These are some of our works to improve the State of the Art of Aviation Security

Aircraft Operations

Aircraft Cargo Pallet Cooler

Not a true security project, but important in the development of air transportation.  Lufthansa Cargo operations Miami, design and construction oversight for 27 aircraft cargo pallet cooler system for perishables in transit from South America in 1994.  The design enabled rotation of pallets typically without removal for transport to flights quickly.  This was the largest cooler in the Miami Airport at that time.  The primary cargo was flowers and vegetables from South America it transit to Europe.

LH Cargo CCTV and Alarm System

Lufthansa Cargo (LH) operations, Miami, Florida 1995.  This project resulted out of criminal activities involving a significant loss of property under US Customs bond.  Local management initially anticipated the use of outside contract experts in CCTV systems but discovered that Mr. Salmen had been involved in camera system installations for several years as a second job and was a trusted staff member of the company.  US Customs required that steps be taken to protect their interests in bonded shipments entering the US and LH also wanted to protect theirs as well as their customer’s interests as a world leader in air cargo transportation.  Mr. Salmen was detailed to a project to accomplish two tasks simultaneously: first design a CCTV system and specify the equipment necessary to meet their needs and be certified by US Customs; and second produce the tender documentation while working overnight in the facility to ensure protection of the cargo until the project completed.  Upon providing the design and tender specifications for the project Mr. Salmen was tasked with producing a similar alarm system upgrade and managing the installation of the systems during non-operational hours to continue to ensure protection of cargo.  The system design covered all warehouse doors, operational areas of the warehouse, office areas, and outside areas where access and operations were able to be conducted.  The system was functional and certified by US Customs in approximately three months.  The systems at that time used analog cabling for robust durability in an industrial environment. The advent of Digital Video Recording (DVR) allowed for two systems that supported 32 individual camera inputs with the quad function built in.  The DVR system was supported by a server-based computer that used the Small Computer System Interface (SCSI) storage drives to provide high speed long duration recordings.  A pair of 9600 baud 56K modems were used to establish dial in service for offsite management of the system and emergency event monitoring for business operations management.  Three XGA monitors at 65K colors were used in the control system.  Believe it or not, this was state of the art at that time!

Emergency Response Manual

Creation of a new strategy at Lufthansa Cargo for emergency response operations in 1996.  The product separated key functions in an emergency response event to be handled semi-autonomously by individuals under a team leader using separate response binders containing tasks, recording process, instructional documentation, and (beginning with) a list of employees certified for that specific assignment.  The former process used a single emergency response operations binder that was overseen by the team leader assigning tasks and collecting data from team members.  All team members were trained in the entire process before they could be certified to assist in an emergency.  Lack of fully trained staff availability could lead to inability to gather information timely and/or assignment of unqualified personnel due to situational necessity.  The new process split a single master document into a series of response binders for specific tasks such as collection of documents such as flight plans, cargo manifests, etc., or deployment to a crash site to become the company communications manager.  The process was still overseen by a team manager, but they were now able to rapidly deploy key operations personnel where each team member is trained to manage their assigned tasks fully and in advance of an event and having practiced their tasks in exercise scenarios.  By starting with each binder/function open to the certified employees page a list of employees that can perform that task is available.  This allows rapid deployment of the individual functions by understanding what employees are on duty for each task and allows deployment rapidly for tasks where only one or two fully trained employees are available and then subsequent filling of the more widely trained positions to be made and therefore all needs can be covered without overlooking individual tasks in the rush to respond.   This process provided the individual functions to have only necessary documentation for their positions and saved time processing their assignments.  This also shortened deployment of all necessary functions in an emergency substantially.  Added bonuses to this process are simplification of revisions to the individual tasks without revision of the entire program; training times required could now be divided to a single process and be less impactful on daily operations; and availability of trained staff can be filled partially and quickly where needed, including by the team manager during an actual emergency response operation if needed.

