Generally, people consider Airport security strict and on high-alert. Now, however, many people fear airport security measures aren’t as concrete as depicted.
At New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport, a security checkpoint went unsupervised around 6 a.m. on Feb. 20. The Port Authority reported that 11 people passed through an unsupervised TSA PreCheck.
By the time agents realized people passed through the unattended screening, the passengers already boarded their flights. Joe Pentangelo, senior police public information officer at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, said it was too late to detain the passengers. JFK TSA informed Port Authority of the matter approximately two hours later. However, officials say that two supervisors were aware of the breach within minutes. Nobody reported the incident until a third supervisor saw the video footage more than an hour later.
Authorities identified three of the passengers by analyzing security footage and are attempting to identify the other eight passengers. According to reporters, three of the 11 reported passengers set off the metal detector.
In a TSA statement, officials said the three individuals who set off the metal detectors did not receive a required secondary screening. However, all of the carry on bags went through screening and a K9 team was at the checkpoint during the incident. TSA officials said they will take “appropriate action” after officials review the situation.
“TSA works with a network of security layers both seen and unseen,” officials said. “We are confident this incident presents minimal risk to the aviation transportation system.”
While officials claim the security breach was not a high-risk situation, travelers at the airport were concerned.
One traveler, Marianna Iannotta, described the breach as “a little scary.”
“We rely on that to make sure our flight is safe,” she said. “To make sure everyone on there is not in danger, doesn’t pose any danger, and we can fly safely.”
The individuals already identified received additional screening after landing in San Francisco.