Airport Consulting Weekly
Apr. 5, 2012

License to terrorize
The Daily
Using the same technology favored by teens to get past bouncers at a nightclub, terrorists could be boarding your next flight. Since the 9/11 attacks, the Department of Homeland Security has spent billions of dollars securing America's airports. But an investigation by The Daily shows a significant gap still remains. With just a few clicks of a mouse and a transfer of cash, anyone willing to skirt the law can obtain counterfeit driver's licenses, which experts say can get anyone right past security and onto an airplane. More

City not yet grounding Midway privatization possibility
Chicago Sun-Times
The $2.5 billion privatization of Midway Airport that collapsed in 2009 for lack of financing may not be quite as dead as Mayor Rahm Emanuel would like Chicagoans still livid about the parking meter deal to believe. Recently, Emanuel's Chief Financial Officer Lois Scott wrote a letter to the Federal Aviation Administration asking for one last extension - until Dec. 31 - in the deadline to decide whether to revive the deal or permanently pull the plug. More

Airline industry has forced Pinnacle, other regional carriers to restructure operations
Memphis Business Journal
Pinnacle Airlines Corp.'s restructuring is part of a larger trend among regional airlines, as costs are higher and flights at smaller airports are down. "It's the final stages of restructuring in the industry, particularly in the regional industry in which Pinnacle is a part of," Ray Neidl, an airline analyst at Maxim Group LLC, says.More

Will airlines go along with mayor's O'Hare expansion plans?
Crain's Chicago Business
Mayor Rahm Emanuel faces a tough sell in getting airlines at O'Hare to start talking about the last phase of the long-planned airport expansion. It's been only a year since the airlines grudgingly agreed to start the second phase of what has become a three-part project to build four more runways and extend two others at the airport begun in 2003. Under a deal worked out by Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood to end a lawsuit by United and American airlines over the expansion, discussions on the final phase of plan aren't scheduled to start until 2013. The airlines contended that there wasn't enough demand to require starting to build all the runways envisioned. More

Storms damage aircraft, cancel hundreds of flights at DFW Airport
Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Weaving through severe storms on approach to Dallas/Fort Worth Airport was not what the Andresen family expected on the last day of their spring break trip to Florida. "We made it safely through the severe weather, and as soon as we got to the gate we were told to hustle into the tornado shelter," said Julann Andresen, who was traveling with her kids and husband back to Denver. Their flight from Orlando landed around 1:30 p.m. just as a large hailstorm hit the airport. "We were in one of the bathrooms for a long time." More

Latin American airlines industry is consolidated enough
The Wall Street Journal
The Latin American airline industry doesn't have room for more consolidation, as the regional market is very well covered by the four largest local carriers, executives from those airlines operators said. Chile's LAN Airlines SA, Panamanian Copa Holdings, Colombia's AviancaTaca Holding and Grupo Aeromexico SAB make up the bulk of the Latin American airline sector, while most of other carriers are focused on niche routes or are low-cost carriers, executives said during an International Air Transport Association conference at Santiago's FIDAE 17th biannual Air and Space Show. More

Airport 'gridlock' warning for Easter weekend in UK
Sky News
Airlines have warned there could be long queues at Britain's airports over the Easter weekend because of staff shortages at the UK Border Agency - with one firm saying there could be "gridlock." Eleven firms, including British Airways and Virgin, have written to Home Secretary Theresa May telling her the agency does not have the resources to check everyone's passports as they come into Britain. More

Frankfurt, Germany, night flight ban upheld
Reuters via Chicago Tribune
A German court ruled in favor of a night flight ban at Frankfurt airport, Europe's third busiest, dealing a blow to German flagship airline Lufthansa and airport operator Fraport. Lufthansa says it needs night flights at the airport so its cargo operations can compete with fast-growing Gulf airports and has warned the freight unit's future investment plans of up to 1 billion euros ($1.3 billion) rest on the decision. More

Save the date for important agency interface this summer
ACC
Mark your calendars for July 17-19, when ACC has scheduled two events in Arlington, Va., that provide unparalleled briefings, discussions and conversation with FAA, TSA and CBP decision-makers.
•    ACC/TSA Security Capabilities Day - This briefing, tailored specifically to industry, will address all aspects of activities relating to the TSA Office of Security Capabilities (OSC). Topics will include TSA realignment, acquisition and contracting, recapitalization and future screening requirements.
•    ACC/FAA/TSA Summer Workshop Series - Find out how the new FAA reauthorization bill and new FAA/TSA regulatory initiatives will impact your firm at the annual ACC/FAA/TSA Summer Workshop. This conference provides a unique opportunity for participants to discuss a wide range of technical airport development and security issues. Technical experts from the consultant community, FAA and TSA will discuss new and pending Advisory Circulars, guidelines, regulations and legislation, and collectively help shape future agency directives.

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U.S. Deputy Transportation Secretary Porcari and acting FAA Administrator Huerta launch NextGen initiative in Houston
FAA
Top U.S. Transportation Department and Federal Aviation Administration officials met with aviation partners in Houston today as part of a newly-launched collaborative effort to make air traffic control more efficient, help airlines improve on-time performance and reduce emissions generated by aircraft flying into and out of Houston's airports. More

TSA Pre✔™ screening benefits expanding to additional airports
TSA
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) announced new details regarding the expansion of the TSA Pre✔™ initiative. Since its launch in October 2011, more than 640,000 passengers have been screened through TSA Pre✔™.More