Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., said illegal gold minding in Latin America is a threat to US national security, noting Miami International Airport is the nation's "leading gateway of gold." False documents can be created or purchased, rendering the gold "virtually impossible" to trace, said Patrick Lechleitner of Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
The Government Accountability Office has reported that some of the security screening equipment used by the Transportation Security Administration no longer meet current standards due to lapses in maintenance or outdated technology.
The Transportation Security Administration screened a record-breaking 26 million passengers and crew members between Nov. 22 and Dec. 2, as well as 16 million checked bags. The Sunday after Thanksgiving was the single busiest travel day in the history of the agency, which reports that 99.8% of passengers waited less than 30 minutes in security lines.
APiJET has won approval to begin marketing a flight-optimization technology that finds the fastest and most fuel efficient routes, much as Waze does for cars. The company tested the technology, which it will market as Digital Winglets, earlier this year in partnership with Alaska Airlines.
Texas' Austin-Bergstrom International Airport is working with a local utility provider who plans to purchase solar power from panels on top of the airport's parking garage. The power purchase agreement will be used to support a community solar project.
Arkansas' Bentonville Municipal Airport's newest employee is a border collie who is being retained, along with a handler, to shoo geese away. Flyaway Geese has sold more than 600 dogs over the last 20 years, placed not only at airports but also at parks, golf courses and military bases.
Oklahoma's Shawnee Regional Airport will receive a $765,000 grant through the Federal Aviation Administration Airport Improvement Program for repairs and resurfacing of the runway and taxiway pavements and repairs to the storm system infrastructure.
The Harvest Foundation has awarded $863,000 to Blue Ridge Airport to fund an environmental study and design work in preparation for extending a runway. The funds will "accelerate" infrastructure upgrades at the airport, which received $7 million in federal grants for expansion of the terminal apron, new hangars and relocation of a road.
To celebrate the launch of its new route between Maui's Kahului Airport and Las Vegas, Hawaiian Airlines will give a four-day Las Vegas trip, complete with a stay at the Golden Nugget Hotel and a rental car, to the winner of a drawing. The winner must be present at the Maui Sunday Market on Dec. 15 and have bags packed, as the flight leaves just a few hours later.