Atlanta’s thriving air transportation industry: employment and wages, 1990–2010
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
Air transportation1 is a popular form of travel in the United States and a thriving industry in the Atlanta metropolitan area, primarily Fulton County. Fulton County’s employment concentration for air transportation is higher than any other industry, and pays higher wages than the Fulton County average for all private industry. A major reason for the prominence of air transportation within Fulton County is that it houses the world’s busiest airport, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International. Overall, the airport serves more than 150 domestic destinations and 80 international destinations in 52 countries,2 along with being the state of Georgia’s largest employer. It has been the world’s busiest passenger airport3 since 1998 and the world’s busiest operations airport4since 2005. The local air transportation industry has faced several significant challenges over a recent 20-year period (1990–2010) including the interplay of rising fuel costs, the 9/11 attacks, and fewer passengers due to three economic recessions. These events have contributed to numerous airline bankruptcies and consolidations, which have reshaped the industry. Meanwhile, airport improvements at Hartsfield-Jackson have greatly improved efficiency.
This issue of Beyond the Numbers uses data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) for the air transportation industry to compare employment in Fulton County, Georgia, (Hartsfield-Jackson Airport), with employment in Cook County, Illinois,5 (O’Hare International Airport), and Los Angeles County, California, (Los Angeles International Airport). After Fulton County, Cook and Los Angeles Counties housed the next busiest airports in the United States. This article compares total passengers and aircraft operations among the busiest airports in the United States using data from Airports Council International.6
Facts of the catch: occupational injuries, illnesses, and fatalities to fishing workers, 2003–2009
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
Fishers and related fishing workers1 deal with a set of working conditions unique among all other occupations. This occupation is characterized by strenuous work, long hours, seasonal employment, and some of the most hazardous conditions in the workforce.2 These workers are often at sea for weeks or months at a time, sometimes having to stand on deck, fishing for long periods with little or no sleep. They are constantly being tossed around by wind and rough seas, with water in their face and under their feet, which adds an element of balance to the skills needed to do their job safely. Weather does not stop production, and given that these workers do not work in a factory or office building, it increases the unpredictability of their working conditions. Access to on-site medical care for these workers is limited to the knowledge of those on the boat with them or the response of the Coast Guard.
Thanks to television shows such as Deadliest Catch, Lobstermen, Swords, Rajin Cajuns, Hook Line and Sisters, Wicked Tuna, Big Shrimpin’, and Toughest Tribes,3 viewers can see the hazards these workers face first hand. But what do the numbers show? Fishers and related fishing workers have had the highest fatal injury rate of any occupation since 2005. Their rate of fatal injury in 2009 was 203.6 per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers, more than 50 times the all-worker rate of 3.5. From 2003 to 2009, an average of 48 fishers and related fishing workers died each year as a result of an injury incurred on the job.
There were approximately 31,000 people employed as fishers and related fishing workers in 2009.4 This issue of Beyond the Numbers looks at data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Injuries, Illnesses, and Fatalities program on fishers and related fishing workers for the period from 2003 to 2009.Although this report focuses primarily on fatal injuries among workers in this occupation, for context, it begins with some information on the nonfatal injuries and illnesses experienced by these workers. This is followed by a detailed description of what the data from the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI) show about fatal injuries to fishers and related fishing workers during the 2003–2009 period. The final section gives an overview of the fatal injuries that occurred among a subset of the fishers and related fishing workers in the private shellfish fishing industry, including crab fishing, lobster fishing, and shrimp fishing, in order to provide more insight into the special hazards these workers endure.
Guidebook for Implementing Intelligent Transportation Systems Elements to Improve Airport Traveler Access Information
Source: Transportation Research Board
TRB’s Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP) Report 70: Guidebook for Implementing Intelligent Transportation Systems Elements to Improve Airport Traveler Access Information provides descriptions, component details, and examples of how airport ground access information can be disseminated using various intelligent transportation systems (ITS) technologies.
The guidebook contains tables to help airport operators determine the applicability of certain ITS strategies based on airport operational needs and airport size.
The printed version of the report includes an interactive CD-ROM designed to help explore and evaluate the information needs of various airport traveler market segments and to identify ITS technologies that best meet the needs of the airport user.
The CD-ROM also contains a decision support tool that allows users to identify appropriate methods of delivering airport traveler information based on the airport traveler market segment.
The CD-ROM is also available for download from TRB’s website as an ISO image. Links to the ISO image and instructions for burning a CD-ROM from an ISO image are provided below.
