Some end-of-the-year tidbits for air travelers:
On Friday, December 28, 2013, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued some new rules designed to “speed the deployment of Internet services onboard aircraft.”
In its release, the FAA explained that, since 2001, it has been authorizing companies to offer in-flight broadband service on an ad hoc basis. It will now allow airlines to “test systems that meet FCC standards, establish that they do not interfere with aircraft systems, and get FAA approval…up to 50 percent faster, enhancing competition in an important sector of the mobile telecommunications market in the United States and promoting the widespread availability of Internet access to aircraft passengers.”
And, as the TSA winds up the year, the ever-shocking and entertaining TSA Blog reports in its Week in Review that this week “only” sixteen guns (nine of them loaded) were discovered at airport checkpoints. That’s on the low side for the weekly gun finds, but clueless travelers were also nabbed this week for trying to take hand grenades, razors and other weaponry through the checkpoints. And, as the folks at Skift reported earlier this week, this year TSA discovered more than 1,500 guns at airport checkpoints, a new record for the agency.
Are more people traveling armed, or are more armed people traveling and simply “forgetting” that they’ve got loaded guns in their purse or carry-on bag?