ValuJet Crash 11May1996

On May 11, 1996 a ValuJet McDonnell Douglas DC-9 crashed into the Florida Everglades east of Miami.  Details of that flight can be found at the links below.  As the Lufthansa Cargo Operations Manager on Duty at the time I was contacted by the Miami Civil Aviation Security Field Office (CASFO) to assist in the initial investigation.  FAA Security determined early that improper shipment of Dangerous Goods (DG) occurred on the flight and was seeking a DG Subject Matter Expert (SME) to assist them.  As the leading person for DG at Lufthansa Cargo, known to the FAA to be the world leader in transportation of DG by air, they request I be loaned to the FAA/NTSB investigation.  During the investigation I determined the reasonable cause of the oxygen generator failures and identified two types of packaging that were insufficient to provide the required two means of positively preventing accidental activation.  My findings made to FAA were reported to the Research and Special Programs Administration (RSPA) with recommendations for updating shipping regulations that were later enacted.  After my work with FAA Security on flight 592, I was offered a position in one of the first Special Agent for Dangerous Goods positions by Bruce Butterworth, Director of the Office of Civil Aviation Security Operations and Jackson Smith, Director of Civil Aviation Security for the Southern Region.  I accepted and was working to conduct inspections and provide industry outreach programs in March 1997.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rl8Gh2XYTcQ


https://www.local10.com/news/florida/miami-dade/reward-offered-for-fugitive-mechanic-possibly-involved-in-96-valujet-crash

Fine Air Crash 07Aug97

On August 7, 1997, Fine Air Flight 101, a DC-8-61F crashed shortly after takeoff from Miami International Airport.  As a Special Agent for FAA Security stationed at the Miami Civil Aviation Security Field Office (CASFO), Michael Salmen used his background as an Operations Manager, Aircraft Loadmaster, and manual weight and balance specialist to enact critical actions that led to a rapid understanding of the cause of the crash and the collection of documentation that could have otherwise been missed that resulted in criminal prosecutions for the actions that resulted in the fatal accident.  The Wikipedia account is detailed here: 


 https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Fine_Air&oldid=861081997 


The aircraft crashed after cargo pallets loaded on the aircraft’s main deck shifted at “V1” rotation during takeoff.  Because the flight had traveled with all pallet positions filled for years the Aeromar ground crew never engaged the forward/aft pull-up pallet locks to secure the pallets from travel in those directions.  Their reasoning was that the greatest shift possible would be less than two feet.  On this flight the shift was about fifteen feet at V1 and substantially changed the center of gravity of the aircraft as it became airborne.  At the crash site Michael used his understanding as a DC-8F Cargo aircraft certified loadmaster to spot a major problem shortly after the crash.  The main deck floor of the aircraft was essentially the only intact area of the wreckage.  The fuselage above the main deck was gone and the deck lay across 72nd Avenue flat on the ground with the lower fuselage also gone.  All the cargo pallets were gone, and it was immediately obvious that every retractable pallet lock was in the down position.  Michael called his fellow agents that he requested proceed to the ground handling company’s office and asked them to take possession of the flight plan package and to empty all garbage cans into plastic bags and return the documents to the CASFO nearby.  Michael proceeded to the Lufthansa Cargo office and was given several copies of DC-8F manual weight and balance sheets.  While these were not proper matches for the FineAir aircraft, they were close enough to conduct preliminary calculations on the effect of the load throughout the takeoff process.  The manual weight and balance sheet in the official flight plan was found unsigned by the captain.  In the garbage another weight and balance sheet that was signed by the captain and which differed significantly from the one in the flight plan.  The signed version was clear evidence in supporting the events of the crash and Michael assisted the US Attorney’s office in preparing evidence to file criminal charges for the actions taken by the ground crew.

