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Steven Frischling
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Steven Frischling, aka: Fish, is globe hopping professional photographer, airline emerging media consultant working with large global airlines and founder of The Travel Strategist. Fish has racked up more than 1,000,000 miles since he started to track his mileage in 2005.

Fish's travel tends to be less than leisurely, including flying from New York to Basrah, Iraq, for six hours; Hong Kong for eight hours, Kuwait City for two hours and traveling around the world in 3.5 days to shoot a series of photo assignments in 4 cities and 4 countries on 3 separate continents.

Fish grew up at the end of New York's JFK International Airport's Runway 4R/22L, which probably explains his enjoyment of watching planes, fly overhead. When not shooting photos or traveling Fish designs camera bags, hones is expertise on airline security and spends his time at home cheering for the Red Sox with his 3 kids 102 yards from the ocean.

TSA Goes To The London Olympics To Provide No Security

In just over a week the 2012 Olympic Games will commence. London’s busy airports will receive a massive influx of passengers, straining their already strained security checkpoints.


Recently it has come to light that G4S security, which provides security at a number of airports in the United Kingdom, including Britain’s global gateway, London’s Heathrow Airport, had only vetted and trained approximately 4,000 security guards for the Olympics, rather than then 10,400 they were contracted to provide.


In an effort to ensure security of the Olympics G4S has begun shuffling its staff around, which reduces staffing levels at certain airports. To ensure the airports remain operating at full capacity during this time the British reached out to the U.S. State Department for assistance from the  Transportation Security Administration (TSA) for assistance.


The role of the TSA will be focus the prevention of terrorism of flights bound for the United States, working with U.S. airlines and British airlines.  How the TSA assets are to be deployed and their effectiveness leaves some question of their effectiveness though.


An  interesting quirk in the TSA’s role in working with U.S. and British carriers only means that flights from the U.K. to the U.S. operated by Air New Zealand and Kuwait Airways will not have a TSA presence during  this time.


As there are no specific airport checkpoints for flights to the United States, with them spread among all terminals at London’s Heathrow, TSA personnel will not be staffing check points, instead they will be assigned to the specific gates for flights departing to the United States.


What role will the TSA play in the gate areas for flights departing for the United States?  Under the U.S. State Department agreement with the United Kingdom, the TSA personnel will not be able to screen passengers or perform inspections.


At this time it is unclear the number of TSA personnel being dispatched to U.K., although they should be spread among a number of airports with direct flights to the United States, and what type of staff are being sent. As of this morning the State Department continues to use the term “Inspector” for TSA personnel headed over to assist, however this seems unlikely due to the limited number of Inspectors and their role within the agency.


Ultimately the question at hand is what is the purpose of State Department agreeing to send Transportation Security Administration personnel to the U.K. to assist in airport security during the Olympics?  Will TSA personnel be performing a vital role with an inability to screen passengers or inspect passengers … or is this a political arrangement for the United States to present a wider presence during a global event in a foreign land?


Happy Flying!




4 Responses

  1. Another Munich in the making ?

  2. It basically amounts to a government subsidized vacation for TSA staff at taxpayer expense…

    If they can get away with what they have done before with impunity…why not?

  3. Clever title ^

  4. […] and the TSA wanted a piece of it … capitalizing on serious problems in Olympic Security staffing, the TSA sent staff to England to be present in airports but provide no security.  All these months later I still have no idea why the agent sent personnel to England, and neither […]

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