JULY 23, 2007
While federal officials assure that beefed-up security at all of the nation’s airports will prevent a terrorist attack, passengers and employees at one Arizona airport go unchecked for lengthy periods each night when screeners evidently feel there is no threat among those boarding airplanes.
The appalling security violations take place nightly at Sky Harbor Airport in Phoenix where an investigative news team discovered that virtually anything can be brought into the facility’s secure area during a four-hour period each night when guards nap and metal detectors and X-ray machines get turned off.
Night after night, the team’s hidden cameras captured what security experts are calling a disaster waiting to happen. During a 4.5-hour period in which federal Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agents get replaced by local security guards, screening practically ceases and bags with unknown contents easily make it to the so-called secure side of the airport.
The cameras captured security guards letting numerous people with purses, coolers and suitcases walk through the checkpoint without getting any of their belongings inspected. Countless airport employees say this has been going on for years and that the facility is not safe.
Security experts call it a frightening and imminently dangerous situation. One highly regarded airline security advisor watched in disbelief as dozens of people strolled by security checkpoints without getting their huge bags checked. This included flight attendants with multiple bags, a floor cleaner with equipment and a man with a bike.
Sky Harbor Airport is operated by the city of Phoenix and officials claim that security is their top priority. In fact, they brag about their state-of – the-art security technologies and safety programs that maximize safety and minimize inconvenience. Evidently, this includes night-time guards that literally sleep on the job while unchecked bags slip by daily.
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