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BUSINESS
June 6, 2013 | By Hugo Martín, Los Angeles Times
Under pressure from lawmakers and flight attendants, the Transportation Security Administration said it would indefinitely prohibit passengers from carrying small pocket knives on planes - a ban that began after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. The decision is a dramatic reversal for TSA chief John Pistole. Two months ago he decided to lift the ban, saying the move would enable airport security officers to focus on bigger threats, such as explosives. Just days before the TSA planned to lift the ban April 25, Pistole said he was temporarily putting off the policy change to consider the comments and concerns of a security panel made up of pilots, flight attendants and other airline workers.
ARTICLES BY DATE
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 28, 2014 | By Dan Weikel and Kate Mather
How best to station armed law enforcement officers at airports was the focus of a congressional hearing at Los Angeles International Airport on Friday, one of several reviews of the emergency response to November's shooting rampage that left a federal security agent dead. During a hearing of the House Subcommittee on Transportation Security, contrasting views were presented in the aftermath of a decision at LAX early last year to shift police from fixed positions at passenger screening areas to roving patrols.
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BUSINESS
December 1, 2013 | By Hugo Martin
At more than 100 airports across the country, you get a chance to go through a special screening line without having to remove your shoes, belt or coat, and you can keep your computer in its carry-on bag. But being selected to use the Transportation Security Administration's so called PreCheck lines is never guaranteed, even if you meet all of TSA's conditions. That is because the TSA randomly removes a number of qualified passengers to prevent terrorists from gaming the system. How can you improve your chances of being picked to use the PreCheck lines?
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 18, 2014 | By Dan Weikel and Laura J. Nelson
The emergency response to November's deadly shooting at Los Angeles International Airport was hampered by poor communications and a lack of coordination between agencies, problems that contributed to a chaotic evacuation and delays reaching victims, officials said Tuesday. A new report on the shooting found that firefighters and paramedics had difficulty determining where to go. There was a delay in setting up a unified emergency command center. Thousands of passengers spilled onto secure airport ramps where planes were parked or fled onto nearby streets, many lugging their bags along Sepulveda, Lincoln and Century boulevards.
NEWS
December 3, 2013 | By Catharine M. Hamm, Los Angeles Times Travel editor
If you're strictly a domestic traveler and want to speed through airport security, the Transportation Security Administration on Wednesday will begin offering you a chance to join its PreCheck program. A center that will administer the TSA program is to open in Los Angeles by the end of the year, although it is not yet known where that will be. Previously, PreCheck was available to elite frequent fliers by invitation of the airline with which they had elite status or through Global Entry , a government program that allows expedited entry back into the country as well as faster airport screening.
OPINION
March 8, 2013
Re "TSA to allow small knives on passenger planes," March 6 I wish to congratulate the highly intelligent folks who make decisions at the Transportation Security Administration pertaining to what passengers may carry on board airplanes. Allowing us to have small knives, golf clubs, pool cues and hockey sticks on board will definitely reduce the time we spend in the security lines, not to mention the added safety we passengers will feel. But be warned, all you thirsty people trying to smuggle a bottle of water through security: TSA agents will have more time to catch you. Dada Vaswani Hacienda Heights ALSO: Letters: What ails the state GOP Letters: Medicare works, so why change?
OPINION
June 24, 2012
Re "TSA full-body scanners pose little risk, study says," June 11 The Times reported on an academic, peer-reviewed paper we coauthored. We'd like to clarify some points. Our study did not quantify the risk of backscatter security scans. The study estimated, using computer simulations, the radiation dose to individual organs. As stated in the paper, "Access to the machines for measurements and assessments is limited. " Therefore our models were based on measurements from a Johns Hopkins University study commissioned by the Transportation Security Administration, a limitation prominently discussed in our paper.
BUSINESS
June 2, 2013 | By Hugo Martin
The "nude scanners" are gone. The full-body scanners that used X-rays to create what looks like a nude image of passengers have been packed away and removed from airports across the country. The 250 or so machines were removed about two weeks ago, before the June 1 deadline set by Congress. But privacy advocates aren't satisfied, noting that the Transportation Security Administration is still using full-body scanners that employ a different technology. "They've never made a case that these scanners are better than using metal detectors or swabs to detect the use of explosives," said Marc Rotenberg, executive director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, a research center that sued the TSA in 2010 over the use of all full-body scanners.
NEWS
August 24, 2012 | By Catharine M. Hamm, Los Angeles Times Travel editor
Sure, you can get a group of people riled up talking politics, but if you want to set off real fireworks, mention the TSA. That'll get 'em going. And perhaps partly because of that, the Transportation Security Administration has formed a passenger advocacy group. It's a subcommittee of the Aviation Security Advisory Committee. After an initial meeting earlier this month, it meets again Friday. This may sound very bureaucratic, but a couple of the advocacy group's members don't.
NEWS
January 13, 2012 | By Hugo Martin
After years of rebuffing health concerns over airport scanners, the Transportation Security Administration plans to conduct new tests on the potential radiation exposure generated by the machines at more than 100 airports nationwide. But the TSA does not plan to re-test the machines or the passengers. Instead, the agency plans to test its own airport security officers to see if they are being exposed to dangerous levels of radiation while working with the scanning machines. News of the test leaked out after the TSA issued a request last month to government vendors to provide wearable, personal dosimeters that can detect if the radiation readings on TSA officers exceed dangerous levels.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 17, 2014 | By Dan Weikel
An in-depth report that critiques the response of public safety agencies and airport officials to November's deadly shooting at Los Angeles International Airport will be released to the public Tuesday. The Los Angeles Board of Airport Commissioners, which sets policy for LAX, LA/Ontario International Airport and Van Nuys Airport, is scheduled to discuss the review during a special meeting that begins at noon. Earlier in the morning, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti is also scheduled to address the evaluation at a news conference.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 3, 2014 | By Kate Mather
The man accused in the deadly shooting rampage last fall at Los Angeles International Airport is likely to be moved soon from a county jail to a federal holding facility, his attorney said in court Monday. Paul Anthony Ciancia entered a federal courtroom in downtown L.A. in handcuffs and stared straight ahead as his public defenders and federal prosecutors updated U.S. District Court Judge Philip Gutierrez on their progress in the case. Ciancia, who turned 24 a little over a week ago, is being held without bail at a San Bernardino County jailhouse where he is receiving medical care . But public defender John Littrell told the court his client was expected to be moved to the federal facility in downtown L.A. this week or next.
BUSINESS
February 23, 2014 | By Hugo Martin
In the near future, airline passengers may be screened for weapons without having to stop walking or to remove their coats and shoes. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is pushing for private contractors to come up with a screening machine with “screen-and-walk” capability for use at the nation's 160 airports and thousands of federal facilities. The agency recently requested information from high-tech companies and other private firms about any new technology that can help speed up the security checkpoints managed by the Transportation Security Administration and the Federal Protective Service.
BUSINESS
February 20, 2014 | By Hugo Martin
The new head of Homeland Security played down a recent warning that terrorists might try to sneak explosives onto commercial planes in passenger shoes, saying the threat has been around "for years. " In a press conference at Los Angeles International Airport, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said the advisory was "the type that we routinely issue in response to the latest intelligence. " Law enforcement officials, speaking anonymously, said the alert was based on new intelligence indicating that a shoe bomb may be used to blow up a U.S.-bound jetliner.
BUSINESS
February 9, 2014 | By Hugo Martin
A former Transportation Security Administration screener who dished dirt about the agency in a recent story was lying or describing long-abandoned practices. That was the agency's response to a story in Politico by former TSA agent Jason Edward Harrington. In the piece, Harrington described TSA agents at Chicago O'Hare International Airport who struggled with low morale, targeted travelers from specific countries for pat-down searches and poked fun at images created by full-body scanners.
NEWS
February 4, 2014 | By Mary Forgione, Los Angeles Times Daily Deal and Travel Blogger
Every flier knows the 3-1-1 drill for carry-on bags, but what about items like duty-free liquor? The Transportation Security Administration has started to allow international passengers with connecting flights to keep duty-free liquids -- more than the allowed 3.4 ounces -- with them on board, according to the TSA's website. The rule, which went into effect last Friday, applies only to passengers returning to the U.S. and international travelers who have connecting flights. For those travelers, liquids that exceed 3.4 ounces will be allowed in carry-on bags as long as they are placed in "secure, tamper-evident bags," the agency's website says.
BUSINESS
February 9, 2014 | By Hugo Martin
A former Transportation Security Administration screener who dished dirt about the agency in a recent story was lying or describing long-abandoned practices. That was the agency's response to a story in Politico by former TSA agent Jason Edward Harrington. In the piece, Harrington described TSA agents at Chicago O'Hare International Airport who struggled with low morale, targeted travelers from specific countries for pat-down searches and poked fun at images created by full-body scanners.
BUSINESS
January 17, 2013 | By Hugo Martin
The Transportation Security Administration has ended a contract with the Hawthorne-based manufacturer of a controversial full-body scanner used to screen passengers. Rapiscan, a unit of OSI Systems Inc., manufactured about half of the full-body scanners used by the TSA to screen passengers for hidden weapons at airports across the country. But TSA officials said the agency has canceled its contract with the company because it had failed to deliver software to protect the privacy of passengers.
BUSINESS
January 30, 2014 | By Hugo Martin
On Thursday, the head of the Transportation Security Administration visited Los Angeles International Airport, the site of a Nov. 1 shooting, where he rejected the idea of arming TSA security officers. TSA chief John Pistole visited LAX to announce the opening of an enrollment center where passengers can submit background information to apply to use faster screening lines. When asked about the Nov. 1 shooting that killed TSA agent Gerardo Hernandez, 39, and wounded three others, Pistole said he had rejected the idea of arming TSA agents at the screening gates.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 28, 2014 | By Kate Mather, This post had been corrected. See note below for details
Federal prosecutors said this week that Atty. Gen. Eric Holder has not yet decided whether to seek the death penalty against Paul Ciancia, the man accused in the deadly shooting rampage at Los Angeles International Airport. Ciancia, 23, has been charged with 11 counts -- including murder and attempted murder -- in the Nov. 1 attack that left Transportation Security Administration Officer Gerardo I. Hernandez dead and three other people wounded. He pleaded not guilty to the charges last month.
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