U.S. steps up random security checks for airline and airport workers

NEW YORK -- The Transportation Security Administration is increasing random checks of airport and airline employees who hold badges that enable them to bypass security checkpoints.

See Full Article

The decision follows instances in the past two years in which employees used restricted entrances to smuggle guns and launder money. It's also part of a larger push to increase airport security after the Paris terrorist attacks and the crash of a jet flying between Egypt and Russia, believed to have been brought down by a bomb.

In a memo to employees this month, Jose Freig, American Airlines' managing director of corporate security, wrote that "we anticipate the random screening process to increase throughout December and during the 2016 calendar year."

TSA spokesman Bruce Anderson wouldn't say how frequent the additional checks would become, but pointed to a Nov. 30 statement by Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh C. Johnson saying that since April, the department has "enhanced the continuous, random screening of airport/airline personnel in secure areas and encouraged U.S. airports to reduce employee access points."

"The TSA Administrator and I have recently concluded that we need to double-down on these airport security efforts and will be consulting with airports and airlines to do so," Johnson said.

The American memo, for instance, reminded employees that if they work in a secure area and plan to travel after their shift is over, they must exit the sterile area and go through TSA screening, with their carry-on luggage, in order to board a flight.

Thousands of U.S. airport workers are permitted to skip security lines after undergoing a background check and obtaining a Security Identification Display Area (SIDA) badge. The system is designed to free up staff at passenger checkpoints and to clear individuals who are considered a minimal security risk.

There have been instances, however, when that system has been exploited.

In December 2014, an Atlanta Delta Air Lines baggage handler was arrested, charged with using his security badge to bypass security and deliver guns to a smuggler on a number of occasions. A month later, a Federal Aviation Administration employee used his badge to bypass security for a flight from Atlanta to New York with a gun in his carry-on bag, though he was not authorized to carry a weapon.

And in May 2014, five airline employees were charged with using their security clearances to smuggle more than $400,000 in cash through Boston's Logan Airport.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Trump won't pardon sheriff; tensions high at rally site

    World News CTV News
    PHOENIX -- U.S. President Donald Trump won't pardon former sheriff Joe Arpaio during his visit to Arizona, the White House said Tuesday as supporters and protesters gathered near the site of Trump's latest campaign rally. Source
  • Niki Ashton rejects NDP leadership endorsement from man B'nai Brith calls a Holocaust denier

    Canada News CBC News
    NDP leadership candidate Niki Ashton is rejecting unwanted political support from a controversial Canadian-Palestinian that B'nai Brith Canada has singled out as a Holocaust denier. "It has come to my attention that our campaign was shown support by a member of the public on Facebook known to hold anti-Semitic views and has made public comments denying the atrocities of the Holocaust," Ashton said in a statement Tuesday. Source
  • 4 Winnipeg teens charged after man's online date ends in car jacking

    Canada News CTV News
    WINNIPEG -- Four Winnipeg teenagers have been charged in what police say was an online dating scam that ended with a man's vehicle being stolen. Police say the teens created a fake profile on a popular dating website with the sole intent of luring a person to a location for a robbery. Source
  • In chaotic meeting, Charlottesville votes to shroud statues

    World News CTV News
    The Charlottesville City Council voted to drape two Confederate statues in black fabric during a chaotic meeting packed with irate residents who screamed and cursed at councillors over the city's response to a white nationalist rally. Source
  • Photographer Boris Spremo remembered for charm, skill, chutzpah

    Canada News CTV News
    TORONTO -- Award-winning photojournalist Boris Spremo, a blue-eyed charmer who captured intimate and surprising moments from world leaders and average citizens alike, has died. The retired newsman died Monday in hospital after a short battle with cancer, said Diana Spremo, one of his four daughters. Source
  • B.C. Mountie enforcing distracted driving rules struck in hit-and-run

    Canada News CTV News
    RICHMOND, B.C. -- RCMP say a Mountie enforcing distracted driving laws in Richmond, B.C., was hit by a vehicle that fled the scene. Police say an officer stopped a brown 2005 Audi after the driver was seen allegedly using a mobile device while behind the wheel on Monday. Source
  • Bourbon, pizzas and spaghetti sauce cover Arkansas roads

    World News Toronto Sun
    CAMDEN, Ark. — It’s a smorgasbord on Arkansas highways, with the third food spill in as many weeks. A truck driver distracted by a GPS unit crashed near the intersection of U.S. 278 and Arkansas 24 at Camden early Monday and spilled a truckload of spaghetti sauce. Source
  • Ontario man in U.S. custody faces more child sex exploitation charges in Canada

    Canada News CTV News
    MARKHAM, Ont. -- Ontario Provincial Police say a Canadian man charged in the U.S. after allegedly flying to Atlanta in an attempt to have sex with an underage girl he met online will face further charges in Canada. Source
  • Cross-border booze appeal a chance to hit reset on interprovincial trade, MP says

    Canada News CBC News
    A Conservative MP in British Columbia is urging Canadians to contact their members of Parliament about the New Brunswick case involving cross-border alcohol limits that heads to the Supreme Court of Canada in December. Dan Albas, who previously fought for interprovincial wine trade, says the case of Gerard Comeau is an opportunity for the country to "hit the reset button" on interprovincial trade as a whole. Source
  • Minor clashes as Trump protesters flood downtown Phoenix

    World News CBC News
    Protesters got into minor scuffles and shouting matches with U.S. President Donald Trump supporters on Tuesday as hundreds of people lined up to get inside a Phoenix, Ariz., rally that marks his first political event since the violence in Charlottesville, Va. Source