Navy Irregular Warfare and Counterterrorism Operations: Background and Issues for Congress (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via Federation of American Scientists)
The Navy for several years has carried out a variety of irregular warfare (IW) and counterterrorism (CT) activities. Among the most readily visible of the Navy’s recent IW operations have been those carried out by Navy sailors serving ashore in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Many of the Navy’s contributions to IW operations around the world are made by Navy individual augmentees (IAs)—individual Navy sailors assigned to various DOD operations.
The May 1-2, 2011, U.S. military operation in Abbottabad, Pakistan, that killed Osama bin Laden reportedly was carried out by a team of 23 Navy special operations forces, known as SEALs (an acronym standing for Sea, Air, and Land). The SEALs reportedly belonged to an elite unit known unofficially as Seal Team 6 and officially as the Naval Special Warfare Development Group (DEVGRU).
The Navy established the Navy Expeditionary Combat Command (NECC) informally in October 2005 and formally in January 2006. NECC consolidated and facilitated the expansion of a number of Navy organizations that have a role in IW operations. The Navy established the Navy Irregular Warfare Office in July 2008, published a vision statement for irregular warfare in January 2010, and established “a community of interest” to develop and advance ideas, collaboration, and advocacy related to IW in December 2010.
The Navy’s riverine force is intended to supplement the riverine capabilities of the Navy’s SEALs and relieve Marines who had been conducting maritime security operations in ports and waterways in Iraq.
The Global Maritime Partnership is a U.S. Navy initiative to achieve an enhanced degree of cooperation between the U.S. Navy and foreign navies, coast guards, and maritime police forces, for the purpose of ensuring global maritime security against common threats.
The Southern Partnership Station (SPS) and the Africa Partnership Station (APS) are Navy ships, such as amphibious ships or high-speed sealift ships, that have deployed to the Caribbean and to waters off Africa, respectively, to support U.S. Navy engagement with countries in those regions, particularly for purposes of building security partnerships with those countries and for increasing the capabilities of those countries for performing maritime-security operations. The Navy’s IW and CT activities pose a number of potential oversight issues for Congress, including the definition of Navy IW activities and how much emphasis to place on IW and CT activities in future Navy budgets.
Smarter maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO)
A few leading airlines and MRO companies have figured out how to exploit opportunities to reduce the cost of maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) operations by 8-15 percent.
What do they know that their competitors don’t?
It’s tougher than ever to perform MRO operations efficiently and effectively. From outside, material costs are rising. From inside, siloed processes, disparate systems, and data overload make it hard to coordinate the whole MRO process, from scheduling and forecasting to inventory management and replenishment. Only a few airframe, engine and component MRO companies have an approach that enables simplification, standardization, speed, and “do it right the first time” quality. But those that do are reducing total costs by 8-15 percent initially and achieving a sustainable competitive advantage with continuous improvement.
Implementing the following five strategies can help MRO organizations in their efforts to become more efficient and effective.
- Achieve short and consistent turnaround time (TAT) using a combination of lean, Six Sigma, theory of constraints, and information
- Improve the design and planning of maintenance
- Reduce inventory, while increasing service levels
- Select the right MRO IT solution and extract value from that investment
- Craft a fact-based outsourcing strategy
The five strategies for achieving smarter MRO result in increased speed, improved reliability, and reduced costs — all at the same time. Although each of the five strategies has different impacts, when combined they affect the efficiency and effectiveness of the whole MRO function. Excellence in these five strategies represent nothing more than a fundamental transformation of capabilities.
Traffic Safety Facts – 2010 Data – Pedestrians (PDF)
Source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
In 2010, 4,280 pedestrians were killed and an estimated 70,000 were injured in traffic crashes in the United States. On average, a pedestrian was killed every two hours and injured every eight minutes in traffic crashes.
A pedestrian, as defined for the purpose of this Traffic Safety Fact Sheet, is any person on foot, walking, running, jogging, hiking, sitting or lying down who is involved in a motor vehicle traffic crash. For the purpose of this Traffic Safety Fact Sheet a traffic crash is an incident that involves one or more vehicles where at least one vehicle is in-transport and the crash originates on a public traffic way. Crashes that occurred exclusively on private property, including parking lots and driveways, were excluded.
The 4,280 pedestrian fatalities in 2010 were an increase of 4 percent from 2009, but a decrease of 13 percent from 2001. In 2010, pedestrian deaths accounted for 13 percent of all traffic fatalities, and made up 3 percent of all the people injured in traffic crashes.
