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Traveling this Holiday? Be Prepared!



Thanksgiving and Christmas are traditionally the busiest travel periods of the year, so San Antonio International Airport (SAT) is anticipating heave traffic again this year.

To make your travel somewhat stress free, here are some helpful tips:

Early Arrival: Passengers are encouraged to arrive at least two hours before their scheduled flight especially during the holidays.

Check flight status online: Passengers are able to check their flight status before they leave home and receive email alerts from the airline.

Wheelchair Assistance: If you are traveling with someone who needs wheelchair assistance, contact the airline before arriving at the airport.

Kids Traveling Alone: If you have a child traveling alone (unaccompanied minors) and want to escort them to the gate, please make arrangements with the airline to receive an access pass to the gate.

Print your Boarding Pass Early: Passengers can print boarding passes at home or download to their cell phones before they arrive or can use the convenient airline check-in kiosk at the airport.

Allow time for traffic: Allow ample time to get to the airport.

Parking availability:  There are 8,674 parking spaces between the Short Term (1,238), Long Term (5,288), and Economy Lots [formerly Green / Red Lots] (2,148).

Pay attention to Park Assist: Take advantage of the Park Assist System to guide you to available spots. As you enter the parking plaza, signs indicate the number of available parking spaces within the Short Term Parking Garage. Park Assist uses a green light for available spots, red for unavailable and blue for available ADA/Handicapped parking. You can visit the airport webpage or use the Park Assist App and know the number of available parking spaces before you depart.

Use the Cell Phone Lot for pick-ups: Use the convenient cell phone lot while waiting for your party. The new lot is located directly behind the Burger King and Q-Mart convenience store on Airport Boulevard.

Ask for Help:  This time of year, we see a lot of passengers who don’t travel often. Our Ambassadors and staff are here to help, so if you have questions, ask them.

Wrapped gifts: TSA recommends that you NOT bring wrapped gifts to the airport, either in  your carry-on baggage or your checks bags. If the package alarms for any reason, they will have to unwrap it.

@AskTSA:  Travelers with questions about security, or items they can or cannot bring on their trip, can contact a Transportation Security Administration (TSA) employee for live assistance 365 days a year by tweeting questions and comments to @AskTSA.

Follow the 3-1-1: Liquids, gels and aerosols cannot exceed the 3-1-1 ounces rule in your carry-on bag. Let the TSA officer know right away if you’re traveling with larger quantities of medically necessary liquids.

Be ready:  Be ready when you enter the checkpoint line. Have an acceptable ID and boarding pass out and ready to hand to the TSA officer.

TSA Cares: Travelers or families of passengers with disabilities and medical conditions can call the TSA Cares helpline toll free at 1-855-787-2227 with questions or for assistance 72 hours prior to traveling. Injured service members and veterans may contact TSA Cares to help facilitate the screening process.

Electronics:  Electronics larger than a cell phone — including e-readers and tablets—must be removed from your carry-on bag and placed in bins with nothing on top or below (this rule does not apply to TSA Pre✓® passengers).

Escalators / elevators: When traveling with multiple suitcases, small children, and other items, avoid risk and choose to take the elevator.  The escalators require balance and hands-free flexibility should you lose balance.

Aira Availability:  Aira is available to all blind or vision impaired travelers free of charge at SAT. Aira allows users to use their cell phones, or specially designed glasses for subscribers, to have an off-site agent guide them through the airport, returning independence to our visually impaired passengers.

Airport Holiday Preparations and activities: 

  • Transportation Security Administration has fully staffed checkpoints: TSA anticipates having all lanes  adequately staffed during peak hours.
  • San Antonio Police Department will focus on curb side traffic control management.
  • Ground Transportation staff will facilitate traffic control along the curb zones for taxi and Transportation Network Company management.
  • Long term, short term parking garages, and Economy Lots are open and fully operational with staffing and available space. SAT expanded the Economy Lot (Green Lot) by an additional 389 parking spaces. The Red Lot will be used as an overflow lot if the garages and Economy Lot fill.
  • San Antonio Airport System surveyed the airlines for outbound and inbound passenger projections for each day starting November 19 through November 25. During this time period a total of 228,291 passengers will travel through SAT.
  • Additional security will be deployed within  both terminals.
  • Music will be playing in Terminal A and B during the time period from noon through 5 pm, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

For more information visit



NASA Astronaut Jeanette Epps Joins First Operational Boeing Crew Mission to Space Station



NASA astronaut Jeanette EppsCredits: NASA

NASA has assigned astronaut Jeanette Epps to NASA’s Boeing Starliner-1 mission, the first operational crewed flight of Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner spacecraft on a mission to the International Space Station.

Epps will join NASA astronauts Sunita Williams and Josh Cassada for a six-month expedition planned for a launch in 2021 to the orbiting space laboratory. The flight will follow NASA certification after a successful uncrewed Orbital Flight Test-2 and Crew Flight Test with astronauts.

The spaceflight will be the first for Epps, who earned a bachelor’s degree in physics in 1992 from LeMoyne College in her hometown of Syracuse, New York. She completed a master’s degree in science in 1994 and a doctorate in aerospace engineering in 2000, both from the University of Maryland, College Park.

While earning her doctorate, Epps was a NASA Graduate Student Researchers Project fellow, authoring several journal and conference articles on her research. After completing graduate school, she worked in a research laboratory for more than two years, co-authoring several patents, before the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) recruited her. She spent seven years as a CIA technical intelligence officer before her selection as a member of the 2009 astronaut class. 

