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Critical Infrastructure News

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has announced that its officers have detected a record number of firearms at airport security checkpoints this year, establishing a 20-year record with three months remaining in the calendar year and fewer passengers traveling due to the pandemic.

By October 3 this year, TSA officers had stopped 4,495 airline passengers from carrying firearms onto their flights, surpassing the previous record of 4,432 firearms caught at checkpoints in the full calendar year 2019. TSA officers discovered 11 firearms in carry-on bags at airport checkpoints per million passengers screened so far in 2021. This compares to five firearms per million passengers in 2019.

The reported data represents the number of firearms caught on passengers or in their carry-on bags at the nation’s airport security checkpoints. Excluded from the data are improperly packed firearms at checked baggage stations, toys, replicas, and BB guns.

“The number of firearms that our TSA officers are stopping at airport checkpoints is alarming,” said TSA Administrator David Pekoske. “Firearms, particularly loaded firearms, introduce an unnecessary risk at checkpoints, have no place in the passenger cabin of an airplane, and represent a very costly mistake for the passengers who attempt to board a flight with them.”

Read more: HSToday

Drones may prove to be a more expedient means of delivering many items, but a number of research projects have demonstrated that dropping defibrillators off to heart attack victims could have life-saving consequences. A new study from a Swedish team of researchers has now deployed this technology in real-world scenarios for the first time. On average, the unmanned aircraft arrived well ahead of ambulance crews, with the medical device safely in tow.

When a person suffers a cardiac arrest, brain death and fatality can occur within just minutes, and the chances of survival for those that experience them outside of hospital is therefore slim. Prompt treatment involving CPR and an automated external defibrillator (AED) can greatly increase the odds of survival, so every second counts in getting the equipment to the scene.

Back in 2014, we looked at a student-designed "Ambulance Drone" with an integrated webcam, that drops a defibrillator off at the scene and then allows experts to guide those on the ground through how to use it. The Defikopter is another example, while in 2017 scientists at Sweden's Karolinska Institutet carried out simulation exercises showing how these types of drones could transport defibrillators four times as quickly as an ambulance. The latest study also comes courtesy of researchers at the Karolinska Institutet, but involves real-life incidences of cardiac arrest.

Read More: Newatlas

The Transportation Safety Board is investigating after a York regional police drone collided with an airplane approaching Buttonville Airport in Markham last week.

Police confirmed to CityNews they had deployed a Remote Piloted Vehicle (RPV), known more commonly as a drone, as part of an investigation near the airport on August 10.

While it was being operated, the drone collided with a Cessna 172 operated by Canadian Flyers International that was attempting to land. There was an instructor and student pilot on board.

No injuries were reported and the plane was able to land without any further incidents.

In the report to Transport Canada, which was submitted eight days after the incident on August 18, it said the drone had unauthorized entry to a “controlled airspace.”

Read more: CityNews

President Biden said Sunday that his administration may extend an Aug. 31 deadline for withdrawing troops from Afghanistan, as the Pentagon enlisted the help of U.S. airlines to evacuate Americans and Afghan partners from the country.

“There’s discussions going on among us and the military about extending” the deadline, Mr. Biden told reporters at the White House. “Our hope is that we will not have to extend. But there are going to be discussions I expect about how far along we are in the process.”

The president spoke as U.S. airlines were positioning aircraft to comply with a Pentagon order, announced Sunday morning under a rarely invoked law, that compelled six airlines to contribute 18 planes to help with the evacuation. Officials said the commercial aircraft wouldn’t fly in and out of Kabul, the Afghan capital, but would ferry evacuees to the U.S. from bases in Germany, Qatar and Bahrain to ease transport bottlenecks.

Read more: The Wall Street Journal

For months, the FAA has warned air travelers about what it describes as a dramatic increase in unruly or dangerous behavior aboard passenger airplanes. The agency previously announced it was taking a "zero-tolerance" approach to poor behavior from air travelers. Unruly or dangerous passengers can face potential criminal charges, fines up to $35,000 or lifetime bans on certain airlines.

Read more: NBC News