The Perfect Storm
Hurricane Katrina slams the south eastern United States leaves thousands homeless and shuts down energy production in the Gulf of Mexico. Faced with possible fuel shortages, the U.S. Department of Energy said it was considering the infrequent step of opening the 700-million-gallon Strategic Petroleum Reserve to make sure refiners have enough oil to process into gasoline, aviation fuel and heating oil.
The mid-sized Gulfstream G200...would burn around 1,200 to 1,500 gallons flying from New York to Los Angeles, depending on wind speed and how many passengers were aboard. A Hummer driven 15,000 miles, the average put on a car per year, would burn around 1,250 gallons of gasoline. So...one cross-country flight in a Gulfstream is the same, in terms of Persian-Gulf dependence and greenhouse-gas emissions, as [driving] a Hummer for an entire year.
United beware: Most bankrupt carriers don't make it
By Chris Walsh, Rocky Mountain News August 27, 2005
United Airlines will be in rare company if it successfully emerges from bankruptcy protection and manages to avoid plunging back in. The industry's track record, after all, is strikingly bleak. More than 160 U.S. airlines filed for Chapter 11 during the past two decades. But, like visitors to the Hotel California, many never left..
Erroneous Oil/Fuel Price Forecasts Fuel More Airline Demise:
(PRWEB) July 25, 2005
AWGNP and AReCO also are petitioning the FAA to cease and desist any approvals of U.S. airport expansion programs until such a mid-year forecast is completed and any affected airport expansion programs are appropriately adjusted for the expected substantial changes in demands.
Philly.com -- Check on safety, board tells BP
Deny, decry and delay...
Various appropriations bills and audits since 1998 contain language on the following issues: FAA failure to implement mandated security changes pre-September 11, 2001; FAA failure to upgrade the country’s airspace technology; FAA failure to properly disclose to Congress and make public information on the NY/NJ/PHL Airspace Redesign Project. The continued concern is the lack of oversight by Congress and the White House with regard to the FAA’s handling of the above issues. How many OIG audits has FAA been allowed to ignore?From the 9/11 report regarding aviation industry participation -- "decry, deny and delay"
In the pre-9/11 security system, the air carriers played a major role. As the Inspector General of the Department of Transportation told us, there were great pressures from the air carriers to control security costs and to “limit the impact of security requirements on aviation operations, so that the industry could concentrate on its primary mission of moving passengers and aircraft. . . . [T]hose counterpressures in turn manifested themselves as significant weaknesses in security.”A longtime FAA security official described the air carriers’ approach to security regulation as “decry, deny and delay”
and told us that while “the air carriers had seen the enlightened hand of self-interest with respect to safety, they hadn’t seen it in the security arena.
Date: May 27, 1998
Control #: AV-1998-134Aviation Security
Backgroud : The responsibility for aviation security is shared between FAA, the airlines, and airports. FAA sets guidelines, establishes procedures, and relies on the intelligence community for information on threats to aviation and makes judgments on how to meet these threats. Also, FAA sponsors the development of new security technology, such as explosive detection equipment, for industry use. Airlines are responsible for screening checked baggage, carry-on bags, passengers, and cargo. Airports are responsible for the security of the airport environment. Historically, airlines and airports have been responsible for purchasing and maintaining security equipment.
No. 596 106TH CONGRESS - From Senate Report 106-309 Calendar
June 14, 2000- Ordered to be printed Mr. SHELBY, from the Senate Committee on Appropriations, submitted the following
CIVIL AVIATION SECURITY --
The Committee provides $138,462,000 for civil aviation security. The Committee has provided substantial budgetary increases for FAA's civil aviation security function over the past several years, and yet has difficulty determining whether those additional resources are translating into substantial improvements in aviation security. The FAA is directed to develop and submit with the fiscal year 2002 budget request the strategic plan for pursuit of the civil aviation security program recommended by the Inspector General in 1998.
Date: May, 15 2000
Control # AV-2000-095FAA's Use of RTCA, Inc., as an Advisory Committee
Summary: The objectives of our review were to examine FAA's relationship with RTCA, review the role and organization of RTCA, and compare FAA's relationship with RTCA to that of other Federal agencies and their advisory committees. We based our analysis on the purpose and intent of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, which promotes the openness, accountability, and balance of viewpoints for advisory committees.
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION AND RELATED AGENCIES APPROPRIATIONS BILL, 2001
MAY 17, 2000- Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the State of the Union and ordered to be printed
General to conduct a review of the FAA's arrangement with RTCA, to determine whether procedures were adequate to ensure openness, a balance of viewpoints, and an `arms length' relationship with industry. The Inspector General's review, recently completed, raises a number of serious concerns which require attention of the FAA. The Inspector General found that FAA's presence at RTCA meetings is so extensive that there is an appearance the agency is providing advice to itself.
The Committee agrees with the IG that FAA must take steps to reduce its participation in the RTCA Policy Board, the Free Flight Steering Committee, and related working groups and task forces. Secondly, FAA needs to establish procedures to ensure that potential conflicts of interest are identified, as recommended by the IG. Thirdly, FAA needs to take steps to open the activities of the Free Flight committees and working groups, to provide more open and documented information on the deliberations of these important groups and to reduce the perception that companies represented on Free Flight panels are gaining a competitive advantage over those not represented. Fourthly, the FAA should discontinue using RTCA for coordination or review of safety and certification issues, which are inherently governmental.
The Committee on Appropriations reports the bill (S. 2720) making appropriations for the Department of Transportation and related agencies for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2001, and for other purposes, reports favorably thereon and recommends that the bill do pass.
________________________From 9/11 Report...Paragraph #1928 (on page 391)
In November 2001, Congress passed and the President signed the Aviation and Transportation Security Act. This act created the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), which is now part of the Homeland Security Department. In November 2002, both the Homeland Security Act and the Maritime Transportation Security Act followed. These laws required the development of strategic plans to describe how the new department and TSA would provide security for critical parts of the U.S. transportation sector.Paragraph #1929 (on page 391)
Over 90 percent of the nation’s $5.3 billion annual investment in the TSA goes to aviation—to fight the last war. The money has been spent mainly to meet congressional mandates to federalize the security checkpoint screeners and to deploy existing security methods and technologies at airports. The current efforts do not yet reflect a forward-looking strategic plan systematically analyzing assets, risks, costs, and benefits. Lacking such a plan, we are not convinced that our transportation security resources are being allocated to the greatest risks in a cost-effective way.Paragraph #1676 (on page 345)
In 1998, [Richard] Clarke chaired an exercise designed to highlight the inadequacy of the solution. This paper exercise involved a scenario in which a group of terrorists commandeered a Learjet on the ground in Atlanta, loaded it with explosives, and flew it toward a target in Washington, D.C. Clarke asked officials from the Pentagon, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and Secret Service what they could do about the situation. Officials from the Pentagon said they could scramble aircraft from Langley Air Force Base, but they would need to go to the President for rules of engagement, and there was no mechanism to do so. There was no clear resolution of the problem at the exercise.FOXNews.com - Politics - 'Able Danger' Intel Could Rewrite 9/11 History