25,000 Security Breaches at US Airports Since '01

Wednesday, 13 Jul 2011 09:43 AM

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More than 25,000 security breaches have occurred at U.S. airports since November 2001. While the number is small compared to the 5.5 billion people who have flown in that time, critics say it is still cause for worry, USA Today reports.

Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, chairman of the House Subcommittee on National Security, Homeland Defense and Foreign Operations, Airport Security, Traveltold the paper, "It's clear the airports are not secure. For all the money, time and persistence we have thrown at airport security, it's a real mess."

However, Transportation Security Administration’s Nicholas Kimball noted the number represents a tiny fraction of 1% of the air travelers who used U.S. airports in the past decade and said the security breaches includes accidental violations that pose no danger to the public, USA Today reported.

The reports are included in Department of Homeland Security documents to be presented at a House subcommittee hearing. Security consultant Raffi Ron notes that the TSA has spent billions of dollars screening passengers and bags but put other aspects of security "to the back seat," according to written testimony submitted to the House subcommittee.

According to USA Today, documents to be introduced at Wednesday's subcommittee hearing show:
  • 6,000 incidents in which TSA screeners failed to screen, or improperly screened, a passenger or a passenger's carry-on items.
  • 2,616 incidents involving an individual gaining access to the "sterile area" at screening checkpoints or an exit lane without submitting to all screening procedures and inspections.
  • 1,026 incidents when someone gained access to a sterile area but was apprehended by security.
  • 1,318 incidents in which someone gained unauthorized access from airport perimeters to aircraft operations or security identification display areas but was apprehended.

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