Details: Tuesday’s memorial service for TSA agent Gerardo Hernandez

The Transportation Security Administration will hold a memorial service on Tuesday morning for Gerardo Hernandez, who was killed Nov. 1 at LAX.

The service will be open to the public. Here are the details:

When: Nov. 12, 10 a.m.

Where: Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena, 3939 S Figueroa St.

Speakers:  Attorney General Eric Holder, Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Rand Beers, TSA Administrator John Pistole and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti.

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The aviation stories (non-LAX related) of the past week

Brussels Airlines is celebrating "Movember"  by adding a mustache to a A319.

Brussels Airlines is celebrating “Movember” by adding a mustache to a A319.

It’s been a busy last few days on the aviation beat here in Los Angeles. But here are some of the best stories from elsewhere during the past week:

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said he wants to resolve the American Airlines/US Airways lawsuit short of trial, writes Ben Mutzabaugh of Today in the Sky. A sticking point, apparently, are the slots the combined airline would own at Washington Reagan National, New York JFK and New York LaGuardia. Justice does not want the combined carrier to be too strong at those airports.

Here’s another take of Holder’s preferences from David Koenig of the Associated Press. “We will not agree to something that does not fundamentally resolve the concerns that were expressed in the (lawsuit) and do not substantially bring relief to consumers,” Koenig quotes Holder as saying.

The standalone US Airways is growing its traffic, but its revenue is not rising accordingly. That’s according to this Associated Press story posted on Skift. 

In light-hearted news, Jaunted takes a look at how 4 airlines are celebrating “Movember.” This has become the month, apparently, in which men grow mustaches.

“Airline Lost Your Luggage? Let Your Phone Find It.” An interesting story about the possibilities of baggage tracking services by Bloomberg Business Week’s Justin Bachman.

And finally, Brett Snyder of interviews Frontier’s Senior Vice President — Commercial about the airline’s strategy going forward. There’s some inside baseball stuff here, but if you want to delve into the issues of what it takes to run an airline, you should read this. 

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Airport security: What, if anything, should now be done?

TSA agents help passengers with baggage the day after a gunman entered Terminal 3 at Los Angeles International Airport. (John McCoy/Los Angeles Daily News)

What should be done about protecting lobbies, security checkpoints and roadways at airports? Is a change needed? Or are those areas as safe as they can be?

According to an NBC News story, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder told reporters Monday that something might need to be done. He noted that protecting those areas falls outside of the Transportation Security Administration’s mission.

“The function of TSA is to ensure that people can board planes safely, take flights safely,” Holder said, according to NBC. “The responsibility for protecting airports’ security is not a TSA function, but it’s something that we need to examine given what happened in Los Angeles,”

I spent Saturday speaking with security experts about what could be changed to make airports more secure. All of them agreed that the non-secure areas are difficult to keep safe. It could be done, of course, but it would require Americans to present themselves for far more thorough examinations than now. Also, they said, it would probably require America to change its attitude toward gun control, which seems entirely unlikely. (Appearing on television Sunday, Sen. Dianne Feinstein called this a gun control issue, according to Politico.)

Most other measures, the experts told me, would probably be more window dressing than anything else.

“When you have so many people concentrated in one place, you are going to have a high probability of an unlikely event,” said Harvey Molotch, a professor at New York University and author of “Against Security — How We Go Wrong at Airports, Subways and Other Sites of Ambiguous Danger.” “This was very mild compared to what happened in the past and what could happen. Anyone could mow people down in a shopping mall with a car, or put a bomb in a department store. There are so many ways of creating mayhem. It’s all a testimony to how routinely safe and secure we are in the United States.”

Of course, there’s another approach. The union representing TSA workers wants the government to arm some of them, according to this story in USA Today. 

What do you think should be changed?

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L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti supports airline merger; read his letter to Attorney General Holder

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti supports a proposed merger between American and US Airways.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti supports a proposed merger between American and US Airways.

We reported earlier this week  that Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti supports the proposed American Airlines/US Airways merger — the one the U.S. Department of Justice is seeking to block.

Now, Garcetti has made it official. On Thursday, Gracetti sent a note to Washington, on city of Los Angeles letterhead, asking U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to reconsider the lawsuit.

“The merger between American Airlines and US Airways can produce much needed economic growth to stimulate the recovery of our local economy and communities,” Garcetti wrote.

At this point,  most mayors in American and US Airways hub cities have contacted the attorney general with similar sentiments. The one major hold out is New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Click below to read Garcetti’s letter.

Holder American US Air Airline Merger Support October 2013

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