Browsing: Transportation

Memo to frequent fliers: Share your tips

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Are you a seasoned federal traveler with a suitcase full of tips? Do you know how to save on checked bag fees and do you always know the best hotels at per diem? If you would like share some of your tips and advice with our readers, or have any other suggestions on how to beat the airport rush, please email me at opawlyk@gannettgov.com or feel free to post in the comment section below.

Mobile devices help FAA save money and time

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The Federal Aviation Administration has saved money and increased efficiency since it began issuing iPads and Android devices to employees a year ago, an agency official said. FAA’s legal department, for example, uses iPads during cases it prosecutes to show radar images of air traffic conditions at the time of a contested incident. Such evidence often leads to defendants ending cases earlier, said Robert Corcoran, manager for architecture and applied technology at FAA. The legal department estimates that FAA saves about $100,000 per case when cases end early, Corcoran said Tuesday at the FOSE conference inWashington. FAA has issued 1,100…

GOVTeks awards honor federal, contractor IT execs

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More than a year ago, agencies were ordered to begin shuttering hundreds of data centers and move government applications to the cloud under the administration’s information technology reform plan. As of last fall, agencies had moved 40 services to the cloud and terminated 50 legacy systems. Transportation Department Chief Information Officer Nitin Pradhan announced a program last November called IT Vital Signs, which was created to set consistent performance metrics for cybersecurity , IT investments and departmentwide initiatives like data center consolidation. The department has committed to closing at least 42 of its data centers by 2015. “Stakeholder engagement is really at the…

A footnote to the FAA furloughs

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One of the oddities of this summer’s partial Federal Aviation Administration shutdown was that the agency would never say exactly how many employees were furloughed as a result. “Nearly 4,000” was the stock phrase used by FAA officials, who refused to provide a more precise figure. Not clear why they were so coy (this is supposed to be the most transparent administration in American history, after all), but FedLine’s curiosity was piqued, a Freedom of Information Act request was filed and the answer came back late last month: 3,750. The estimated cost in lost payroll for the two-week furlough (and…

Congressman: Previously furloughed FAA employees to receive back pay

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Almost 4,000 Federal Aviation Administration employees furloughed this summer will be reimbursed for salary lost during that time, according to Rep. Frank LoBiondo, R-N.J. The back pay will be included in a mid-October paycheck after Transportation Department lawyers concluded that congressional approval was not needed, LoBiondo said in a news release Friday. Department officials could not be reached for confirmation late Friday, but in a separate statement, the president of the FAA Managers Association called the news “a great outcome” for employees. “We congratulate and commend [Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt] for discovering the legal mechanisms to bring the…

TSA checks for Afro explosives

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An Atlanta TV station recently reported a passenger going through Hartsfield- Jackson International Airport was subject to a TSA “hair pat-down”. The woman had already gone through security when TSA agents tracked her down and asked to search her hair for explosives. She said no, but was then told she wouldn’t be able to board her flight without a “hair pat-down”. The woman has a massive fro and is quite a character, but a terrorist, I think not.  Watch the full report below. [brightcove video=”1173213411001″ /]

LaHood to lawmakers: Don't leave on "vacation" without settling FAA standoff

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It wasn’t exactly a primal scream, but Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood sounded decidedly ticked this afternoon over the congressional standoff that has idled almost 4,000 Federal Aviation Administration workers. That impasse is now in its tenth day, with no apparent end in sight. Amping up the urgency is that Congress is set to leave by week’s end for its customary August break. Meaning that, without a quick resolution, those FAA employees could stay furloughed without pay through at least Labor Day. Also affected, according to LaHood, are some 70,000 construction workers employed on FAA contracts snarled by the dispute. During this afternoon’s…

Even Rummy can't get past the TSA

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The former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld got hung up in Chicago O’Hare International Airport yesterday afternoon. Rumsfled was stopped by TSA agents and patted down after setting off the metal detector. The 13th and 21st Secretary of Defense was reported as being a good sport by TMZ, they even have pictures to prove it!  The former SECDEF even tweeted about his pat down: [blackbirdpie url=”http://twitter.com/#!/RumsfeldOffice/status/91502230078898176″] Rumsfeld was in hometown of Chicago attending a Heritage Foundation Panel & Luncheon.

Air traffic control FAIL: Two kids directed planes at JFK

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Here’s a story crying out for the sound of a sad trombone. The Federal Aviation Administration yesterday suspended an air traffic controller at JFK Airport and his supervisor for allowing two children visiting the airport’s tower last month to direct at least five planes. The FAA has suspended all unofficial visits to towers and radar rooms while the incident is being investigated, and Administrator Randy Babbitt stressed that “this lapse in judgment not only violated FAA’s own policies, but common sense standards … [and] does not reflect the true caliber of our workforce.” And in case anyone thought otherwise, the National Air Traffic Controllers…

LaHood: Back to work, everybody!

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Roughly 2,000 Transportation Department employees who had been furloughed earlier this week were ordered to return to work Wednesday morning. The order came late Tuesday night after Sen. Jim Bunning, R-Ky., relented and allowed a vote on a bill that would extend unemployment benefits and provide transportation funding. Bunning objected that the bill would add $10 billion to the deficit and wanted Congress to find a way to pay it, and began blocking it Feb. 25. The blockage meant Transportation didn’t have the funds to pay employees at the Federal Highway Administration, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, National Highway Traffic…

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