In the news today was a report by the Office of Inspector General of the Transportation Dept. shows that security is actually very poor at airports. Between 12/98 and 6/99 they sent inspectors to major airports in cities such as Atlanta, ORD, Honolulu, Miami, JFK, Salt Lake City, San Francisco, and DCA and in 68% (117 of 173 attempts) of attempts the agents were able to penetrate security. They wore average street clothing.
The inspectors actually wandered onto jets unchallenged, and were seated comfortably, and the jet was preparing for pushback when they ended their experiment. In other areas, they followed employees into secure areas by walking behind them thru the doors, gates, and jetbridges, and driving vehicles thru unmanned gates. Here are some results:
Boarded planes 117 times: 86 times unchallenged.
Set off 25 emergency exit alarms in airport: 10 times nobody ever responded.
Followed employees into secure areas: 71 of 75 attempts
The IG says the FAA has been slow to tighten security loopholes but of course the FAA says it is "vigorously" addressing the problems.
Specifically at JFK, they penetrated four times all of which were on terminal areas under control of airlines, not the airport authority. Of course there's lots of finger-pointing and many different reasons. Just wondered what you all think.
Bruce Leibowitz - Jackson, MS (KJAN) - Canon 50D/100-400L IS lens