NASA assigned Williams and Cassada to the Starliner-1 mission in August 2018. The spaceflight will be the first for Cassada and third for Williams, who spent long-duration stays aboard the space station on Expeditions 14/15 and 32/33.

NASA’s Commercial Crew Program is working with the American aerospace industry as companies develop and operate a new generation of spacecraft and launch systems capable of carrying crews to low-Earth orbit and to the space station. Commercial transportation to and from the station will provide expanded utility, additional research time and broader opportunities for discovery on the orbital outpost.

For nearly 20 years, the station has served as a critical testbed for NASA to understand and overcome the challenges of long-duration spaceflight. As commercial companies focus on providing human transportation services to and from low-Earth orbit, NASA will concentrate its focus on building spacecraft and rockets for deep-space missions.

(Astronaut Jeanette Epps is slated to soon be the first black woman to live on the International Space Station. She would have made history earlier in 2018 as the first Black woman to live on the ISS, but was later reassigned for undisclosed reasons.)

Follow Epps on social media at:


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US Navy’s First Black Female Tactical Air Pilot Earns Wings of Gold in Texas



The U.S. Navy’s first Black female tactical air (TACAIR) pilot received her Wings of Gold July 31, marking a significant milestone for Naval Aviation.

Virginia native Lt. j.g. Madeline G. Swegle was designated a naval aviator and received her Wings of Gold with 25 classmates during a small ceremony at Naval Air Station (NAS) Kingsville, Texas.

Swegle is assigned to the “Redhawks” of Training Squadron (VT) 21 under Training Air Wing 2 at NAS Kingsville and completed her final undergraduate TACAIR training flight in a T-45C Goshawk jet trainer aircraft July 7. VT-21 Commanding Officer Cmdr. Matthew Maher presented Wings of Gold to each of his graduates during the ceremony.

Amidst the Navy’s response to the global pandemic, instructors and students adjusted to COVID-19 spread mitigation measures including sterilizing surfaces, wearing masks, and social distancing when practical. Despite these challenges, this is the largest graduating class of strike aviators in almost a decade.

Chief of Naval Air Training Rear Adm. Robert Westendorff oversees all undergraduate flight training from the command headquarters at NAS Corpus Christi, Texas.

“We are all incredibly proud of Lt. j.g Swegle and the entire class,” Westendorff said. “This is a wonderful personal achievement but also a testament to their dedication and drive to succeed in the tactical air training pipeline. I wish them all every success at the next level learning to fly our fleet aircraft.” [

A 2017 U.S. Naval Academy graduate, Swegle reported to Naval Aviation Schools Command at NAS Pensacola, Florida, where she completed Initial Flight Screening and Aviation Preflight Indoctrination. She completed Primary flight training with the “Boomers” of VT-27 at NAS Corpus Christi, and after selecting the TACAIR, or Strike, pipeline, Swegle progressed to Intermediate and Advanced training with VT-21.

Swegle is part of a new generation of TACAIR pilots to qualify on state-of-the art Aircraft Launch and Recovery Equipment (ALRE) unique to aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78): the Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS) and Advanced Arresting Gear (AAG). She completed carrier qualifications in the Atlantic Ocean off the Florida coast, May 20.

“I’m excited to have this opportunity to work harder and fly high performance jet aircraft in the fleet,” Swegle said. “It would’ve been nice to see someone who looked like me in this role; I never intended to be the first. I hope it’s encouraging to other people.”

Chief of Legislative Affairs Rear Adm. Sara Joyner, a career naval aviator, served as guest speaker for the ceremony via teleconference.

“I’m incredibly proud of Lt. j.g. Swegle and her classmates and am excited to welcome them all to the fleet,” Joyner said. “There’s more work to do to make sure that we recruit, train and retain a diverse force that represents the best and brightest of this nation. Everything in Naval Aviation requires teamwork, and you will be judged by your professionalism, demonstrated capability, and leadership.”

Swegle and her classmates will advance to graduate-level flight training at their respective fleet replacement squadrons. Specific platform selection for the TACAIR training pipeline (F/A-18 Super Hornet, EA-18G Growler, or F-35C Lightning II) typically occurs shortly before the winging ceremony. Swegle will report to the “Vikings” of Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 129 at NAS Whidbey Island in Washington to begin training as an EA-18G Growler pilot. VAQ-129 trains new naval aviators, naval flight officers, and naval aircrewmen in electronic warfare tactics, techniques, and procedures in preparation for their fleet assignments.

Swegle follows in the footsteps of Brenda E. Robinson, the Navy’s first African American female naval aviator. Robinson earned her Wings of Gold June 6, 1980 and was the 42nd woman to be designated a naval aviator.

“Lt. j.g. Swegle has proven to be a courageous trailblazer,” Commander, Naval Air Forces Vice Adm. DeWolfe “Bullet” Miller III said. “She has joined a select group of people who earned Wings of Gold and answered the call to defend our nation from the air. The diversity of that group—with differences in background, skill and thought—makes us a stronger fighting force.”

Chief of Naval Air Training trains the world’s finest combat quality aviation professionals, delivering them at the right time, in the right numbers, and at the right cost to a naval force that is where it matters, when it matters.

For more news from Chief of Naval Air Training, visit or Get more information about the Navy from U.S. Navy facebook or twitter.

(U.S. Navy video by Austin Rooney/released)

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Former Mathematician and “Hidden Figure” Katherine Johnson Passed



Story originally posted on ABC News.

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