9 New Security Measures For Flights and How They Will Affect You

A lot has happened in the last few days to change the way that we all will be travelling in the future. There will be new security measures for flights based on these recent incidents.

Firstly, I am sure you all have heard or read about the 23-year old Nigerian man, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, who allegedly attempted to blow up a plane he was on as it neared Detroit Metropolitan Airport on Christmas Day. He had a peroxide-based bomb attached to his body, and when he detonated it, the bomb, thank God, sparked a fire instead of an explosion.

The Nigerian man had told fellow passengers that he felt sick, and pulled a blanket up around his body and neck, and proceeded to ignite the bomb that was stored in his underwear. Pops were heard and smoke was seen. Quick action by the flight crew and passengers subdued Abdulmutallab. All ended up safe at the end of this flight with the exception of Abdulmutallab, who is reported to have suffered third-degree burns.

Then, two days later a man from Florida, 67-year old Thomas Ouellette, reportedly brought a pyrotechnic device onto his flight that landed in NYC’s LaGuardia Airport last Sunday night.

The question is: How will these new security measures for flights affect the rest of us when we travel?

According to a report on CNN today, U.S. Travel and Security Authorities, international airlines and airports, and aviation organizations have all moved quickly to implement a range of new security measures for flights that will impact travellers’ normal routines.

At present, only flights to the U.S. are affected. Passengers can expect to see extra security “at international airports such as increased gate screening including pat-downs and bag searches. During flight, passengers will be asked to follow flight crew instructions, such as stowing personal items, turning off electronic equipment and remaining seated during certain portions of the flight”, stated The Transportation Security Administration.

New security measures for flights include the following for the last hour of flight over U.S. Territory:

  • Passengers will not be allowed to leave their seats for the bathroom
  • No access to luggage, especially in the overhead area
  • Not able to keep blankets or pillows on your lap
  • Bans on using laptops and MP3 players
  • Restriction for the use of cabin phones

Additional New security measures for flights include the following:

  • Arrive at the airport at least three hours before your flight
  • Be prepared for longer wait times to clear security
  • Be prepared for pat-downs from security and individual airline security personnel
  • Be prepared for additional inspection of carry-on baggage and personal items before boarding your flight

The Detroit incident has shown a hole in airport security measures. Could the next step possibly be a ban on all hand luggage, including handbags and purses?

As of today this is what some airlines are telling their passengers about the new security measures for flights:

British Airways is advising all passengers travelling to the States to minimize hand luggage to only one piece. Holiday presents that are wrapped will be opened and inspected.

Cathay Pacific is advising their passengers to expect pat-downs from security and inspection of carry-on baggage and personal items before boarding the plane. Also, the use of cabin phones will be restricted at all times during the flight.

American Airlines advises all passengers to arrive at the airport at least three hours before the flight to allow for added security checks.

Our take on the new security measures for flights? We would rather be safe than sorry…..if it takes extra time to be cleared through Security – so what? If it turns out that you have an extra hour to wait for your flight, get something to eat (it might be better than the food on the plane anyway), make those last good-bye phone calls, start reading your book, take time to talk to your travel partner, go to the bathroom an extra time for good measure.

To sum it up: Arrive early, have your paperwork including passport ready, a tight grip on your patience, be cooperative…..and remember, smile, smile, smile.

Green Travel Plan Advice

A Green Travel Plan should deliver economic, practical and easy to manage measures both now and in the future. The majority of individuals that usually require a green travel plan are commercial developers and businesses. A plan should typically be:

  • economic to implement ‘day one’
  • cost effective for future management
  • include practical, well thought out measures that work

What’s the difference between Green and Workplace travel plans?

A Green Travel Plan (also typically known as a Workplace Travel Plan) is an obligation imposed by local authorities through the planning process typically by way of panning condition attached to a planning consent or by a S.106 agreement. It may also be introduced as a requirement during the application process.

In addition a Travel Plan is often a requirement of a BREEAM assessment process.

The Green Travel Plan sets out a suite of actions and measures intended to promote travel to the site by sustainable transport methods such as bicycle, bus or train rather than private car.

So I have a Green Travel Plan, what happens if I don’t follow it?

Most local authorities will require occupiers to monitor the effectiveness of the plan to ensure measures are being implemented and targets set in the plan are being met. The aim should be to demonstrate ongoing improvement.

Some local authorities now have sustainable travel officers whose sole duty is to promote sustainable travel and to monitor plans to ensure compliance.

Ultimately the local authority does have the power to take Enforcement action against you if you are not implementing and monitoring your plan. The council has the power to issue of a breach of condition notice to require you to comply with the requirements which could ultimately lead to prosecution and fine if you still fail to comply.

