Future Shock: Voice Recognition Identification Technology
Dateline: Tuesday, July 13, 2010 Location: Teterboro, New Jersey The Schedule: N714JA, a Gulfstream V in Jet Aviation's Private Fleet, is scheduled to take off at 0830 for LAX. Crew of three with fourteen pax. Backgrounder: Kay Hughes, flight attendant for today' s non-stop coast-to-coast flight is busy checking her catering order and prepping the cabin. Bob Harmon is the captain and Jeff Mortowski is his first officer. Both are situated in the cockpit going over the pre-flight checklist. The pax are from various companies in the New York area or individuals on personal business who have bought seats on his flight.
The Story: Kay woke up with a start as the alarm on her clock radio blared. Reaching across her pillow, she noticed the time, 5:15, and hammered the snooze button in the hopes of grabbing another five minutes of sleep. Tired as she was, her mind began to race as she considered the day ahead. In less than four hours she would be enroute to L. with an aircraft full of passengers. Slowly the thought of additional sleep became less important as she considered all that she had to do before leaving Teterboro. Quietly she slipped on her robe and slippers, poured herself a cup of coffee, and slinked into the shower. As Kay walked across the tarmac, she saw the fuel truck pulling up to her aircraft and the caterer at the gate waiting for a security clearance. It was 6:48 and already she could feel the heat lifting off of the pavement. Another scorcher she thought; at least L. will be cooler. Kay greeted Jeff who was busy overseeing the fuel delivery; she then climbed onboard the G-V and gave a similar greeting to Bob who was occupied with updating paperwork. Bob finished what he was doing and briefed Kay with the day's schedule.
Minutes later Kay turned to assist the approaching caterer with the day's order. Within the hour, the first of the passengers began to arrive. Each sat in the lobby of the FBO waiting to be boarded. At precisely 8:00 a., Kay left the aircraft and walked down the ramp to the FBO. She whispered to the waiting security agent who signaled to the FBO customer service representative to make the boarding announcement. "Ladies and Gentlemen, Jet Aviation Flight #001 departing TEB for LAX is now boarding. Please present your identification card and boarding pass to the security agent. Once you are cleared, you will be boarded.
Thank you for flying Jet Aviation and enjoy your flight." Kay turned and left the FBO and walked back to the aircraft. Both pilots were onboard completing their preflight preparations. Kay stood at the bottom of the steps leading up to the aircraft waiting for the security agent to bring the passengers to the plane. She knew that with fourteen passengers the security clearance would take a bit longer than normal. Kay considered waiting inside the cabin to keep cool, but knew that it was important that she greet the passengers at the base of the steps in case one of them needed assistance climbing up." It must already be 85 degrees out here," she thought as she watched the heat vapors rise off the pavement. After what seemed like an inordinate delay — Kay's hair was slowly losing style in the heat — Bob poked his head out of the cockpit and said, "Sorry for the delay, but we caught another one." Startled, Kay stammered, "You mean one of the passengers failed security clearance?" Bob replied, "Not only that but he is on the FBI's wanted list of suspected terrorists. The remaining passengers checked out okay, but we'll be delayed until the agents finish interviewing them to see if they knew the guy.
" Despite the heat, Kay shivered as she thought of the potential chain of events a terrorist onboard the aircraft might unleash. Her fears gradually subsided when Jeff reminded her that the VOICE RECOGNITION IDENTIFICATION TECHNOLOGY (VRIT) unit in the FBO was flawless in the nearly six months of use. Over that time, twenty-six people with a criminal element were pulled, most of whom had been charged previously with petty crimes [such as tax evasion] and were either on the run or would be in violation of their parole restrictions had they left the state. Today marked the first time that a suspected terrorist was caught and as the squad car sirens wailed, Kay knew that this day would be anything but normal. The above account is fiction, but it pre-supposes a couple of things that could occur in the intervening years that would bring about similar results, i., additional and more widespread terrorist attacks being a primary consideration. In addition, a change in the way we do business, i.
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