR).

The study says that back scatter body scanners are safe based on tests showing as the radiation doses were very low compared with other radiation sources received during the flight.

The report concludes: “In view of the low doses from back scatter security scanners there is no scientific basis to separately consider potentially vulnerable groups […]. Cumulative doses are very likely to remain below the constraints with back scatter scanners even for frequently scanned individuals”.

However, last November the European Commission stopped new trials of back scatter scanners over fears they could expose the passengers to doses of harmful radiation.

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»»New Travel Documents Scanning Technology Deployed at Three U.S.Airports

The Transport Security Administration (TSA) started testing a new technology to check travel documents.
The new technology, named Credential Authentication Technology/Boarding Pass Scanning System (CAT/BPSS), will scan a passenger’s boarding pass and photo ID, to verify the names provided on both documents and authenticate the boarding pass.

It also verifies if photo IDs are altered or fraudulent.
A Travel Document Checker (TDC) will scan passenger’s ID while the passenger scans their own boarding pass using a built in scanner that’s part of the technology.

Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD), Houston George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) and Puerto Rico’s Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport (SJU) are the airports selected for testing CAT/BPSS technology.

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»»Rate of Mishandled Bags is at the Lowest in 8 yrs – Baggage Report

According to a study released today by air transport consulting firm SITA, 99.1 per cent of checked bags were delivered on time to passengers during 2011.
The study, the eighth annual SITA Baggage Report, indicates that it is highest rate of successful delivery in eight years.

The report says that 25.8 million bags were mishandled in 2011, down from 32.3 million reported in 2010. A strong improvement as the number of enplaned passengers saw a rise to 2.87 billion in 2011, up from 2.68 billion in 2010.
The number of bags mishandled per 1,000 passengers in 2011 was 8.99, down from 12.07 in 2010.

The annual SITA Baggage Report also shows that the rate of mishandled bags over the last five years has dropped by 45.1% to 8.99 bags per 1,000 passengers, down from from 18.88 recorded in 2007.  As a consequence of that, the annual cost to the industry per passenger decreased by 52.4%.

When it comes to bags that were lost or stolen, the report shows that number decreased by 45%.
The study reveals that majority of mishandled bags are returned to the legitimate owners within 48 hours.

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»»Which Laptop Must Be Removed from Your Bag at Security Checkpoints

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) offers a clarification about the laptops you need to remove from you bag at airport security checkpoints.

First, they say electronics the size of a standard laptop or larger must be removed from their bags and submitted separately for x-ray screening.

They consider a “12×14” laptop as a “standard size” one.
So if your laptop is approximately “12×14” or larger it needs to come out of your bag.
Laptops smaller than “12×14”, tablet computers, netbooks, and e-readers can stay in the bag, because, TSA explains: “they are less dense than your typical laptop, so it’s easier for our X-ray operator to inspect your bag”.

However TSA also says if you choose to leave the laptops smaller than “12×14” in your bag, there is always a chance they might ask you to remove it to give them that clearer view.

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»»Stats on Lost Baggage, Delayed Flights, Bumping Incidents for 2011

The annual Airline Quality Index shows that airline service in the U.S. improved in 2011 compared to the previous year.
All the four criteria — on-time flights, mishandled bags, consumer complaints and bumping incidents — the federal government uses to measure the Airline Quality Index were better in 2011 than in 2010.

– On-time performance
Best: Hawaiian Airlines (92.8 percent flights arriving on time); worst: JetBlue Airways (73.3 percent). Seven airlines reported on-time arrival percentage over 80 percent; they include: Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, AirTran, Hawaiian, Delta, Mesa Airlines, and Southwest. The average on-time performance in 2011 was 80 percent, better than 2010 when the average on-time performance was 79.8 percent. A flight is on time if it arrives within 15 minutes of when it was originally due.

– Bumpings from full planes
When it comes to denied boardings rate (bumping incidents), Jet Blue and Hawaiian were the best airlines, recording near zero rate. Overall, the average bumping rate was 0.78 per 10,000 passengers, lower than 2010 (1.08).

– Baggage handling
In 2011, the number of mishandled bags per 1000 passengers was 3.35, down from (more…)

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