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Critical Infrastructure News

American Airlines and other carriers are facing possible fuel shortages at some airports, industry representatives said.

American told its pilots to conserve fuel by using a single engine while taxiing if the plane allows for that, the airline said.

“We are aware of fuel supply issues at some airports, predominantly across the western U.S., affecting a number of carriers,” American said in a statement Monday. It said the airline has had “minimal operational impact” so far.

The company said the issue was largely caused by a shortage of truck drivers and fuel trucks, and in some cases, pipeline allocations also are contributing to the issue. It said it has not had to cancel flights.

Read more: The Washington Post

We’ve all walked through a metal detector at the airport, hoping we didn’t forget anything in our pockets that will set off the alarm. When security personnel can’t immediately identify what is triggering the alarm, the process is halted for a pat down. Though this slows the screening process significantly for people waiting in line and can be an uncomfortable experience for the individual being screened, it is an essential element of keeping all travelers safe.

To improve airport security, both for screeners and for those being screened, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) continually invests in research and development (R&D) to build solutions for the future. S&T’s Screening at Speed Program partners with government, academia, and industry to increase security effectiveness at the airport from curb to gate, while dramatically reducing screening wait times and improving the passenger experience.

Read more: HS Today

ARLINGTON, Va. (FOX 5 DC) - Even though there are still far less people flying than before the pandemic, the number of guns turning up at checkpoints is sky-high. 

At Reagan National Airport, in three separate incidents, people were stopped while trying to bring loaded weapons through security in their carry-on luggage.

The TSA director at Reagan said in a statement Wednesday that there is an epidemic of guns showing up at the airport and it’s happening in other airports across the country as well.  

"That’s very alarming," one traveler told FOX 5. "With all the security they have I don’t know how they think that’s possible."

Read more: Fox 5

In the last few years, drones have flown over, and in some cases landed within, restricted areas across our country—with notable incidents in our nation’s capital. In 2015, a quadcopter crashed on the grounds of the White House. Later that same year, a drone crash-landed on the White House Ellipse, near the South Lawn. Though benign hobbyists often use them, these small unmanned aircraft systems (sUAS) can be exploited for any number of illegal activities, thereby posing a significant threat to facilities related to critical infrastructure and national security. This is why Counter-UAS (C-UAS) technology is so important.

The popularity of sUAS, or drones, has grown as the cost has become more affordable. Their nefarious capabilities continue to increase, as well. They can attain high speeds and move in three dimensions with the potential to carry dangerous payloads, smuggle contraband, and conduct illicit surveillance. The applications are endless, which creates a formidable challenge for our national security agencies, including the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T).

Adaptation is key to ensuring resilience. S&T is supporting C-UAS research, testing, training and evaluation across multiple DHS missions and components. A number of tests have been executed over the last year and more are planned in coordination with the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG), U.S. Secret Service (USSS), Federal Protective Services (FPS), and Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

Read more: Department of Homeland Security

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Airport officials facing jet fuel shortages are concerned they’ll have to wave off planes and helicopters that drop fire retardants during what could be a ferocious wildfire season, potentially endangering surrounding communities.

Sporadic shortages at some tanker bases in Oregon and Utah have already been reported. The worry is that multiple bases go dry simultaneously during what is shaping up to be a very busy wildfire season in the U.S. West. Tanker bases in Arizona, where many large fires are burning, have also had jet fuel supply issues in the last month.

“We haven’t run into that before,” said Jessica Gardetto, a National Interagency Fire Center spokeswoman in Boise, Idaho, and a former wildland firefighter. “It’s a scary thought, with all the shortages going on right now.”

It’s not clear if jet fuel supplies and delivery systems can be bolstered in time for this wildfire season to avoid potential problems keeping firefighting aircraft aloft if multiple large fires break out around the West.

Read more: AP News