Source: Journal of Public Transportation
This paper examines five metropolitan areas where light rail transit (LRT) lines serve as regional transit backbones. The paper defines a successful LRT-based regional transit system as one with high riding habit and productivity for all combined modes in each metropolitan area, and as also having high LRT ridership and productivity. Based on these criteria, Portland emerges as a successful LRT-based regional transit system. Our analysis reveals three characteristics that explain the Portland transit system’s strong performance: the network’s dispersed nature, the overlay of a higherspeed, high-frequency regional LRT network atop the local bus system, and the use of transfers to provide passengers easy access to a diverse array of destinations. We examine the performance of all five metropolitan areas with respect to these characteristics using a combination of agency data and insights from interviews with key informants.
Identifying a Cost-Effective Aviation Fleet for the U.S. Forest Service
Source: RAND Corporation
Wildfires are dangerous and costly. They threaten population centers and wildlife habitats, degrade watersheds, and contribute to air pollution. At the same time, they are a natural part of the ecosystem in much of the American West. The cost of fighting these fires has risen dramatically over the past decade — to an average of $1.65 billion annually.
The U.S. Forest Service currently operates an aging fleet of contracted fixed-wing airtankers that provide aerial support for wildland firefighting. After two fatal crashes in 2002 led to more than half of the fleet being taken out of service, the Forest Service sought to replace its fleet with newer, safer aircraft. In support of this effort, the agency asked RAND to determine the composition of a fleet of airtankers, scoopers, and helicopters that would minimize the total social costs of wildfires, including the cost of large fires and aircraft costs.
New GAO Reports and Testimony
Source: Government Accountability Office
1. Federal Buildings Fund: Improved Transparency and Long-term Plan Needed to Clarify Capital Funding Priorities. GAO-12-646, July 12.
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/600/592378.pdf
2. Medicaid: Providers in Three States with Unpaid Federal Taxes Received Over $6 Billion in Medicaid Reimbursements. GAO-12-857, July 27.
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/600/593096.pdf
3. Ownership by Minority, Female, and Disadvantaged Firms in the Pipeline Industry. GAO-12-896R, August 2.
4. Federal Fleets: Overall Increase in Number of Vehicles Masks That Some Agencies Decreased Their Fleets. GAO-12-780, August 2.
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/600/593248.pdf
5. Cancellation of the Army’s Autonomous Navigation System. GAO-12-851R, August 2.
6. Iraq and Afghanistan: State and DOD Should Ensure Interagency Acquisitions Are Effectively Managed and Comply with Fiscal Law. GAO-12-750, August 2.
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/600/593262.pdf
7. Secure Communities: Criminal Alien Removals Increased, but Technology Planning Improvements Needed. GAO-12-708, July 13.
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/600/592416.pdf
1. Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business Program: Vulnerability to Fraud and Abuse Remains, by Richard J. Hillman, managing director, forensic audits and investigative service, before the Subcommittees on Economic Opportunity and Oversight and Investigations, House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs. GAO-12-967T, August 2.
Source: Transportation Research Board
TRB’s Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board, No. 2266 consists of 10 graduate research award papers that examine the interaction of high-speed rail and aviation; prediction of potential cracking of airfield rigid pavements; predictors of home-based trips for the Atlanta, Georgia airport; and dynamic airspace configuration.
This issue of the TRR also explores transitioning the U.S. air transportation system to higher fuel costs; transportation systems planning for high-speed rail; sustainable paving material for airfields; airline frequency competition in airport congestion pricing; risk assessment of bird–aircraft strikes at commercial airport; and analysis of taxiway aircraft traffic.
The Graduate Research Award Program in Public-Sector Aviation Issues is managed by TRB’s Airport Cooperative Research Program and sponsored by the Federal Aviation Administration. The program is designed to encourage applied research on airport and related aviation system issues and to foster the next generation of aviation community leaders.
Source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
A statistical projection of traffic fatalities for the first quarter of 2012 shows that an estimated 7,630 people died in motor vehicle traffic crashes. This represents a significant increase of about 13.5 percent as compared to the 6,720 fatalities that were projected to have occurred in the first quarter of 2011, as shown in Table 1. Preliminary data reported by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) shows that vehicle miles traveled (VMT) in the first three months of 2012 increased by about 9.7 billion miles, or about a 1.4-percent increase. Also shown in Table 1 are the fatality rates per 100 million VMT,by quarter. The fatality rate for the first three months of 2012 increased significantly to 1.10 fatalities per 100 million VMT, up from 0.98 fatalities per 100 million VMT in the first quarter of 2011.Previously, in 2011, fatalities are projected to have declined in all four quarters.If these projections for the first quarter of 2012 are realized, it will represent the second largest year-to-year quarterly increase in fatalities since NHTSA began recording traffic fatalities (1975). The largest recorded year-to-year quarterly increase by NHTSA was a 15.3-percent increase in fatalities during the first quarter of 1979.
