Looks like they are having some difficulty staying out of the news.....
By Michael Holden
LONDON (Reuters) - Security staff at Manchester Airport failed to spot two guns, imitation explosives and fake bomb-making equipment hidden in a bag which was allowed on board a British Airways passenger jet, officials said on Saturday.
The failure took place during a recent security test with the full knowledge of the airline, a spokeswoman for the airport in northern England said. There was no risk to passengers during the exercise, she said.
Global Air Training, which carried out the test on behalf of the airport -- the busiest UK airport outside London -- hid a cache of arms in a bag which was screened by security staff employed by Securicor ADI, the airport said.
An operator manning a scanning machine failed to spot the weapons and the bag was allowed into the hold of the Boeing 737 jet bound for London's Gatwick Airport.
The 23 "smuggled" suspect items included two guns -- a .38 caliber Rossi revolver and a Baby Browning pistol -- blocks of fake Semtex explosive and detonators.
"These items...were not detected by an external security company, Securicor ADI, employed at Manchester Airport to operate hold baggage screening," the airport said in a statement.
"This is a matter of great concern to us and we will be holding urgent talks with Securicor ADI," an airport spokeswoman told Reuters.
The breach comes despite tightened security at British airports following the suicide hijack attacks on the United States on September 11.
A Securicor ADI spokesman said in a statement: ""We act upon any reported failings in individuals or systems and have taken immediate action in this instance."
The Securicor ADI spokesman said the individual who failed to spot the package had been suspended pending a full investigation.
"We understand that the airport and ADI immediately investigated and have taken some serious steps to tighten up procedures," a British Airways spokesman told Reuters.
In January, Manchester Airport workers voted to stage rotating strikes over plans to cut 140 security staff jobs. The Transport and General Workers Union described the cuts as an "unnecessary risk."
Securicor's Atlanta-based Argenbright Security unit has had several recent high-profile screening lapses at airports in the United States. The new U.S. Transportation Security Administration will in November take over security contracts for screening operations at 429 U.S. airports