Infrastructure Daily News 11.15.11

Transportation Sector

. November 14, Associated Press – (National) American Eagle Airlines fined $900,000 for lengthy tarmac delays. The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) said November 14 it fined a regional affiliate of American Airlines $900,000 for keeping hundreds of passengers cooped up for hours on planes in Chicago earlier in 2011, a clear warning to airlines that similar incidents will not be tolerated. American Eagle Airlines had tarmac delays of more than 3 hours on 15 flights arriving at O’Hare International Airport May 29, the department said in a statement. A total of 608 passengers were aboard the delayed flights. The airline must pay $650,000 of the fine within 30 days, the department said. Up to $250,000 can be credited for refunds, vouchers, and frequent flyer mile awards provided to the passengers on the 15 flights, as well as to passengers on future flights that violate the 3-hour rule, the department said. The department implemented a new rule in April 2010 limiting tarmac delays on domestic flights to 3 hours. After that, airlines must either return to a gate or provide passengers who wish to leave planes with some other means of safely getting off. Airlines that violate the rule can be fined as much as $27,500 per passenger. The rule has since been extended to international flight delays, which are capped at 4 hours. Source: n_1092050.html

. November 13, Washington Post – (District of Columbia) Metro bus rider shot at close range in Southeast Washington. An unknown assailant fired three gunshots into a Metro bus at a stop near Fort Dupont Park in Washington, D.C. shortly before 6:30 a.m. November 13, wounding a Prince George’s County man in the left hand and right arm, transit authorities said. The victim was taken from the scene at 37th Street near Ely Place to Prince George’s County Hospital with non-life threatening injuries, a Metro spokesman said. The shooter escaped. Police are interviewing the victim and witnesses and camera footage from the bus, the spokesman said. “At this point it is unclear whether the shooter knew either one of these passengers on the bus, but that is something we are looking into.” The U-6 bus was just pulling away from the stop when a man who had declined to board the bus pointed a gun at the last panel of the bus’s right, or curbside, window, firing three times at near-point blank range, the spokesman said. Source: point-blank-range-in-southeast-washington/2011/11/13/gIQASPyJIN_blog.html

. November 13, Newark Star-Ledger – (New York; New Jersey) PATH system restored after five-hour shut down. The Newark Star-Ledger reported November 13 that, according to officials, Port Authority Trans-Hudson (PATH) service was restored after an electrical fire near the Journal Square train station in Jersey City, New Jersey knocked out all PATH train lines in New York and New Jersey for nearly 5 hours. While the fire that ignited November 12 was extinguished quickly and caused no injuries, the incident caused signal malfunctions for all PATH trains operating between Newark and New York City around 8 p.m., said a Port Authority spokesman, forcing transit officials to shut down PATH service for safety reasons. At 1:15 a.m., November 13, PATH service was “fully restored,” according to the spokesman. New Jersey Transit was cross-honoring PATH tickets at Newark-Penn Station and New York-Penn Station. Passengers were able to be unloaded at nearby stations after the fire, he said, but the signal malfunctions made it unsafe for engineers to continue to operate PATH engines. Source: For more stories, see items 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7

Postal and Shipping Sector Nothing to report

Emergency Services Sector

. November 14, WBIR 10 Knoxville – (Tennessee) Bomb threat evacuates Union Co. courthouse & jail. A bomb threat led to the evacuation of the Union County Courthouse and jail in Maynardville, Tennessee. According a spokesperson for the Union County Sheriff’s Office, the call was made about 8:50 a.m November 14. Officials quickly began an evacuation of the courthouse and the surrounding buildings. About 100 jail inmates had to be removed. They were placed on buses with officers to guard them, and drove about a half mile away from the jail. Knox County’s bomb squad came to assist in checking the building. A K-9 went through the entire building and found nothing. The “all-clear” was given at 10:30 am. Investigators are now working to determine who made the threat. Source: Co-courthouse–jail

. November 14, HS Today – (District of Columbia) GAO: FBI facilities face security challenges. Dispersion of Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) staff in annexes throughout the National Capital Region creates security challenges, according to a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report. The report found “the FBI’s headquarters facilities — the Hoover Building and the headquarters annexes — do not fully support the FBI’s long-term security, space and building condition requirements.” It said FBI security officials indicated to GAO staffers they had “some security concerns — to varying degrees— about some of the headquarters annexes.” These concerns include proximity of non-FBI tenants to FBI employees performing sensitive operations, lack of control over common areas, and the fact that “security at the annexes is primarily handled by contract guards, local police or the FBI’s internal police force, the FBI police, depending on the location and circumstances.” With its employees dispersed throughout the National Capital Region and many of them housed in the aging and inefficient Hoover Building, which was constructed prior to current Interagency Security Committee Standards [ISC] governing security countermeasures, GAO said, “the FBI is under pressure to find an alternative that will meet its security, space, and building condition requirements. Any alternative will take years to implement and is likely to cost over a billion dollars.” Source:[tt_news]=19996&cHash=27a86d6 b82b8494a621a8058cd6bf189

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