New GAO Reports and Testimonies
Source: Government Accountability Office
1. Bus Rapid Transit: Projects Improve Transit Service and Can Contribute to Economic Development. GAO-12-811, July 25.
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/600/592974.pdf
2. Information Technology: DHS Needs to Further Define and Implement Its New Governance Process. GAO-12-818, July 25.
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/600/592930.pdf
3. Overseas Rightsizing: State Has Improved the Consistency of Its Approach, but Does Not Follow Up on Its Recommendations. GAO-12-799, July 25.
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/600/592966.pdf
5. Telecommunications: FCC Has Reformed the High-Cost Program, but Oversight and Management Could be Improved. GAO-12-738, July 25.
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/600/592958.pdf
1. Grants Management: Improving the Timeliness of Grant Closeouts by Federal Agencies and Other Grants Management Challenges, by Stanley J. Czerwinski, director, strategic issues, before the Subcommittee on Federal Financial Management, Government Information, Federal Services, and International Security, Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. GAO-12-704T, July 25.
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/600/592996.pdf
2. Higher Education: Improved Tax Information Could Help Pay for College, by James R. White, director, strategic issues, and George A. Scott, director, education, workforce, and income security issues, before the Senate Committee on Finance. GAO-12-863T, July 25.
3. Retirement Security: Older Women Remain at Risk, by Barbara D. Bovbjerg, managing director, education, workforce, and income security, before the Senate Special Committee on Aging. GAO-12-825T, July 25.
4. Medicare Advantage: Quality Bonus Payment Demonstration Has Design Flaws and Raises Legal Concerns, by James Cosgrove, director, health care, and Edda Emmanuelli-Perez, managing associate general counsel, before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. GAO-12-964T, July 25.
Big infrastructure projects take years or even decades to complete. Too often, that’s because planning work gets bogged down in protracted environmental reviews. But new research by Regional Plan Association has identified ways environmental analysis could be completed more quickly, without sacrificing environmental protections.In “Getting Infrastructure Going: Expediting the Environmental Review Process,” RPA finds that the National Environmental Policy Act adopted in 1970 still provides a strong regulatory framework for protecting the environment. But misguided implementation of the law contributes to lengthy delays in delivering big infrastructure projects.Stretching out projects far longer than initially projected drives up costs and delays improvements to vital infrastructure, from repair of aging roads and bridges to construction of new rail lines to the expansion of key shipping facilities. As projects take longer to complete, their costs rise. The uncertainty discourages private investors and erodes public confidence in government’s ability to use infrastructure funding wisely.In the more than 40 years since NEPA’s adoption, the practice of carrying out environmental reviews for major infrastructure projects has significantly lengthened project delivery times. For example, in 2011, the average time it took to complete an environmental impact statement on a highway project was more than eight years, compared with two years in the 1970s.The study describes how inconsistent policies among myriad government agencies contribute to delays. Some environmental reviews are longer and more complex than necessary, in part as a defense against the risk of future litigation. An absence of consensus from the outset over the nature or scope of projects also leads to logjams, as stakeholders seek to modify project goals during the environmental review process.
New GAO Reports
Source: Government Accountability Office
2. Children’s Health Insurance: Opportunities Exist for Improved Access to Affordable Insurance. GAO-12-648, June 22.
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/600/591798.pdf
3. Debt Limit: Analysis of 2011-2012 Actions Taken and Effect of Delayed Increase on Borrowing Costs. GAO-12-701, July 23.
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/600/592834.pdf
4. Federal Workers: Results of Studies on Federal Pay Varied Due to Differing Methodologies. GAO-12-564, June 22.
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/600/591816.pdf
5. Surface Transportation: Financing Program Could Benefit from Increased Performance Focus and Better Communication. GAO-12-641, June 21.
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/600/591783.pdf
6. Financial Literacy: Overlap of Programs Suggests There May Be Opportunities for Consolidation. GAO-12-588, July 23.
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/600/592850.pdf
7. K-12 Education: Selected States And School Districts Cited Numerous Federal Requirements As Burdensome, While Recognizing Some Benefits. GAO-12-672, June 27.
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/600/591931.pdf
The spread of infectious diseases at the global scale is mediated by long-range human travel. Our ability to predict the impact of an outbreak on human health requires understanding the spatiotemporal signature of early-time spreading from a specific location. Here, we show that network topology, geography, traffic structure and individual mobility patterns are all essential for accurate predictions of disease spreading. Specifically, we study contagion dynamics through the air transportation network by means of a stochastic agent-tracking model that accounts for the spatial distribution of airports, detailed air traffic and the correlated nature of mobility patterns and waiting-time distributions of individual agents. From the simulation results and the empirical air-travel data, we formulate a metric of influential spreading––the geographic spreading centrality––which accounts for spatial organization and the hierarchical structure of the network traffic, and provides an accurate measure of the early-time spreading power of individual nodes.
