3 Links I Love: Airports Can Skirt the Laptop Ban, Aircraft Bubble, So Long DC-3

Links I Love

This week’s featured link:
Remarks for the Council for New American Security ConferenceDHS.gov
So let’s get this straight.

  1. Feds identify threat, decide laptops should be banned on flights to the US from Middle Eastern countries. No US airlines impacted negatively, so it moves ahead.
  2. Feds want to expand the ban, and US airlines flip out.
  3. Feds magically find alternative solution that will help avoid the laptop ban once airports comply.

I’m glad to see an alternative being proposed, though without knowing what’s involved, it’s hard to say whether it seems like a good move or not. It’s odd to me that these enhanced security procedures can be put into place over time. Meanwhile, Abu Dhabi, which already has a pre-clearance facility, still needs to have the laptop ban in place for now. I guess I can’t really comment since I certainly don’t have security clearance to know the nature of the threat. It just doesn’t smell quite right.

Two for the road:
Investors in aircraft should get set for turbulenceThe Economist
Is there an aircraft bubble? Maybe. People have been saying this for years, but some day, they may be proven right.

Long Beach Bids Adieu to DC-3sFlying Magazine
Nothing quite like the drone of those engines flying over my house in the morning. I’m going to miss these. It’s particularly poignant since it was the massive US military demand for the DC-3/C-47 that helped lead to the construction of the Douglas Long Beach plant in the first place. What’s remarkable here is that these 70 year old airplanes aren’t even retiring. They’re going to do humanitarian work in Africa. That’s quite a testament to the durability of Douglas aircraft.

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13 comments on “3 Links I Love: Airports Can Skirt the Laptop Ban, Aircraft Bubble, So Long DC-3

  1. “I guess I can’t really comment since I certainly don’t have security clearance to know the nature of the threat. ”

    You’re wrong.

    1) You already commented by writing this post.

    2) You’re a citizen, and you therefore always have the right to comment on government action or inaction and perhaps even an obligation when you believe that the government is acting wrongly.

    3) Not commenting solely because the government won’t inform you of the nature of the threat is being too deferential to the government.

    1. You are right, you are entitled to speak out, no matter how misguided or uninformed your thoughts are. I’m sure you would also smugly blame Trump should a laptop explosive device happen to succeed. Where was this outrage over government overreach the last 8 years?

      1. Well, if phones are checked into holds, and a device goes off where staff can’t get at it, who do you think should be blamed?

      2. I can say with some confidence that complaining about airport security theater has been a mainstay of most frequent fliers since the creation of TSA/DHS post-9/11. From the liquids ban, to taking off shoes, to the investment in “puffer” machines that never worked, people have been consistently frustrated with TSA.

        The reality is that investment in last-line of defense is not an actual workable solution for stopping terrorism or other mass-casualty incidents. Can we make places more secure? Sure. Will that stop most mass casualty events? Unlikely.

  2. The Economist article was very interesting. Another set of factors they didn’t really touch on is how oil prices are changing the attractiveness of newer model planes and how those newer model planes are pressuring prices for current gen aircraft.

  3. Re: laptop ban: I flew from Amman to the US on Royal Jordanian back in February prior to the laptop ban. Even then, the US bound flights had a segregated gate with secondary screening. All carry-on bags were sifted through and almost all items removed. Electronics were all swiped and tested with an itemizer for ALL passengers (in addition to wanding and pat-down at the same time so you couldn’t just hide your incendiary devices in your pocket) . So I have to agree with you that this seems fishy since the proposed procedures to avoid the laptop ban have already been in effect in Amman since before the ban was brought up.

  4. I was planning to mention that you could still take commercial DC-3 flights on Buffalo Airways up in Yellowknife. But I see from their website that they’ve suspended their scheduled service. You’d have to charter one. Too bad.

  5. Aircraft sales projections look a bit too rosy. Most of the projected sales are in Asia with China taking the lion’s share. China is going to have to do something about its airspace restrictions for commercial traffic if all those new aircraft are going to fly meaningfully. The price of oil is also going to affect sales and no one can predict that. In the USA and Europe if b737Max sales really do materialize it will mean a slow boarding process because the planes have decent passenger numbers and only one aisle.

  6. The Basler DC-3 Turbo-67 goes on in 60+ variants, also in Antarctica. I was involved in the initiation of this big aircraft modification and the STC

    1. Too cool! My first flight ever was on an Ozark Air Lines DC-3, but at 18 months old I was too young to remember.

  7. Something’s not quite right about the laptop ban.  The response isn’t urgent enough for a specific threat, and it doesn’t seem to be applied uniformly.  There seem to be obvious holes in the system that a teenage terrorist could waltz through.  It would seem pretty obvious that someone could fly from, say, Qatar to Singapore, deliver a laptop or whatever else they might want, and have the second individual, no longer associated with the targeted airports, carry it wherever they wanted it to go.  So why the partial, half vast restriction?  These are ordinarily quite competent people.  What’s going on?

  8. Thanks for the note on the LGB DC-3s.  They used to fly right over my head on the way back from Catalina.  It’s nice to know they’re still evading the scrappers.  The sound of those radial engines is really distinctive.

    1. Hello

      Turbo DC-3 no longer has that distinctive ‘round engine’, instantly recognizable burble. But it’s a very nice looking aircraft and all modernized

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