JULY 19, 2007
Already in trouble for allowing numerous airport security lapses nationwide, the federal agency in charge of protecting the country’s transportation system suffered yet another embarrassing incident this week at a California airport.
Security officers from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) actually lost track of a passenger whose bag contained a tennis shoe with a suspicious built-in device and an amount of liquid that exceeded federal restrictions to board a plane.
Although the entire terminal at San Diego’s Lindbergh Field got shut down for several hours and nearly two dozen flights got delayed, the passenger and suspicious bag were never located because TSA officials lost track of both and never got a detailed description of the person.
Rather than acknowledge the officers’ incompetence, a TSA spokesman actually blamed the mystery passenger, saying that if the still unidentified person didn’t have those liquids “none of this would have happened.”
Those kinds of comments certainly don’t help restore confidence in the ailing 43,000-member agency created after the 2001 terrorist attacks to protect America’s travelers. A series of airport security breaches pushed the agency to finally create a plan this year to increase screenings for airline and airport employees as well as outside vendors that routinely enter airports.
However, an organization created by airline pilots after the September 11 attacks, has documented the ongoing security breaches at airports around the country because the TSA’s so-called security plans are quite flawed and inefficient.
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