A New Paradigm for Small UAS
Source: Mitre Corporation
Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) are different than almost any other kind of aircraft. They can fly in places where no manned aircraft flies or where it would not be desirable to fly. They also pose different risks based upon their small size and performance. Today, the FAA regulates all navigable airspace, which extends to the ground. Within this airspace, there are some areas in which manned aircraft are simply not capable of flying by existing Federal Regulations. This may include areas that are very close to the sides of buildings, under bridges, below tree cover, and near power cables. Our research envisions that small UAS might make use of this airspace, which would be considered non-navigable by traditional manned aircraft due to the proximity of obstacles. Additionally, a small UAS may weigh only ounces. An aircraft that small is likely to pose a vastly different risk to people and property on the ground than would manned aircraft. Considering usage of airspace and the associated risk in this manner represents a departure from current thinking and may influence the methods of regulating these new aircraft. This paper explores and discusses this potential new paradigm further, and illustrates the implications with a set of operational scenarios.
Motor Vehicle Crash Deaths in Metropolitan Areas — United States, 2009
Source: Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (CDC)
Although rates have declined in recent years, motor vehicle crashes (MVCs) remain a leading cause of injury death in the United States (1). In 2009, a total of 34,485 MVC deaths were reported among U.S. residents, and 22% of those who died were aged 15–24 years. MVCs were the leading cause of death for that age group, which represents approximately 14% of the total U.S. population (1). To assess patterns in MVC death rates for persons of all ages and for those aged 15–24 years, in recognition of the elevated risk for this age group, CDC used data from the National Vital Statistics System (NVSS) and the U.S. Census Bureau for 2009 representing the 50 most populous U.S. metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs). The overall MVC death rate (age-adjusted) for all 50 MSAs combined was 8.2 per 100,000 residents, compared with a national rate of 11.1; among MSAs, rates ranged from 4.4 to 17.8. For persons aged 15–24 years, the MVC death rate was 13.0 per 100,000 residents for all MSAs combined (range: 7.3–25.8), compared with a national rate of 17.3. Although rates for the MSAs generally were lower than the rate for the nation as a whole, higher rates for persons aged 15–24 years were observed both in the MSAs and nationally. The wide variation in rates among MSAs suggests a need to better understand how urban development patterns might relate to MVC deaths and to identify and implement effective strategies to reduce the number of such deaths.
Source: Tri-State Transportation Campaign
How are states spending their transportation dollars? Select a project type or project types using the map filters and see how each state compares. (In some cases, selecting multiple project types may make category percentages exceed 100%.) Scroll over a state to learn more about its transportation priorities. All percentages are rounded.
Ways of funding transportation projects vary across the 50 states. For example, in addition to federal funds, states may utilize public authorities, public-private partnerships, and infrastructure banks as means to develop and maintain roads, bridges, and transit. This project examines each state’s use of federal transportation dollars as reported to the federal government through the state’s statewide transportation improvement program. State and local contributions to the federal funds are included in the state analysis if the state included this information in its statewide transportation improvement program.
Source: Transportation Research Board
A featured article in the May-June 2012 issue of the TR News provides an overview of cycling and walking trends and policies in Western Europe and draws lessons for programs that might succeed in the United States. Highlights include improvements in the transportation infrastructure, with a focus on safety; traffic calming in residential neighborhoods; coordinating walking and cycling with public transport; compact, mixed-use development; and other importable, foundational features.
Road Safety: The Roadworthiness Package – Tougher vehicle checks to save lives
Source: European Commission
From press release:
Vehicle checks are fundamental to road safety. More than 5 people die on Europe’s roads every day in accidents linked to technical failure. So today the European Commission has adopted new rules to toughen up the testing regime and widen its scope.
Technical defects contribute heavily to accidents. They are responsible for 6% of all car accidents, translating into 2,000 fatalities and many more injuries yearly. 8 % of all motorcycle accidents are linked to technical defects.
The main problem is that there are simply too many vehicles with technical defects on the road. Recent studies from the UK and Germany indicate that up to 10% of cars at any point in time have a defect that would cause them to fail the tests. Moreover, many technical defects with serious implications for safety (such as ABS and Electronic Stability Control) are not even checked under current rules.
Existing EU rules setting minimum standards for vehicle checks date back to 1977, with only minor updates. Cars, driver behaviour and technology have developed a lot since then.