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TSA 2014 Year in Review

January 23, 2015 Comments off

TSA 2014 Year in Review
Source: Transportation Security Administration (DHS)

Every day, transportation security officers interact with nearly two million travelers across the United States with a single goal in mind – ensuring the safety and security of the traveling public.

We want to share with you examples of the continued vigilance of TSA officers in protecting our nation’s transportation systems, including some of the most unusual items discovered at checkpoints.

TSA had a busy year in 2014, screening more than 653 million passengers in 2014 (about 1.8 million per day), which is 14.8 million more passengers than last year.

2,212 firearms were discovered in carry-on bags at checkpoints across the country, averaging more than six firearms per day. Of those, 2,212 (83 percent) were loaded. Firearms were intercepted at a total of 224 airports; 19 more airports than last year.

There was a 22 percent increase in firearm discoveries from last year’s total of 1,813.

USPS OIG — The “First and Last Mile” Strategy: A Critical Assessment

January 23, 2015 Comments off

The “First and Last Mile” Strategy: A Critical Assessment (PDF)
Source: U.S. Postal Service, Office of Inspector General
From Summary:

As the Postal Service continues to address its difficult financial situation, some have argued that overall efficiency would improve if the Postal Service were to focus exclusively on the first and last mile (collection and delivery). While the introduction of workshare discounts has led to private industry taking over a portion of the middle mile – mail processing and transportation – allowing private industry to take over the entire middle mile warrants close examination. We therefore asked Dr. John Panzar, an expert in postal economics, to look at the economic implications of the Postal Service abandoning the middle mile completely and focusing exclusively on the first and last mile for the letter and flat market.

Dr. Panzar finds that the Postal Service’s mail processing plays a vital role in ensuring the efficiency of the postal sector, even in the absence of economies of scale in mail processing. In other words, Dr. Panzar maintains that if the Postal Service abandons all mail processing and transportation of letters and flats, overall efficiency will decrease. Worse, the Postal Service would experience a loss in profits, and mailers would have to pay higher prices. In fact, the only parties benefiting would be the private providers of mail processing, but their benefit would be less than the combined loss to the Postal Service and mailers.

The parcel market, which is different and requires its own focused attention and stylized model, will be addressed in a future white paper.

Tricyclic Antidepressants Found in Pilots Fatally Injured in Civil Aviation Accidents

January 21, 2015 Comments off

Tricyclic Antidepressants Found in Pilots Fatally Injured in Civil Aviation Accidents (PDF)
Source: Federal Aviation Administration

Since the 1950s, tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) have been used for treating depression. The prevalence of this group of antidepressants in the pilot population has not been explored. Therefore, the National Transportati on Safety Board (NTSB) aviation accident and the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA’s) Civil Aerospace Medical Institute (CAMI) toxicology and medical certification databases were searched for the necessary information related to pilots fatally injured in aviation accidents.

During 1990 – 2012, CAMI received biological samples of fatally injured pilots from 7,037 aviation accidents for toxicological evaluation. Of these, 2,644 cases (pilot fatalities) were positive for drugs. TCAs were present in 31 pilo t fatalities. Only TCAs were found in nine cases; in addition to TCAs, other substances were also present in the remaining 22 cases. Blood samples were available for TCA analysis in only 17 cases. TCA blood concentrations ranged from therapeutic to toxic l evels.

The NTSB determined that the use of drugs and ethanol as the probable cause or contributing factor in 35% (11 of 31) of the accidents, and six pilots had taken TCAs, as documented in their personal medical records and histories obtained by the NTSB . None of the 31 pilots reported the use of TCAs during their aviation medical examination, though 45% of them did report other drugs.

The present study disclosed that the prevalence of TCAs in aviators was less than 0.5% (31 of 7,037 cases). This study s uggests that aviators should fully disclose the use of medications at the time of their aviation medical examination for the improvement of aviation safety.

New From the GAO

January 21, 2015 Comments off

New From the GAO
Source: Government Accountability Office

Report

1. Defense Headquarters: DOD Needs to Reassess Personnel Requirements for the Office of Secretary of Defense, Joint Staff, and Military Service Secretariats. GAO-15-10, January 21.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-15-10
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/667998.pdf

Testimonies

1. Aviation Safety: Issues Related to Domestic Certification and Foreign Approval of U.S. Aviation Products, by Gerald L. Dillingham, Ph.D., director, physical infrastructure issues, before the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. GAO-15-327T, January 21.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-15-327T
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/667990.pdf

2. VA Construction: VA’s Actions to Address Cost Increases and Schedule Delays at Major Medical-Facility Projects, by David Wise, director, physical infrastructure team, before the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs. GAO-15-332T, January 21.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-15-332T
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/667986.pdf

Reissue

1. Polar Weather Satellites: NOAA Needs To Prepare for Near-term Data Gaps. GAO-15-47, December 16.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-15-47
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/667585.pdf
Podcast – http://www.gao.gov/multimedia/podcasts/667259

On January 16, 2015, this report was reissued to include the Highlights page that was inadvertently missing from the previously posted report.

 

Getting to the Route of It: The Role of Governance in Regional Transit

January 21, 2015 Comments off

Getting to the Route of It: The Role of Governance in Regional Transit
Source: Eno Center for Transportation

Metropolitan regions are the economic engines of our nation and public transit is the machinery that enables the largest metropolitan areas to function, compete effectively for employers and labor, and foster innovation. The ability of transit organizations to respond to changing and expanding demands varies across the industry and is shaped to a large extent by individual governance and organizational structures. Each type of governance structure has its own implications for funding, equitable and effective service patterns, and economic growth.

See also: APPENDIX–Getting to the Route of It: The Role of Governance in Regional Transit

CA — Despite dramatic increase in oil tanker traffic, number of oil spills has significantly decreased

January 21, 2015 Comments off

Commission identifies the infrastructure priorities and investment needs for the Trans-European Transport Network until 2030

January 21, 2015 Comments off

Commission identifies the infrastructure priorities and investment needs for the Trans-European Transport Network until 2030
Source: European Commission

The European Commission has published nine studies on the state of play and the development needs of the TEN-T core network corridors. The studies have identified infrastructure development needs which represent approximately €700 billion of financial investment until 2030. They highlight the importance of optimising the use of infrastructure along the corridors, notably through intelligent transport systems, efficient management and the promotion of future-oriented clean transport solutions. This is the first time that tens of thousands kilometres of rail, road, inland waterway connections, ports, airports and other transport terminals have been studied in such a comprehensive way and with a common methodology.

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