Press Release


Homeland Security Transportation Security Subcommittee to Hold Hearing on Airport Security Breaches

Media Contact: (202) 226-8417


Washington, D.C. –  The Homeland Security Subcommittee on Transportation Security, chaired by Rep. Mike Rogers (R-AL), will hold a hearing entitled “Access Control Point Breaches at Our Nation's Airports: Anomalies or Systemic Failures?” tomorrow at 10 a.m. in 311 Cannon House Office Building.

In 2010, a 16-year-old boy was killed when he allegedly was able to breach airport security at Charlotte-Douglas International Airport and stow away in the wheel well of a commercial airliner bound for Logan International Airport in Boston.  Other airport breaches have also been reported in recent years.

Yesterday, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) released a report on the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) efforts to identify and track airport security breaches across the U.S.  After reviewing and comparing data on security breaches from six airports, the OIG found that TSA does not have a comprehensive oversight program in place to ensure that all breaches are consistently reported, tracked, and corrected.

In addition to examining the OIG’s findings, tomorrow’s hearing will examine recent breaches of security at airports across the country.  Members will also have the opportunity to assess the coordination and adequacy of background checks for airport and airline workers.

Rogers said: "Securing our Nation’s aviation system requires 100% accuracy.  Any weaknesses in the system could be exploited by our enemies and lead to an attack.  The many reports of security breaches and unauthorized access to the tarmac continue to underscore the need to strengthen access controls.  We must make certain that the billions of taxpayer dollars we spend screening passengers is not in vain if systemic vulnerabilities exist through the back doors of our airports.  This hearing will provide an opportunity to question TSA and its partners about the measures in place to not only physically protect airports, but also to ensure that employees with sterile area access have been thoroughly vetted and do not pose a threat."

WHAT:       Subcommittee Hearing on “Access Control Point Breaches at Our Nation's Airports: Anomalies or Systemic Failures?”

WHEN:       10 a.m., Wednesday, May 16, 2012

WHERE:     311 Cannon House Office Building

Opening statements, witness testimony, and the live video feed will be available HERE.

Witness List:

Panel I

Mr. John P. Sammon
Assistant Administrator
Office of Security Policy and Industry Engagement
Transportation Security Administration

Mr. Charles K. Edwards
Acting Inspector General
U.S. Department of Homeland Security

Panel II

Mr. Mark Crosby
Chief of Public Safety & Security
Portland International Airport
Testifying on behalf of the American Association of Airport Executives

Mr. Sean P. Cassidy
First Vice President
Air Line Pilots Association, International

Mr. William Swift
Airport Minority Advisory Council