Even with a recovering U.S. economy, domestic air travel has still not quite gotten back to its pre-recession levels.
The Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (Twitter: @TransportStats) reported Monday that U.S. airlines carried 59.2 million passengers on domestic flights. That compares to nearly 61.5 million domestic passengers in June of 2007. Full story
In case you missed it, the New York Times on Sunday had a detailed account by Matt Richtel (Twitter: @mrichtel) of an entrepreneur and engineer named Scott Tibbitts who has spent five years devising a technology called Groove to prevent texting while driving — and thus save the lives of pedestrians and others killed by texting drivers.
Tibbitts and his company, Katasi, worked with Sprint and with American Family Insurance to make his technology available.
The story is a cautionary tale about the difficulty of bringing new technology to market. One impediment that has kept Katasi’s potentially life-saving device off the market: the companies’ potential legal liability if the technology weren’t 100 percent effective in blocking every single text.
Sen. Claire McCaskill, D- Mo., will chair a hearing Tuesday examining the performance of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (Photo by Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
A busy week for transportation policy in Washington starts Tuesday with a hearing by the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, headed by Sen. Claire McCaskill, D- Mo., (Twitter: @clairecmc) on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which has been accused of slow reaction to the GM recalls of 27.5 million cars this summer.
Cranes at the Port of Los Angeles ( Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
In 2007, to avert the danger of a terrorist attack on an American port, Congress required that all containers coming to the United States be scanned by non-intrusive inspection and radiation detection equipment before being loaded onto U.S.-bound ships in foreign ports.
It set July 1, 2012 as the deadline for achieving this goal.
The 2006 Tour de Georgia bicycle race as it passed through Dahlonega, Ga.
It was Christmas in September on Friday for state and local transportation officials in 46 states as Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx announced $600 million in grants for projects ranging from a new streetcar in Providence, R.I., to building on-ramps and off-ramps at a key freight chokepoint in City of Industry, Calif.
The new Cessna Longitude is scheduled for first delivery in 2017. (Image courtesy of Cessna)
Next year Congress must pass a bill to reauthorize the Federal Aviation Administration. One industry with a lot at stake is general aviation, the companies that manufacture aircraft other than those flown by the military and scheduled commercial airlines.
Robert Poole, co-founder of the Reason Foundation, has worked on transportation policy for more than three decades and is an influential voice on tolling, congestion pricing and infrastructure finance.
Vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) technology may some day allow cars to communicate with each other and with traffic infrastructure to avoid collisions.
Poole’s skepticism about this technology, which he explains in his monthly newsletter published this week, is worth reading.
Freight rail delays are hurting not only farmers trying to get their grain to market, but Minnesota taconite miners with inventories they can’t ship, according to Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D- Minn., and apple and cherry marketers in Washington state, as Sen. Maria Cantwell, D- Wash., reported at Wednesday’s Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee hearing which we reported on. Full story
Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D – N.D. (Photo By Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call)
Farm state senators sounded the alarm about delayed crop shipments and ruined crops at a Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee hearing Wednesday on a U.S. freight rail system that has been overwhelmed by a massive increase in rail shipments of crude oil.
The hearing opened with statements from the two senators from the state enjoying the benefits of the Bakken crude oil boom – North Dakota. But it is that state’s farmers – as well as farmers in neighboring states — who are also suffering from freight rail backlogs.
Rep. Richard Hudson, R- N.C. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
Rep. Richard Hudson, R- N.C., chairman of the Homeland Security Committee’s Subcommittee on Transportation Security, said Wednesday he was frustrated that the Transportation Security Administration hasn’t moved faster to implement its Pre-Check program.
The program allows low-risk frequent travelers to get through airport screening on an expedited basis — without removing their shoes and taking their laptops out of carrying cases, for example.
An investigator examines a single-engine plane which crashed in Glendale, Calif. in 2012. (ROBYN BECK/AFP/GettyImages)
The group representing general aviation pilots is criticizing the National Transportation Safety Board’s new study of pilots’ drug use. We reported on that study yesterday.
“There are just far too many gaps and unknowns in this [NTSB] study for us to be able to draw any meaningful conclusions about aviation safety,” said Mark Baker, president of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA). “Overall the number of general aviation accidents has declined significantly over the past decade, and continuing that trend should be our focus.” Full story
NTSB Acting Chairman Christopher Hart ( Alex Wong/Getty Images)
A National Transportation Safety Board (Twitter: @NTSB) study released Tuesday found evidence of wider drug use in general aviation compared to 25 years ago, but the safety board does not yet have data to show whether a significant percentage of weekend and recreational pilots who are involved in accidents are drug-impaired.
NTSB workers inspect the wreckage of a UPS cargo plane that crashed in Birmingham, Ala. on Aug. 14, 2013 (NTSB via Getty Images)
The National Transportation Safety Board ( Twitter: @NTSB) found Tuesday that the probable cause of the crash of a UPS Airbus A300 cargo plane on approach to the Birmingham, Ala. airport last summer was the flight crew’s errors during the approach, including their failure to monitor the aircraft’s altitude.
The Container covers the transportation community in Washington.
Tom Curry (@TCurry_Himself) writes for The Container. He has been a national affairs reporter and editor for nearly two decades, having covered elections, Supreme Court nominations, fiscal policy and the health care debate.