Transportation Report

New DC Metro line declared complete; summer opening likely

The Metropolitan Washington Airport Authority (MWAA) announced on Thursday that the extension of Washington, D.C.’s Metrorail subway system toward Dulles International Airport was “substantially complete.” 

The airport authority and the Metropolitan Washington Area Transit Authority (WMATA) said the announcement clears the way for a potential summer opening of the much-anticipated railway, dubbed the Silver Line. 

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Poll: Only 50 percent believe TSA makes flying safer

Only 50 percent of U.S. residents believe the Transportation Security Administration makes flying safer, according to a poll released on Thursday. 

The poll, conducted by Harris Interactive, surveyed 2,234 adults to produce its findings. 

The results showed 50 percent of U.S. residents thought the TSA’s airport security procedures made airplane travel “a lot or somewhat more safe,” while 43 percent though the agency’s presence had little impact on airline travel safety.

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DC Metro Silver Line decision expected Thursday

A decision on the fate of the extension of Washington, D.C.’s Metrorail subway system toward Dulles International Airport is expected to come on Thursday, The Associated Press reports

The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA), which operates Dulles airport and is building the Metro Silver Line that will run toward it, is at the end of a 15-day review period for deciding whether it is ready to accept the railway from contractors.

The contractors who are building the often-delayed Metro Silver Line said on April 9 that the first half of the capital area subway extension is "substantially complete."

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Senate to question TSA chief after airplane stowaway

The Senate committee that oversees transportation issues is planning to hold a hearing next week about the Transportation Security Administration's (TSA) plans to adapt to new airport security threats. 

The hearing, on April 30, comes as the TSA is facing questions about failing to stop a teenager from stowing away on a flight from San Jose to Hawaii over the weekend. 

The Senate panel said Wednesday that the meeting would "examine the TSA's efforts to implement new procedures to confront the evolving security threats to America’s transportation systems.

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House Dem: Airplane stowaway should've been caught

The teenager who stowed away on a flight to Hawaii last weekend should have been caught "as soon as he [was] coming over the fence" of the San Jose Mineta International Airport, Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) said in an interview with CNN. 

Swalwell said it was a "remarkable story" that the 16-year-old survived the cold air and lack of oxygen outside of commercial airplanes when they reach cruising altitudes of 30,000 feet of more. 

But Swalwell told CNN's Don Lemon that the incident raises questions about airport security, especially in areas that are only supposed to be accessed by employees, such as runaways and tarmacs. 

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JetBlue pilots join union

JetBlue Airways’s pilots have voted to join the Air Line Pilots Association, International (ALPA), officials with the union announced this week. 

Seventy-one percent of JetBlue’s pilots voted in favor of joining the ALPA, according to the labor group’s leaders. 

ALPA President Lee Moak said the JetBlue pilots’ decision would help improve working conditions for pilots across the U.S. aviation industry. 

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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.

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