- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 4, 2001

ASSOCIATED PRESS
At least 25 guns and 25 apparent bombs or hand grenades slipped past security at Baltimore-Washington International Airport, federal records show.
All were carried by security officials testing the airport's security system between January 1995 and August 2000, according to Federal Aviation Administration records.
The FAA imposed fines in 38 percent of the cases.
In at least 41 cases since 1995, security officers at BWI have succeeded in detecting guns and other weapons carried by actual passengers, records show.
Since the terrorist attacks Sept. 11 on New York and Washington, in which four planes were hijacked and three were crashed into buildings, airports have increased security.
As a result, airport security is "a little bit better," said Mary Schiavo, who was inspector general of the U.S. Department of Transportation from 1990 to 1996. "But we're not doing much different right now, just spot-checking. Probably the best thing they could do would be to open all the luggage and all the bags."
Only closed cases at BWI were made public by the FAA.
BWI's security performance is comparable to other airports nationwide, Mrs. Schiavo said.
Maryland Transportation Secretary John D. Porcari defended security procedures at the airport.
"We were told in the most recent annual inspection by the FAA that the security posture at BWI is strong," Mr. Porcari said. "If any breach of security is found by the FAA or by ourselves, we take it very seriously we look at it, study it and do whatever is required to correct it."
Mr. Porcari said that employees had been suspended or fired for failing to detect contraband and that a "considerable investment" had been made in scanning machines including some capable of detecting bombs and canine units that sniff for explosives, although he would not go into detail.
He said the state also has obtained funding for fingerprinting machines to conduct better background checks on airport employees.

LOAD COMMENTS ()

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide