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Airport fast track not that great

In response to recent stories on long waits at airport security checkpoints:

So now there’s a huge backlog of applicants who want to pay for the privilege of expedited security checks as a “trusted traveler.” Skipping the lines sure sounds enticing, doesn’t it?

Well, my husband and I have “global entry” status. Last year we paid $100 each, filled out a lengthy application, and submitted to the interviews and fingerprinting. Our boarding passes reflect “precheck” status.

So what’s the problem? At McCarran International Airport, there is a dedicated, signed “precheck” area, and it’s usually closed. As in, no agents are working there. So we are forced to get in the slow, snaking, time-wasting line. Oh but wait … we do get the “privilege” of not removing shoes, laptops or liquids while everyone around us must do so.

If there are not dedicated precheck lanes open in every airport, then this program is being falsely marketed.

Juli M. Moore

Las Vegas

On the fly

A recent Associated Press article in the Review-Journal, “Union: New airport towers must be remodeled before opening,” includes claims that two new airport towers, including the tower at McCarran International Airport, will need to be remodeled before going into operation in order to accommodate a new flight data system that eliminates the legacy paper system.

Unfortunately, the article did not include all the facts.

The new McCarran tower was designed to include the new automated electronic flight strip (AEFS) system, and the requirements necessary for the system were approved by stakeholders and management. A prototype of the AEFS is being used in Phoenix and, despite claims in the story that there was a server crash at the Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport tower in May, there are no records of a crash.

All evidence points to the new AEFS system running in Phoenix reliably since it was upgraded more than a year ago.

The article states that this topic was raised during a discussion of legislation proposed by Rep. Bill Shuster, R-Pa., chair of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, to reauthorize the FAA. This legislation, which barely passed the committee and has not yet been brought to the full House, includes divisive language that privatizes the air traffic control system by turning it over to a private corporation.

The concept of privatizing our country’s air traffic control system has been widely criticized by many in Congress, the aviation industry, and FAA unions and organizations.

The United States has the safest, largest and most complex system in the world and the FAA and its employees are consistently working to modernize the system and ensure safety. The new McCarran tower is an example of these efforts. Now is not the time to let inaccurate statements cloud the true issue at hand: the urgent need to pass FAA reauthorization that will allow the agency to continue functioning and the FAA work-force to continue performing their critical duties as federal employees.

Congress must fully fund the FAA and pass long-term legislation that keeps our air traffic control system out of the hands of a private corporation with its own interests and agenda. Simply put, the safety of the American flying public should not be for sale.

Patrick L. Peterson


The writer is Nevada chapter president of the Professional Aviation Safety Specialists, AFL-CIO.

High risk

The risk of developing lung cancer, according to the American Cancer Society, is 10 times higher in those who smoke anything. All forms of smoking, including smokeless tobacco, put the user at increased risk for cancer of any part of the oral cavity, from lip and tongue to mouth and throat.

The American Medical Association in an updated report labeled marijuana “a dangerous drug.” Tolerance in users develops rapidly and leads to escalating use.

These facts should be taken into consideration before voting to legalize recreational use.Many physicians feel continued use can lead to psychological changes.

Donna Andress


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