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Air Travel Safety

Unexpected vacation disasters can strike whether you travel by ship, airplane or horse and buggy. In the coming weeks, we will examine the best way to BE SAFE by preparing for travel-related emergencies. Last week, we covered safety in road trips. This week, we will focus on air travel.

The good news is that, according to CNN writer Brett Snyder, 2011 was an incredibly safe year for commercial air travel. In fact, Snyder reports, “There were only 373 fatalities on 18 scheduled passenger flights worldwide.” Considering that there are roughly 10 million flights per year in the U.S. alone, this is a remarkable feat.

More good news is the anticipated installation of surveillance equipment in 81 markets by a major player in the public safety and professional communication market (HRS). This is significant because many airplane accidents are said to be related to insufficient aircraft surveillance equipment, particularly in remote areas.

These moves, along with stringent TSA training guidelines, have once again made air travel the one of the safest ways to get from Point A to Point B. In fact, according to a report in Forbes, commercial airline builder Boeing says that it is 22 times safer to fly than it is to drive on a per-mile basis. Boeing officials report: “Fewer people have died in commercial airplane accidents over the past 60 years than are killed in U.S. auto accidents over a typical three-month period.”

Unfortunately, however, as one TSA administrator admitted at an air transport security conference, “If we try to apply the reliable, predictable-world principles of safety to the non-linear, inherently unpredictable world of terrorism, it may lead to the worst kind of disaster: where calamity occurs because we think we are following all the rules, doing it ‘right.”

So, while we ultimately have little choice but to leave the big picture of airline safety to Department of Homeland Security officials, as consumers, what steps can we take to make sure the skies we travel this summer remain friendly? Here are a few helpful hints for you to follow so you can BE SAFE:

  1. Remember the 3-1-1 rule. TSA and private security partners have conducted extensive explosives testing since 2006 and determined that liquids, aerosols and gels, in limited quantities, are safe to bring aboard an aircraft. However, the one-bag limit per traveler limits the total amount each traveler can bring. Consolidating the bottles into one bag and X-raying them separately from the carry-on bag enables security officers to quickly clear the items. For more specifics, check out the TSA website.
  2. Don’t agree to watch someone’s bag while they use the restroom or step out of line. The luxury of leaving anything unattended in the airport ended on 9/11. What’s more, don’t make the mistake of leaving one of your own bags unattended while at the airport.
  3. Don’t joke about airport security while you’re at the airport. Although you might enjoy poking fun of the rules relative to removing shoes and jackets, if you make the mistake of cracking a joke about terrorism while at the airport, you will likely find yourself escorted to a hidden room for questioning by TSA officials.
  4. Cooperate with officials. Although you might often find yourself the subject of “random searches” at the airport, try to grin and bear it. Try to remember that airport security screening is tight for your protection. And the more cooperative you are, the swifter the boarding process will be for everyone.
  5. Don’t attempt to bring anything on board that is forbidden by the FAA or TSA. For instance, the FAA forbids the carriage of hazardous materials on commercial aircraft. Likewise, the TSA forbids the carriage of certain items for security reasons. To follow these rules, you need to be familiar with them. So click on the links for specifics.

When a disaster of any kind strikes, prior planning and clear decisive action can help save lives. For the latest emergency management training for facility/building managers, contact Allied Universal, Inc. Our new Version 3.0 e-based training system offers the best emergency training system with automated and integrated features. What’s more, the NEW Allied Universal Property Messaging System is included FREE for all Allied Universal Online Training System users. Visit for more information.

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