WASHINGTON – While airport terminals may be full of government security screeners asking passengers to remove their shoes and empty their bags, security out on the tarmac where aircraft are parked is “a joke” said U.S. Rep. Chip Cravaack at a Capitol Hill hearing on Wednesday.
In making the assertion, Cravaack, a Republican and former Northwest Airlines pilot, cited worried calls from sources inside the airline industry who contacted him. Turning to Transportation Security Administration Assistant Administrator John Sammon, Cravaack asked, “Would it surprise you, sir, if I told you that several people — both pilots and ground personnel — have told me the security around the aircraft, coming from outside sources, is a joke?”
A recent report by the Department of Homeland Security’s Inspector General reinforced Cravaack’s claims, arguing that many airport security perimeters are insufficient and that the security clearance process for airport workers is ineffective. Wednesday’s House Homeland Security Committee hearing also comes after the arrest of a security supervisor at Newark Airport who was an illegal immigrant who had worked under a false identity for 20 years.
Here’s the video.