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June 2022


How to Become a Bounty Hunter

Tag: FAA

TSA Employees Under Siege by COVID-19 And Unruly Passengers

By Steve Neavling

The coronavirus pandemic has been tough on TSA employees. 

More than 11,140 TSA screening officers and other workers have tested positive for COVID-19 – more than any other federal agency – and 32 have died, according to the agency.

But the virus isn’t the only threat. 

Unruly passengers, many of them angry about mask mandates, have hit record levels. 

“The level of unruly behavior is much higher than I have ever seen it,” TSA Administrator David Pekoske said in an interview Wednesday with TODAY. “I will do everything I can, and I know my FAA colleagues will do everything they can, as well as our airline partners, to bring this number down.”

So far this year, the Federal Aviation Administration has investigated 973 cases involving unruly passengers, a significant increase from 183 investigations last year. 

Authorities are doubly concerned because the holiday season means far more travelers and stress. 

“I am very concerned about it, I know the FAA is very concerned about it, the carriers are concerned about it. And it’s something that we are doing our level best to address,” Pekoske said. “We’ve increased fines for unruly behavior, we are criminally prosecuting some cases, the FAA through the FBI.

FBI: Air Controller Jailed on Charges of Possessing a Weapon of Mass Destruction

Paul George Dandan, via police

Paul George Dandan, via police

By Steve Neavling

A air traffic controller at Charlotte Douglas International Airport is in jail after the FBI alleged he was in possession of a weapon of mass destruction.

Paul George Dandan, 30, was arrested Friday in Charlotte and charged with possession of a weapon of mass destruction, WCNC-Charlotte reports. He’s in jail under a $45,000 bond.

The FBI, which is helping Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police investigate the case, said they don’t expect federal charges to be filed at this time.

The FAA terminated Dandan’s access to the airport following his arrest.

Authorities have not described the type of weapon Dandan possessed.

FAA Tests New Drone-Detecting System Designed by FBI to Ward Off Dangers

drone-1142182_960_720By Steve Neavling

The FAA is testing a new drone-detecting system designed by the FBI.

The device is intended to take down rogue drones and those flying in sensitive areas, the Verge reports. 

The testing is taking place at JFK airport in New York.

FAA was searching for technology that can “passively detect, identify, and track” drone operations.

The FAA tested “five different rotorcraft and fixed wing” drones.

FBI Investigating Discovery of Drones Flying High Above New York Airports, Bridges

By Steve Neavling

High-flying drones have been spotted near airports and bridges in New York, prompting the FBI and Federal Aviation Administration to investigate, CBS Local reports.

The drones were spotted by three pilots near commercial aircraft approaching John F. Kennedy International Airport. A helicopter pilot spotted two more drones near LaGuardia Airport

The drones are troublesome because they were flying at altitudes of 2,000 to 3,000 feet, far in excess of the 400-feet limit. They are seen as a distraction, and officials don’t know why they are in the air, causing some unease.

“They’re the fun toy to have now, but they have real, serious and dire consequences if misused,” said aviation attorney and pilot Daniel O. Rose.





Incidents of Lasers Being Pointed at Planes Spike; FBI Offering Reward to Catch Culprits

By Allan Lengel

Apparently people pointing lasers is becoming a growing problem.

In response, the FBI on Tuesday announced a pilot program in 12 field offices that will offer up to a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of people who aim handheld lasers at aircrafts. The program will run for 60 days.

The FBI, in a press release, said that the number of incidence has risen more than 1,100 percent since the FBI and Federal Aviation Administration began tracking laser strikes in 2005.  In 2013, authorities recorded 3,960 laser strikes — an average of almost 11 incidents per day.

The FBI said it will also be working with state and local law enforcement to educate teens about the dangers associated with pointing lasers at aircraft.

“Aiming a laser pointer at an aircraft is a serious matter and a violation of federal law,” Ron Hosko, assistant director of the FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division, said in a statement. “It is important that people understand that this is a criminal act with potentially deadly repercussions.”

“Shining a laser into the cockpit of an aircraft can temporarily blind a pilot, jeopardizing the safety of everyone on board,” FAA Administrator Michael Huerta said in a statement. “We applaud our colleagues at the Justice Department for aggressively prosecuting aircraft laser incidents, and we will continue to use civil penalties to further deter this dangerous activity.”


FAA Must Decide What to Do After Homeland Security Drones Grounded Following Crash

istock photo

Steve Neavling

The FAA is in a tough position after a Homeland Security drone crashed over the U.S.-Mexico border earlier this week, Motherboard reports.

DHS grounded its fleet of 10 unmanned surveillance aircraft out of “an abundance of caution,” DHS spokesman Michael Friel said.

“The cause of the failure is unknown,” according to Friel.

Now the FAA, which is takes with overseeing the unmanned aerial system, must determine what went wrong and how to correct the problem.

“If you are going to meet that same high safety bar, it means you better be very careful, very deliberative,” Air Line Pilot Association national safety coordinator Sean Cassidy said.