Transportation Report

House Dem: Reassess airport security after Calif. stowaway

A House Democrat is requesting a "nationwide assessment of airport perimeter security" after a teenage stowaway was discovered on a flight from San Jose to Hawaii on Monday.

Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) said the stowaway incident, which involved a 16-year-old bold who snuck into the landing gear of an airplane, showed there were gaps in airport security beyond the Transportation Security Administration's (TSA) passenger checkpoints. 

"In September 2009, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued a report on our nation’s airports and their perimeter security needs. Since then, a number of high-profile perimeter security breaches have occurred at airports across the nation," Swalwell wrote in a letter to U.S. Comptroller General Gene Dodaro that was released on Tuesday.


DOT: Average domestic airfare increased to $381 in 2013

The average amount that was paid by U.S. airline passengers for domestic flights increased to $381 in 2013, the Department of Transportation said Tuesday. 

The transportation department said the 2013 ticket price was 0.1 percent higher than the 2012 average of $380. The agency added that the 2013 figure was 17 percent lower than the 2000 average when the amount was adjusted for inflation, which would've resulted in average ticket price then of $459.

The DOT said the 2013 figure was the highest average airfare amount not adjusted for inflation since the DOT began collecting fare data in 1995. 


Renewable fuel ads target oil industry

A group supporting renewable fuels is launching an ad campaign accusing the oil industry of “rigging the system” to stifle competition from renewable fuels. 


NFL player told TSA to search him further

An NFL player who was arrested for allegedly making a bomb threat at Los Angeles International Airport asked for further inspection from the Transportation Security Administration, the San Jose Mercury News reports

San Francisco 49ers player Aldon Smith was initially reported to have made the threat after becoming angry about being selected for additional screening by TSA officials.  

Los Angeles Airport Police Department officials said Tuesday that Smith asked for the additional attention from TSA, however.


Airplane stowaway raises questions about airport security

A teenager that stowed away on a flight from San Jose to Hawaii has raised questions about the effectiveness of airport security, the Associated Press reports

The teen, a 15-year-old boy from California, hid in the landing gear of a Boeing 767 airplane that was departing from San Jose. He was discovered when the plane landed in Hawaii, having survived a loss of oxygen and a temperature drop that are usually fatal at commercial airplane altitudes. 

The incident has raised questions about how a ticket-less passenger could not only get through Transportation Security Administration (TSA) checkpoints, but also end up on a runway with access to an airplane’s mechanical equipment without being detected.  


FTC backs driver apps in Chicago

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is warning Chicago lawmakers against a bill that would put limitations on software-based car services like Uber and Lyft.

While the bill currently under consideration could help protect consumers, "certain provisions ... may unnecessarily impede competition in these services without providing any apparent consumer protection benefits," the agency said in staff comments.


NTSB chief warns against complacency in farewell address

National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) Chairwoman Deborah Hersman warned Monday against complacency in regulating U.S. transportation systems in her farewell address.    

Hersman said in a speech at the National Press Club in Washington that progress has made in areas aviation and automobiles in her 10-year tenure at the NTSB. 

But she said regulators cannot rest on their laurels as she prepares to depart the accident investigation agency for the Itasca, Ill.-based National Safety Council.


FAA: First drone testing site ready

The Federal Aviation Administration said Monday that its first site for testing the possibility to allowing nonmilitary drones to fly alongside commercial airplanes is ready to go.

The site, in North Dakota, is one of six that are expected to be used by the FAA to test the impact of the operation of drones on commercial flights.

The FAA is scheduled to test drones in North Dakota for two years.