Cesna 172 Crash 05Jan2002

On January 5, 2002, a Cessna 172 piloted by a youth of Syrian descent took off from St. Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport (PIE).  The aircraft flew across Tampa Bay to MacDill Air Force Base, where it apparently attempted to crash into the control tower.  It then started to circle back around and was met by a US Coast Guard A-60 helicopter flying in the area that was directed to intercept the Cessna.  The Cessna then changed course and headed away from the helicopter and over parked KC-135 Stratotanker refueling aircraft on the tarmac at MacDill AFB, then continued east across Hillsborough Bay to Peter O. Knight Airport (GA), buzzing that field, and finally continued to downtown Tampa where it crashed into a 40-story Bank of America building.  Special Agent Salmen was one of the initial investigators on this crash and conducted interviews at the flight school where the 15-year-old High School student was taking flight lessons.  The student pilot was a student at a school one mile from SA Salmen’s home and was known in the community.  Coming soon after the attacks of 9/11/01, and just before the NFL Superbowl to be held in Tampa in a few weeks, this event held the attention of the nation.  SA Salmen held the suicide note after the crash as the Interim Federal Security Director (IFSR) assigned to the area by FAA Security, and the contents were kept secret until a proper level of investigation was completed a couple of months later due to the Superbowl event.

Pre 9/11/01 Airport Security

Voluntary Checked Baggage Screening

The voluntary checked baggage program began at selected airports in the US in 1998.  At that time screening of baggage was not required by law or regulation.  Local FAA Security offices were tasked with determining what air carriers and airports were willing to participate in a pilot program to use Explosive Detection System (EDS) machines to screen bags Voluntarily.  Each participating airport had a quota of bags per month that must be screened to keep EDS machine(s) at their airport.  The program was a success in some airports and machines were reallocated to new airports in some other cases due to lack of use.  Air carriers were allowed to send bags at their discretion and this resulted in bags that checked in early being screened and late arrivals going straight to aircraft.  This also allowed the beginning of the Threat Image Projection System (TIPS) to be tested in live operations.  The system under Lead Special Agent Salmen’s management was one of the first pilot sites and highly successful in terms of numbers of bags processed and testing/use of the TIPS product.  That success led the airport to start construction of spaces to add three more EDS machines in early 2001, however construction was halted on 9/12/01, to reevaluate baggage screening operations in the wake of the terrorist attacks against the US.  Once operations restarted it was determined that full automation using 24 machines in a Baggage Handling System (BHS) would be pursued and construction of the three new spaces was completed, but without machines able to be deployed by FAA at that time.  Those spaces would later be used for temporary lobby EDS installations as part of the 100% bag screening requirement by the end of 2002.  Further details on baggage screening at that airport (TPA) can be found under CBIS projects in this section.

Early Explosive Trace Detector (ETD)

Lead Special Agent Salmen became involved in the early deployment of ETD equipment in 1997 while in the Miami Civil Aviation Security Field Office (CASFO).  When identification of individuals that were proficient in testing and deploying hardware was ongoing agent Salmen was chosen to manage deployment in the Miami and Tampa offices due to a strong background in computer science, communications and CCTV deployments, mechanical engineering projects, and project management.  The early deployments required daily oversight to ensure operational compliance and training needs.  These deployments were conducted by Lockheed Martin (LM) in coordination with the local deployment managers.  James Lee was the contact for LM that provided the delivery, setup, and site testing for operational readiness.  His position it these events would later serve him when LM won a contract to design the Model Screening Checkpoint after the 9/11/01 terrorist events.  All the ETD system managed locally by agent Salmen had high performance levels and superior maintenance records owing to the well documented operational processes used locally to use and maintain these machines.  This was the beginning of a long relationship with the FAA Security Technology Deployment Office (STDO) in Herndon, VA, and lead to Tampa International Airport (TPA) becoming a primary test site for new equipment types for the next decade under agent Salmen’s management.

