Guns at the Airport? CT Ranks 43rd As Texas, Florida Confiscate Hundreds

Airport travelers caught carrying firearms were most prevalent in Texas, Florida and Georgia, with Connecticut ranking 43rd among the states, according to federal data analyzed by Bloomberg News. Texas saw the most confiscations in 2014, with 424 guns found in screenings, according to Transportation Security Administration data. Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, where 120 firearms were found in carry-on luggage, topped the list nationwide.

Ranked second was Florida, with 253 guns found during the year at the state’s airports, followed by Georgia with 119, California with 101, and North Carolina with 97.  Arizona and Tennessee tied for 6th with 94 guns discovered at each state’s airports, followed by Cotsa-airportlorado with 79 and Missouri with 75.

In Connecticut in 2014, there were four firearms found during 2014 according to the data.  Two of them were loaded.  There were also 4 firearms found at the state’s airports in 2013, Bloomberg reported.

With all 50 states now allowing people to carry concealed guns, with varying degrees of limitations, Bloomberg reported, more are being forgotten in clothing, holsters and handbags.  Firearm confiscations rose 22 percent from 2013.  Guns were discovered at airports in all 50 states in 2014, the data indicated.

The Transportation Security Administration screened more than 653 million passengers last year, about 14.8 million more than in 2013. The states and territories with the fewest were Rhode Island, South Dakota and the Virgin Islands.suitcase

Bloomberg ranked the 50 U.S. states and the U.S. Territories by the number of firearms discovered by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) in carry-on luggage at that state's airports. The numbers for each state represent a total of all of the airports in that state covered by the TSA. Firearms are defined by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives as a destructive device, machine gun, silencer, short-barreled rifle, short-barreled shotgun and any other weapon from which a shot can be discharged.

Tweed Gauges Demand for Flights to Washington, D.C., Other Destinations

Tweed New Haven Regional Airport, the City of New Haven and the Greater New Haven Chamber of Commerce are currently soliciting feedback from businesses regarding existing air travel patterns and expenditures, as well as anticipated air service needs this year.  The survey is intended to quantify the demand for air service and to pinpoint the most critical destinations sought by local businesses. Of particular interest:  Dulles Airport in Washington, D.C.  A recent email from the New Haven Manufacturers Association to members of the association, for example, seeks opinions regarding travel to the nation’s Capital.  The email asks two questions:

  • Does your company have a need to be in the DC area on a regular basis?
  • If so how many flights a month would you estimate you company would use?

Under consideration is service that would include three flights down and three flights back each day, Monday - Friday, “which means you could be there and back within the day.” Though Dulles is outside of DC, the email continues, “the Silver Line train will soon be connecting the airport to the DC subway system.”img_logo

In urging participation in the survey, officials note that “with accurate information regarding the potential market for increased destinations, the airport can make a compelling case for additional flights and carriers.”  The survey is also posted on the Tweed New Haven website.

Currently, Tweed’s flights to Philadelphia are the airport’s primary gateway hub.  The airport’s website highlights “Fly first to Philadelphia and connect to hundreds of destinations for less that it would cost to drive and park at our other nearest airports. These costs in time, stress, and dollars are seldom counted in the cost of travel.” Tweed offers US Airways Express service to and from Philadelphia International Airport, currently three flights a day.  US Airways is currently in the midst of merging with American Airlines. img_airport_hvn3_lg

Tweed New Haven Airport Authority manages and operates Tweed New Haven Regional Airport under a long term lease from the City of New Haven, according to the Chamber of Commerce website.  Chartered by the State legislature, the Authority is a 15-member board of directors appointed by the mayors of New Haven and East Haven and by the South Central CT Regional Council of Governments.  The Airport is operated by the firm of AvPORTS and administered in part by Chamber staff.

“Improving scheduled air service and the physical infrastructure at Tweed is considered the #1 economic development priority of the region,” the Chamber website points out.

Rebranding of Tweed-New Haven Seen as Key to Airport Growth

For a time, it seemed as if Tweed-New Haven Airport would be handling flights without the benefit of air traffic controllers.  That altered state of reality was averted – at least for the time being – when Congress intervened, after federal sequestration budget cuts called for eliminating the control tower personnel this spring.

But at a news conference earlier this month, members of Connecticut’s Congressional delegation stressed that Tweed-New Haven and other regional airports are not out of the woods yet. That means the facility needs to more aggressively state its case – to lawmakers and the public.  Which is precisely what’s being done, with a reinvigorated public information effort including a recently developed website and logo.Tweed

Last July, officials at Tweed launched a new user-friendly website to meet the needs of its expanding customer base. The new website makes it easier to price and track flights throughout the world. In addition to the website, a new logo was created and Tweed mobile applications were launched.

The initiative to refresh the airport's identity and branding online was aimed at changing travelers' search habits, placing the airport's code ("HVN") into prominence as the first step at accomplishing that goal.  The tagline “Southern Connecticut’s Airport” is also featured with the revised logo.  The airport is served several times a day by US Airways Express, through connecting flights via Philadelphia to over 130 national or international destinations.

A report issued last year indicated that more airline passengers flew out of Tweed in 2011 than in 10 of the previous 11 years – including a jump of 11% in 2011 over 2010. Figures for 2012 were not immediately available.  Total 2011 departures exceeded the average annual number of departures over the last 12 years by a strong 24%.   It also marked the third consecutive annual increase in the number of passengers flying from Tweed.

In addition to Tweed, the six airports that would have been impacted by the federal cuts include Hartford’s Brainard Airport and the airports in Danbury, Bridgeport, Groton-New London, Waterbury.

Officials have pointed out that with competitive fares, convenient parking and easy access from downtown New Haven and I-95, Tweed’s popularity has grown  from a decade ago. The growth also reflects thedestination_banner-938x333-938x333 increasing vitality of the New Haven business community, reflected in a growing and vibrant retail community and greater demand for residential space in the city. Airport officials have said they will continue working with airline representatives to  seek additional service and destinations.