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DHS OIG — TSA Can Improve Aviation Worker Vetting (Redacted)

June 9, 2015 Comments off

TSA Can Improve Aviation Worker Vetting (Redacted) (PDF)
Source: U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Office of Inspector General

Why We Did This
We conducted this review to identify enhancements to the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) vetting of workers with access to secure areas of commercial airports for links to terrorism, criminal history, and lawful status. We also assessed the accuracy and reliability of data TSA uses for vetting.

Why We Did This
We conducted this review to identify enhancements to the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) vetting of workers with access to secure areas of commercial airports for links to terrorism, criminal history, and lawful status. We also assessed the accuracy and reliability of data TSA uses for vetting.

Open skies: Estimating travelers’ benefits from free trade in airline services

June 1, 2015 Comments off

Open skies: Estimating travelers’ benefits from free trade in airline services
Source: Brookings Institution

The United States has negotiated bilateral open skies agreements to deregulate airline competition on US international routes, but little is known about their effects on travelers’ welfare and the gains from the US negotiating agreements with more countries. We develop a model of international airline competition to estimate the effects of open skies agreements on fares and flight frequency. We find the agreements have generated at least $4 billion in annual gains to travelers and that travelers would gain an additional $4 billion if the US negotiated agreements with other countries that have a significant amount of international passenger traffic.

The Role of U.S. Airports in the National Economy

May 28, 2015 Comments off

The Role of U.S. Airports in the National Economy
Source: Transportation Research Board

TRB’s Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP) Report 132: The Role of U.S. Airports in the National Economy examines the economic role of U.S. airports and the national airport system to help communicate the national aggregate value of airports to communities and aviation stakeholders.

Airport Emergency Post-Event Recovery Practices

May 27, 2015 Comments off

Airport Emergency Post-Event Recovery Practices
Source: Transportation Research Board

TRB’s Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP) Synthesis 60: Airport Emergency Post-Event Recovery Practices explores approaches to improving the overall resiliency of airports through planning for the recovery phase of emergency response.

Current Unmanned Aircraft State Law Landscape

May 21, 2015 Comments off

Current Unmanned Aircraft State Law Landscape
Source: National Conference of State Legislatures

Unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), commonly called unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) or drones, have a host of applications including law enforcement, land surveillance, wildlife tracking, search and rescue operations, disaster response, border patrol and photography.

State legislatures across the country are debating if and how UAS technology should be regulated, taking into account the benefits of their use, privacy concerns and their potential economic impact. So far, 22 states have enacted laws addressing UAS issues. Common issues addressed in the legislation include defining what a UAS, UAV or drone is, how they can be used by law enforcement or other state agencies, how they can be used by the general public and regulations for their use in hunting game.

Roundup of Recent CRS Reports About Business, Economics and Trade

May 18, 2015 Comments off

2014 Airline Financial Data

May 4, 2015 Comments off

2014 Airline Financial Data
Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics

U.S. scheduled passenger airlines reported a net profit of $7.5 billion in 2014 down, from $12.2 billion in 2013, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) reported today (Table 1).

As a group, the 27 U.S. airlines that operated scheduled passenger service in 2014 reported an after-tax net profit for the fifth consecutive year.

In addition to the after-tax net profit based on net income reports, the scheduled service passenger airlines reported a $14.6 billion pre-tax operating profit in 2014, up from $11.3 billion in 2013. As a group, the airlines reported a pre-tax operating profit for the sixth consecutive year (Tables 1, 4).

Net income or loss, and operating profit or loss, are two different measures of airline financial performance. Net income or loss may include non-operating income and expenses, nonrecurring items or income taxes. Operating profit or loss is calculated from operating revenues and expenses before taxes and other nonrecurring items.

Total operating revenue for all U.S. passenger airlines in 2014 was $169.3 billion. Airlines collected $127.5 billion from fares, 75.3 percent of total 2014 operating revenue (Table 7).

Total operating expenses for all passenger airlines in 2014 were $154.7 billion, of which fuel costs accounted for $43.4 billion, or 28.1 percent, and labor costs accounted for $40.8 billion, or 26.4 percent (Table 7).

In 2014, passenger airlines collected a total of $3.5 billion in baggage fees, 2.1 percent of total operating revenue, and $3.0 billion from reservation change fees, 1.8 percent of total operating revenue. Fees are included for calculations of net income, operating revenue and operating profit or loss (Table 7).

Baggage fees and reservation change fees are the only ancillary fees paid by passengers that are reported to BTS as separate items. Other fees, such as revenue from seating assignments and on-board sales of food, beverages, pillows, blankets, and entertainment are combined in different categories and cannot be identified separately.

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