1st CBIS Design

During the early success of the Voluntary Baggage Screening Program at Tampa International Airport (TPA) in 1999 and 2000, then Hillsborough County Aviation Authority (HCAA) Executive Director Louis Miller and FAA Lead Special Agent Michael Salmen discussed the direction of likely future federal regulations for screening of checked (hold) baggage.  In those discussions a project was born to design an airport-wide fully automated Checked Baggage Inspection System (CBIS) that would serve the airport and the airlines for decades and potentially reduce operational costs in the future.  Mr. Miller understood that by using the airport to consolidate baggage screening operations he would achieve an economy of scale for all the air carrier operations in the screening of checked bags.  An architectural engineering (AE) firm was hired and the airport was able in short order to buy all the existing Baggage Handling System (BHS) conveyance from the many air carriers that were individual owners of their systems.  This put TPA on track to design and build the first fully automated system in the US, with a planned completion by 2010.  Mr. Salmen went to work to define the quantity of Explosive Detection System (EDS) machines necessary to process all baggage estimated at the Date of Beneficial Use (DBU) plus ten years.  This was difficult due to the long projection time required by HCAA.  Once the number of EDS was established at 24 machines work began in earnest to design a system that could feed that many EDS from the existing ticket counters and deliver them to the air carrier sortation locations.  This quickly became an issue do to the physical space limitations in the Baggage Makeup Area (BMA) and the two inbound baggage claim carousel rooms that were on either side of the BMS having fixed the size to a very narrow and long room.  The system designers tried to make this work for months and were unable to arrive at an acceptable design.  Mr. Salmen came up with the innovative concept of using loops around the EDS machines that allowed bags to be pushed onto EDS feed lines for screening and returned to that line after scanning.  These same loops received ticket counter feed lines from the outside, pushed clear bags to outer lines to sortation devices, and suspect bags to an inner resolution line for screener processing.  This then was the solution that fit all 24 machines into the limited space.  It also provided extra belt lineage for queuing needs.  Additional design innovations included a centralized control room concept created by Mr. Salmen that required networking capabilities that did not yet exist that built on his earlier work in computer networking system as a forward-thinking technology.  Due to the long distances and the lack of networking the system required the use of KVM fiber extenders for several years in live operations until the technology caught up with the TPA system as built.  There were problems that needed to be overcome later once TSA was involved, but this design was eventually built under TSA and is still in operation at this time.  It is the first system of this type ever completed.  It was the only system presented to TSA  Chief Technology Officer (CTO) Randy Null and team that received a letter of authorization to build at the first meeting to discuss an airport’s plans for meeting hold baggage screening requirements.

Security Contractor Training

In 2000, Lead Special Agent Salmen was conducting annual assessments of the air carrier contracted screening operations.  At that time airlines were responsible for passenger screening and baggage screening was not a requirement.  One aspect of the air carrier’s responsibility was to insure proper training and that screeners were recertified annually in screening skills and operational procedures.  One contracted screening company that was responsible for most of the screening operations at a large airport was found to have deficient training across a random sample of records.  This led to more reviews that found the problem was pervasive.  The investigation led to the discovery that the general manager of the contract screening company had hired a relative with a different last name to be the training manager and that person was not qualified to do the job.  Then as more records were requested the general manager was caught falsifying documentation and the air carrier station manager was required to take control of screening.  He placed the Ground Security Coordinator (GSC) in charge of working with Mr. Salmen and ultimately an agreement was reached to revise screener initial and recurrent training programs.  That agreement included retraining of screeners every six months while the legal requirement was annually.  This insured that screeners would always be current legally because even a delay of a few months would be within legal requirements.  The air carrier received a substantially reduced penalty for being proactive with their response.  Training was for the first time approved by FAA Subject Matter Expert (SME) personnel rather than the air carrier as part of the agreement and the training received by screeners was substantially strengthened.  The net result of this program was seen after the 9/11/01 terrorist attacks when screeners were asked by FAA and DOT/TSA to remain on their posts and not abandon them to apply for federal screening jobs as TRANSPORTATION Security Officers (TSO).  The offer was made that rather than compete for jobs with the general public, all existing contract screeners were guaranteed a federal TSO screening position if they past the hiring protocols.  Each airport then hired the full allowance of screeners planned by DOT/TSA from the general public and afterward added the contract screeners to their staff.  It was believed that five to ten percent maximum of the contract screening workforce would be qualified and pass the tests to become federal TSO screeners.  Nationally the average was around seven percent, however in this case where the contract screeners received more robust and thorough training and received it twice a year the pass rate was almost fifty-five percent.  The added benefit of having an initially larger workforce played an important role as DOT/TSA and DHS/TSA (after the creation of DHS) continued to create poor hiring policies and administrative processing and left most airports with a TSO attrition rate far faster than replacement hiring could occur.  That airport was slightly below the planned number two years later when the employee hiring process was fixed, where many if not most airports were suffering deep cuts into their planned numbers and the traveling public was suffering with lond screening wait times as a direct result.  In this case good planning and understanding of the operational needs of an effective screening program yielded long term benefits to the government, airport, air carriers, and the traveling public.

