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Effectiveness of traveller screening for emerging pathogens is shaped by epidemiology and natural history of infection

February 20, 2015 Comments off

Effectiveness of traveller screening for emerging pathogens is shaped by epidemiology and natural history of infection
Source: eLife

During outbreaks of high-consequence pathogens, airport screening programs have been deployed to curtail geographic spread of infection. The effectiveness of screening depends on several factors, including pathogen natural history and epidemiology, human behavior, and characteristics of the source epidemic. We developed a mathematical model to understand how these factors combine to influence screening outcomes. We analyzed screening programs for six emerging pathogens in the early and late stages of an epidemic. We show that the effectiveness of different screening tools depends strongly on pathogen natural history and epidemiological features, as well as human factors in implementation and compliance. For pathogens with longer incubation periods, exposure risk detection dominates in growing epidemics, while fever becomes a better target in stable or declining epidemics. For pathogens with short incubation, fever screening drives detection in any epidemic stage. However, even in the most optimistic scenario arrival screening will miss the majority of cases.

Airport Policy and Security News #104

February 16, 2015 Comments off

Airport Policy and Security News #104
Source: Reason Foundation

In this issue:

  • TSA PreCheck expansion controversy
  • New thinking on airport Passenger Facility Charges
  • Should airport workers be screened?
  • Slot auctions vs. runway pricing
  • Los Angeles vs. Ontario: the saga continues
  • News Notes
  • Quotable Quotes

DOT and FAA Propose New Rules for Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems

February 15, 2015 Comments off

DOT and FAA Propose New Rules for Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems
Source: U.S. Department of Transportation and Federal Aviation Administration

The Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration today proposed a framework of regulations that would allow routine use of certain small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) in today’s aviation system, while maintaining flexibility to accommodate future technological innovations.

The FAA proposal offers safety rules for small UAS (under 55 pounds) conducting non-recreational operations. The rule would limit flights to daylight and visual-line-of-sight operations. It also addresses height restrictions, operator certification, optional use of a visual observer, aircraft registration and marking, and operational limits.

The proposed rule also includes extensive discussion of the possibility of an additional, more flexible framework for “micro” UAS under 4.4 pounds. The FAA is asking the public to comment on this possible classification to determine whether it should include this option as part of a final rule. The FAA is also asking for comment about how the agency can further leverage the UAS test site program and an upcoming UAS Center of Excellence to further spur innovation at “innovation zones.”

Lowest Numbers of Tarmac Delays on Record in 2014

February 11, 2015 Comments off

Lowest Numbers of Tarmac Delays on Record in 2014
Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics

The U.S. Department of Transportation announced today that in calendar year 2014, airlines reported the lowest number of tarmac delays longer than three hours on record. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Air Travel Consumer Report, in 2014 there were 30 domestic flights with tarmac delays longer than three hours and nine international flights with tarmac delays longer than four hours at U.S. airports. There were no long domestic or international tarmac delays in December 2014.

In 2009, the last full year before the Department’s domestic tarmac rule went into effect, airlines reported 868 domestic flights with tarmac delays longer than three hours. There were 84 domestic flights with tarmac delays longer than three hours and 55 international flights with tarmac delays longer than four hours at U.S. airports in 2013.

Airport Cooperative Research Program: Annual Report of Progress

February 3, 2015 Comments off

Airport Cooperative Research Program: Annual Report of Progress (PDF)
Source: Transportation Research Board

Today’s airport practitioners need easy access to the tools that will keep their facilities open and thriving. In this era of uncertainty, the Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP) serves as a source of unbiased, accurate research to assist the industry. ACRP is an applied research program managed by the Transportation Research Board of the National Academies and sponsored by the Federal Aviation Administration. Together with public- and private-sector industry experts, ACRP produces reports, syntheses, and digests that cover a diverse set of research fields: safety, policy, planning, airport design, construction, legal issues, maintenance, operations, and administration.

The shift in the airport industry—from predictable traffic and passenger levels to economic instability, capacity constraints, and congestion—has required airport practitioners to respond with creative problem solving. ACRP has been offering practical, hands-on software guidance, modeling tools, sample planning documents, best practices, worksheets, checklists, and more since 2006. Critical to ACRP’s success has been its ability to establish and engage with a growing network of airport practitioners. Over the past nine years, industry experts representing all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico, have contributed to the program’s research and helped ensure that ACRP’s work is relevant and meaningful to its audience.

TMT Predictions 2015: The future in Technology, Media & Telecommunications

January 28, 2015 Comments off

TMT Predictions 2015: The future in Technology, Media & Telecommunications
Source: Deloitte

Technology – TMT Predictions 2015

  • The Internet of Things really is things, not people
  • Drones: high-profile and niche
  • 3D printing is a revolution: just not the revolution you think
  • Click and collect booms in Europe
  • Smartphone batteries: better but no breakthrough
  • Nanosats take off, but they don’t take over
  • The re-enterprization of IT

Media – TMT Predictions 2015

  • Short form video: a future, but not the future, of television
  • The ‘generation that won’t spend’ is spending a lot on media content
  • Print is alive and well–at least for books

Telecommunications – TMT Predictions 2015

  • One billion smartphone upgrades
  • The connectivity chasms deepen: the growing gap in broadband speeds
  • Contactless mobile payments (finally) gain momentum

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.

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