TSA Watch: Security breach at Atlanta's airport?
TSA is in the spotlight again. This time for an alleged gaping hole in airport security at Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, which was exposed by an investigation from Atlanta's Channel 2 news team.
According to the television station, a whistleblower who works for Gate Gourmet, the world's largest airline catering company, stepped forward to report glaring security breaches he witnessed at the airport. And he brought video to prove himself. The whistleblower, who remains anonymous, took video that shows back doors being opened to allow several people through without swiping their badges and insecure access to catering carts destined to be loaded onto flights (one video shows the whistleblower putting an unauthorized orange juice container into one of these carts).
"If I were some crazy lunatic, or Osama bin Laden sympathizer, I can come in and put anything on this plane," the whistleblower tells the TV station.
Neither the airport or the TSA responded to Channel 2's requests for comment (not counting generic statements reiterating the strict security procedures in place), though Gate Gourmet did offer a statement that said the
video "does not capture the full extent of the vigorous, systematic, and multi-layered catering access control procedures that are in place," according to the TV station.
Security consultants who watched the videos and were interviewed by the TV station were stunned by the oversights. "The back door of this airport seems to be wide open," Brent Brown, a corporate security consultant, told the station. "This is a big, huge, gaping hole in aviation security right here."
According to TSA meeting minutes dug up by the station's investigation, there has been ongoing concern that catering operations are a soft spot in airport security.
What do you think? Watch the video and let me know. Do you think the video shows serious security breaches? Do you think this is the status quo at U.S. airports? If a group of emplyees who know each other arrive at work at the same time, is each opening the door with their badge, closing it in the face of a colleague so that he or she can than swipe their badge?
Email me at email@example.com to share your thoughts.
Security Director News