International TSS Assessments

Shortly after being hired by FAA Security to become one of the first Dangerous Goods (DG) Special Agents in March of 1997, Mr. Salmen was asked to become the first International Transportation Security Specialist (TSS) agents to conduct international assessments, partially due to his international work background in the past.  Mr. Salmen graduated the training program with distinction and was the first DG agent sent overseas to conduct international assessments.  This was an unusual opportunity because FAA Security had only a few positions annually for this work and competition was intense as seasoned agents often worked for ten or more years to prove their ability to be accepted into the program.  As this work developed during the transition from DG to Civil Aviation Security Inspector (CASI), and on into international interest in the Checked Baggage Inspection System (CBIS) and Security Screening Checkpoint (SSCP) programs he managed post 9/11/01, Mr. Salmen became a recognized leader in expanding the understanding of the state of the art of aviation security across governments across the globe.  That work continues today with consulting assessments to meet the needs of air carriers, airports, and governments anywhere the need exists.

FAM Duty

Prior to the terrorist events of 9/11/01 in the US, the Federal Air Marshall (FAM) program was underfunded and short staffed.  During those years all FAA Security Special Agents were required to provide collateral duty support to the FAM program.  This cannot be addressed in detail due to the secure nature of the programs involved.

Post 9/11/01 Baggage Screening

1st CBIS Approval & SSCP

Due early 2019

Lobby CBIS Installations

Due early 2019

Oversized Baggage Concepts

Due early 2019

Networked CBIS Concept

Due October 20, 2018

The Central Control Room

Due October 20, 2018

Phased CBIS Relocations

Due October 20, 2018

Post 9/11/01 Checkpoint Screening

LM Model Checkpoint

Due early 2019

1st SSCP Built Post 9/11

Due early 2019

1st SSCP Design Post 9/11

Due early 2019

The "Puffer"

Due early 2019

OUE Testing

Due early 2019

SSCP Redesigns

Due early 2019

CCTV

Bennigan's and Retail Stores CCTV

Bennigan’s Restaurants (many locations in Texas) were sites of CCTV installations from 1982 to 1988.  The systems varied in complexity and sophistication due to the franchise nature of the operations contracted to.  These were typically analog to VHS systems with eight or sixteen cameras available. Retail outlet stores were typically independent retailers with analog to VHS systems installed with four or eight cameras available.

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Due early 2019

Islandia Condominiums CCTV

Due early 2019

Lufthansa Cargo Miami CCTV

Due early 2019

Sarasota Bradenton Int'l Airport

Due early 2019

Tampa Int'l Airport CCTV

Due early 2019

TSE Operational Concepts

Sun Shades for SSCP X-rays

Due early 2019

Side Rails for Heimann X-rays

Due early 2019

Trap Storage for GE Itemiser 3

Due early 2019

L-3 AIT Slope Installations

Due early 2019

EDS Electrical Cut-Off Switches

Due early 2019

WTMD Field Mysteries

Due early 2019

Emergency Management & Control Operations

Emergency Operations Center MIA

Due early 2019

Emergency & Table Top Exercises

Due early 2019

Computer System Analysis and IT Management Selection

MIA FAA IT management selector LH Phone system installation LH Computer upgrade from IBM 3270 to PC MS Win LH IT Server management

TPA first Joint Vulnerability Assessment

Due early 2019

IABSC

Due early 2019

Determining Airport Categories

Due early 2019