Dozens Of TSA Agents Fired And Suspended For Not Screening Passengers At Fort Myers Florida Airport – 15% Of Workforce

June 4, 2012

WASHINGTON, DC — Five Transportation Security Administration workers at Southwest Florida International Airport in Fort Myers have been fired and another 38 suspended after an internal investigation found they failed to perform random screenings last year.

The 43, a combination of front-line screeners and supervisors, represent about 15 percent of the roughly 280 TSA employees at the airport. The number of workers involved makes it one of the largest disciplinary actions TSA has taken in its 10-year history, TSA spokesman David Castelveter confirmed.

The workers were notified of their punishment Friday and are being given an opportunity to appeal, he said. The agency has brought in screeners from other airports to fill in.

During a two-month period last year, as many as 400 passengers who underwent routine screening at Southwest Florida International Airport never got additional random checks, Castelveter said. About 3.8 million passengers flew through the airport last year.

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TSA High Security = No Security – Man Leaves Jail, Walks Through Emergency Door At San Diego California Airport, Onto Tarmac, And Onto Airplane

May 31, 2012

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA – Hours after being released from jail, a man walked through an emergency door at San Diego International Airport, onto the tarmac and sat down on a United Express plane Tuesday, according to San Diego authorities.

“He completely bypassed TSA screening,” San Diego Harbor Police Chief John Bolduc said. “He was in a public area and went out an emergency fire door, which gave him access to the tarmac.”

Marc Duncan, 38, was paroled from jail Monday night, according to San Diego County Sheriff’s Department records. He had been serving time for theft.

After it was opened, the emergency door alarm sounded, and Bolduc said police were on site in four minutes, but by then Duncan had blended in with other passengers.

He allegedly boarded a 30-seat United Express aircraft operated by SkyWest, which was heading to Los Angeles, according to airline spokesman Wes Horrocks.

The flight attendant realized she had too many passengers, Nicholas Blasgen, a passenger on the plane told CNN affiliate KGTV. “They said, ‘What is your count?’ She said this is my count, and they said that is wrong.”

The passengers got off the plane and their luggage was searched.

“They had us put all the bags out, they separated the bags by enough distance and had the dog go over everything,” Blasgen said.

Duncan was identified and arrested.

He is being held in the San Diego jail and is scheduled to be in court Thursday.

“I still can’t, in the world, understand how this happened,” Blasgen said. “It sounds like they just have lax security or not enough management. Something was going wrong.”

The Harbor Police chief said they will examine this incident and find out where to make security improvements.

“The guy did breach security, but he was caught,” Bolduc said. “We have multiple layers of security built into our airports, as you know, and the backup systems were able to catch this guy.”

“Security of airports is a shared responsibility, and airports and airlines are required to adhere to TSA-approved security standards.” TSA spokeswoman Sterling Payne said in a statement. “TSA has initiated an investigation and if necessary, will take appropriate action.”

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Cost For Travelers To Be Mistreated By TSA Agents To Double

May 30, 2012

WASHINGTON, DC – At a time when airlines seem to be adding extra charges for everything from seats to snacks, there’s another fee in the works. This time, it’s transportation security officials who want you to pay more.

The agency, backed by Democrats in the Senate, wants to increase the security fee everyone pays with a ticket from $2.50 a flight. to $5.00 per one-way ticket. A total of $10.00 would be added to round-trip tickets.

“$10 is kind of pushing it to a limit. I mean I guess it’s only 5 dollars more, but I’m wondering, you know, how that fits in with-they already have a budget,” said passenger Moira Jeweler.

The TSA budget, like many in Washington, is set to be cut. The agency said boosting this fee would help cover the increase price of security like those costly scanners. The fee hasn’t been hiked in 10 years.

A powerful lobby is pushing against it.They don’t want the cost shifted onto their customers.

“Air security is a national security function and it’s something that all of us need to be behind as Americans, and the government should be picking up the cost of that.” said Airlines for America spokesman Sean Kennedy.

Republicans want to cut from other social programs to pay for the security fee increase. All of this has to be worked out right now, so that the TSA can get its funding for next year.

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