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May 7, 2015

April’s top stories: Screening of airport employees at US airports, thousands await evacuation in Nepal

The US Transportation Security Administration will tighten security measures across the country's airports following the December 2014 arrest of a baggage handler in Atlanta on gun smuggling charges, while the Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu witness a chaotic situation post a massive earthquake. wraps-up the key headlines from April 2015.

By Priyanka Sunder


TSA tightens screening of airport employees to enhance security at US airports

The US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) will tighten security measures across the country’s airports following the December 2014 arrest of a baggage handler in Atlanta on gun smuggling charges.

The new measures will see extra security checking for US airport workers.

Apart from the increased screenings, airport workers will also be subjected to random security checks throughout their workday, according to Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson.

Chaos at Kathmandu airport as thousands await evacuation


Two days after a massive earthquake jolted Nepal, the Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu is witnessing a chaotic situation.

As countries are offering help to Nepal that was ravaged by a 7.8-magnitude earthquake, the worst disaster that the country has faced in the past 80 years, thousands are stranded at the airport, waiting to be rescued.

Currently, many aid flights are flying to Kathmandu. However, the airport is fast running out of parking bays due to which many aircraft are having to wait before being able to land.

London airports might soon use drones for surveillance

Airport police across London will now make use of drones for surveillance following a successful trial at the Gatwick airport and a review by counter-terrorism officers.

The review carried out by the National Counter Terrorism Policing Headquarters found the technology to be potentially ‘transformative’.

The trial at the Gatwick airport was carried out in March 2014 where an unmanned drone that transmitted live, high quality images to officers on the ground was deployed near the airport.

UK airports records surge in passenger numbers

The UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has released data that show that passenger’s demand at the country’s airports have almost reached the stage of the pre-recession boom years.

The passenger numbers in 2014 reached 238 million which was just short of the 241 million peak of 2007.

The 2014 numbers saw an increase of 4.4% over the 2013 figures.

Gatwick Airport becomes first to implement paperless ID pass applications

GatwickLondon’s Gatwick Airport has become the first airport in the world to introduce paperless ID pass applications.

Gatwick will be using MTrust by Human Recognition Systems (HRS), an airport ID pass application vetting and issuance solution that is hosted in the Cloud. The technology will help the airport in reducing pass rejections and waiting times.

The technology will also streamline the airport’s ID centre operations to increase security and enhance its services.

Saudi jets bomb Yemen’s Sana’a airport to stop aid planes

Saudi Arabian jets have bombarded the runway of Yemen’s Sana’a airport to prevent planned aid flights from landing.

Iran’s state news agency IRNA was quoted by the Guardian as saying that the Saudi jets tried to force the aid flights to turn back, a warning that was ignored by the pilots which eventually led to the bombing of the runway.

The jet that belonged to the Red Crescent was said to be carrying food and medical aid to Sana’a. The aircraft apparently received nod to use the route from Oman.

ISIS hacks website of Australia’s Hobart International Airporthobart

The website of Australia’s Hobart International Airport had to be shut down after being hacked by pro-Islamic State hackers who published messages supporting the militant group.

According to the police, the airport was not under any direct threat and the hackers had taken over the website by targeting the web host used by the airport in Tasmania and not the facility itself, reported Channel News Asia.

The police said in a statement: "A message placed on the site contained a statement supporting ISIS. The group claiming responsibility for the hacking appear to non-discriminately target organisations who use web hosts such as the one used by Hobart International Airport."

Investigations have shown that identical messages have appeared on thousands of websites worldwide since late 2014.

French ATC strike causes hundreds of cancelled flights in two days

The French air traffic controllers strike has forced hundreds of flights to be cancelled over the past two days.

EasyJet stopped 248 flights on Wednesday and a further 331 on Thursday, while low-cost airline Ryanair has cancelled more than 500 flights over the last two days.

Both inbound and outbound flights in France have been affected.

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