Tag Archives: Forbes

Best of Aviation Queen – Shoes And Laptop And Drinks — Oh My: Why Are We Still Behind On Airport Security Technology?

The Cobra EDS machine tested at BWI Airport.  Photo by Benet J. Wilson

During my time as airports/security editor for Aviation Week, I spent a lot of time writing and blogging about checkpoint technology designed to get passengers through the process as quickly as possible.  I was particularly focused on how the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) was testing x-ray machines that would allow people to keep their laptops in their bags and studying technology that would allow travelers to carry more than 3.4 oz bottles of liquids past security.

Back in October 2007, I did this post on AvWeek’s Towers and Tarmacs blog about how New Mexico’s Los Alamos Laboratory was looking at how Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) could be used at airport security checkpoints to scan bags and liquids.  Back then, TSA officials were hoping they could start testing that technology in 2008.  We’re still waiting.

I write all this because of a post on Forbes’ business travel blog — Want To Carry Drinks Through Airport Security? This Machine Could Let You.  It discusses how Japanese airports are using Bottled Liquid Checkers (BLC) to scan for potential hazards — and have been for years.  A TSA spokesman told the writer what they told me five years ago — that they continue to work on technology to allow them to move past the liquids ban.

I’ve traveled outside the country regularly since tighter security was put in place after 9/11.  And I’ve seen all kinds of security that allows passengers to keep their shoes and coats on and laptops in their bags.  And I know TSA has been working on policies, procedures and technology to stick with their security mandate but also  make the process easier for travelers. So here’s my question — 11 years after transforming security, why does it feel like we’re still in the same place?

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Why I Won’t Be Traveling Via Air During Thanksgiving

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Me, sitting comfortably in a British Airways Club World seat. Photo by Benet J. Wilson

On Nov. 19, our friend Micki Maynard wrote a post for Forbes entitled “The Best And Worst Airlines For Holiday Travel.” Mind you, you will not see me near an airline during the holiday season because of the crowds and craziness.

At my age, I no longer have the patience or the tolerance that is involved with holiday travel. There are the crowds, the delays, the bumping, the rudeness and the overall uncivilized actions of those who are stressed out over the entire process.

But if you must go, research by FlightAware outlined in Maynard’s story finds that your odds of arriving on time are best if one, you’re flying west, and two, if you’re flying on Hawaiian Airlines or Alaska Airlines. If you’re flying JetBlue, the news is not good.

So I hope you all have a great Thanksgiving. I’m going to be off for the rest of the week, spending time with my family, who is coming in from Texas.

Shoes And Laptop And Drinks — Oh My: Why Are We Still Behind On Airport Security Technology?

Editor’s note: it’s day two of my well-deserved vacation. This best of was first posted on Oct. 2, 2012.  Enjoy!

 

The Cobra EDS machine tested at BWI Airport.  Photo by Benet J. Wilson

During my time as airports/security editor for Aviation Week, I spent a lot of time writing and blogging about checkpoint technology designed to get passengers through the process as quickly as possible.  I was particularly focused on how the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) was testing x-ray machines that would allow people to keep their laptops in their bags and studying technology that would allow travelers to carry more than 3.4 oz bottles of liquids past security.

Back in October 2007, I did this post on AvWeek’s Towers and Tarmacs blog about how New Mexico’s Los Alamos Laboratory was looking at how Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) could be used at airport security checkpoints to scan bags and liquids.  Back then, TSA officials were hoping they could start testing that technology in 2008.  We’re still waiting.

I write all this because of a post on Forbes’ business travel blog — Want To Carry Drinks Through Airport Security? This Machine Could Let You.  It discusses how Japanese airports are using Bottled Liquid Checkers (BLC) to scan for potential hazards — and have been for years.  A TSA spokesman told the writer what they told me five years ago — that they continue to work on technology to allow them to move past the liquids ban.

I’ve traveled outside the country regularly since tighter security was put in place after 9/11.  And I’ve seen all kinds of security that allows passengers to keep their shoes and coats on and laptops in their bags.  And I know TSA has been working on policies, procedures and technology to stick with their security mandate but also  make the process easier for travelers. So here’s my question — 11 years after transforming security, why does it feel like we’re still in the same place?

 

Shoes And Laptop And Drinks — Oh My: Why Are We Still Behind On Airport Security Technology?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Cobra EDS machine tested at BWI Airport.  Photo by Benet J. Wilson

During my time as airports/security editor for Aviation Week, I spent a lot of time writing and blogging about checkpoint technology designed to get passengers through the process as quickly as possible.  I was particularly focused on how the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) was testing x-ray machines that would allow people to keep their laptops in their bags and studying technology that would allow travelers to carry more than 3.4 oz bottles of liquids past security.

Back in October 2007, I did this post on AvWeek’s Towers and Tarmacs blog about how New Mexico’s Los Alamos Laboratory was looking at how Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) could be used at airport security checkpoints to scan bags and liquids.  Back then, TSA officials were hoping they could start testing that technology in 2008.  We’re still waiting.

I write all this because of a post on Forbes’ business travel blog — Want To Carry Drinks Through Airport Security? This Machine Could Let You.  It discusses how Japanese airports are using Bottled Liquid Checkers (BLC) to scan for potential hazards — and have been for years.  A TSA spokesman told the writer what they told me five years ago — that they continue to work on technology to allow them to move past the liquids ban.

I’ve traveled outside the country regularly since tighter security was put in place after 9/11.  And I’ve seen all kinds of security that allows passengers to keep their shoes and coats on and laptops in their bags.  And I know TSA has been working on policies, procedures and technology to stick with their security mandate but also  make the process easier for travelers. So here’s my question — 11 years after transforming security, why does it feel like we’re still in the same place?

More Of You Are Getting Passports – Hooray!

I was cleaning out my travel bookmarks and saw this Jan. 30 story in Forbes: Record Number Of Americans Now Hold Passports. The State Department says that now one-third of Americans — 110 million — now have passports.  Forbes notes that 48 million citizens had passports in 2000 and a mere 7 million had them in 1989.

I got my first passport when I was six, when we were moving to England. My passport lasted until 1979, and I didn’t get another one until 1990. I love having a passport. It’s a form of ID that is never questioned, and there’s something about being able to leave the country.

And now our friends at the State Department are making it easier to get a passport.  Saturday, March 10 is Passport Day In The USA.  Under this program, you can apply for your U.S. passport at a Regional Passport Agency without an appointment, with either standard processing (4-6 weeks) or an additional $60 for expedited processing (2-3 weeks, door-to-door).  The cost for a passport is $165, plus whatever it costs to get your photos.

So to quote an old AirTran tag line: Go — there’s nothing stopping you!