What Actions and Measures do the plans typically include?

They are sometimes produced to include high cost and complicated measures such as staff showers, public transport information and ticketing systems, subsidised public transport, cycle parking and staff loan schemes. Whilst it’s important to be mindful of the commercial necessity to obtain a consent, more simpler and cost effective measures should be considered as well, such as; free internet access to travel guides; website links to local travel information; car sharing schemes and on site maps of bus and train stations.

A plan should be produced to minimise the cost to the clients of delivering their plan whilst balancing this against the local planning policy requirements and need for a consent in a timely manner.

What will my Green Travel Plan cost?

Every plan is different based on the local policy requirements, the site constraints and the commercial pressures. Each should ideally be produced on a site specific basis. It is important to appreciate that a well considered and written plan allied to skilled consultants negotiating terms with the local authority will save you more money than you will ever spend on preparing it. Conversely, one poorly written will cost you money ‘day one’ and for many years to come as you continue to spend money and management time on costly and unwieldy measures.

Wind Anemometers – How to Measure Wind Speed Accurately

For a science that is constantly in the lives of everyday folk, wind speed measurement certainly manages to keep out of the public eye. The measuring of wind speed happens to be an important part of a number of everyday technologies. Of course there is meteorology, the measuring of weather phenomena, that wholly depends on the gauging of wind speed; but a surprising number of other everyday specialties depend on wind speed measurements too, chief among them being aviation and marine and navigation, stability management in skyscrapers, environmental sciences and disaster management. Wind measurement is done with a device known as a wind anemometer; though it might be argued that that is a redundancy since anemometer comes from the Greek Anemos = wind.

Any device that measures wind speed is bound to sense the pressure of it too. For this reason, many anemometer designs are successful when used as pressure meters too in addition. A version of anemometer is known to have existed since around 1450. The modern wind anemometer though, has been around for more than a century and a half now; the first successful design was one that used a structure with four arms fanned out, each one with a cup attached that caught the wind and spun the structure. The inventor, Dr. John Robinson, held the impression when he made his invention that any cup anemometer would share the characteristic that it would spin at a third of the speed of the wind blowing past it, no matter what size it was built to be. Researchers took his word at its face for quite a while before it was discovered that the size of design used always affected the results. Researchers who had used the inventor’s figures for their calculations for years had to start over from scratch.

Cup anemometers, these simple devices, are remarkably accurate machines today nevertheless; the best examples can approach a 99% accuracy level, and still be no more expensive than about $1000. But the cup anemometer is still a mechanical technology that is prone to maintenance lubrication issues, friction, mechanical damage and ice formation. There are competing technologies that attempt to eliminate the problems seen in the mechanical design. One of the most popular wind anemometer technologies in use today is the ultrasonic kind. The principle of the ultrasonic design is this: the speed of sound depends on the speed and the direction of the air that it passes through. A headwind slows sound down, and a tail wind speeds it up. An ultrasonic wind anemometer fires high-frequency sound pulses back and forth between two receivers. If the pulse takes more time travelling in one direction than the other, that is a sign that the slower trip had a headwind working against it. The time differential helps calculate the wind speed. You’ll find these in use on tall buildings, on weather buoys and at weather stations.

Another wind anemometer design that is particularly ingenious is the constant-temperature anemometer. A thin wire held between two electrodes is heated up electrically to hold a constant temperature. A sensor measures the amount of current needed to hold the temperature at ambient temperature levels. Any loss of temperature that is faster than would be explained by the ambient temperature levels would have to come from wind speed. This is a particularly accurate method of measurement of wind turbulence. However, like the laser measurement method below, this can be a quite inexpensive device to buy and maintain.

Ultrasonic and constant temperature anemometers may be accurate enough for most purposes; but laser Doppler anemometers offer extremely tight accuracy. A laser anemometer uses two laser beams; one that travels through a sealed and clean pathway, and one that travels through exposed air. The beam that travels through the exposed air encounters dust particles that are borne along at the speed of the wind at the point. The laser bounces off those dust particles, and measures by Doppler shift the speed at which the particle has been traveling. The Doppler shift is compared to what is measured for the beam traveling through the sealed tube and a relative measurement is made.

It would appear from these descriptions that anemometers always need to be large and permanent installations; as it happens though, small and inexpensive handheld versions with digital displays exist for use by field researchers and trainer pilots. The most striking feature of these is the way they recognizably use nothing other than the same mechanics and structures of the professional devices, only miniaturized for handheld use.