An NBC5 investigation at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport revealed that numerous employees at the airport as well as airline staff have been abusing their security badges, letting people into the airport without going through proper security procedures.
At DFW, thousands of employees have Secure Identification Display Area (SIDA) badges. But SIDA badges can only be used by employees that are on-duty and they’re not allowed to take anyone else through the door with them.
But that didn’t stop an off-duty Continental Airlines worker from using his badge to put his family in a van at a cargo facility and then drive them across the airport ramp to terminal E.
They were caught entering the terminal after a police officer “heard children laughing” on the airport ramp.
A police report said the worker told officers he, his wife and two children were “cutting through the terminal to catch a flight home to Ohio.”
The worker no longer works at the airline.
Government officials and a top airline executive were among those caught.
Just three weeks ago, DFW police seized a badge belonging to the Fred Cleveland, a senior vice president and chief operating officer at American Eagle Airlines.
A report obtained by NBC 5 Investigates said officers caught Cleveland “escorting his wife through the employee portal to meet with his daughter who was flying in.”
Cleveland will undergo retraining and be able to get his badge back once his training is completed. It sure is nice to know that a regular worker breaking the rules will be fired, but an executive gets retraining. The list continues of people abusing the system.
During a personal trip, one off-duty American Airlines pilot told police “he was aware of the protocol,” “But he wanted to avoid the long lines at the checkpoints.”
In another case, an American Airlines flight attendant was caught sneaking a backpack through an employee entrance and giving it to her husband boarding a flight to Germany.
DFW police caught a TSA supervisor taking another worker through an employee door.
Officers seized a badge from a Federal Aviation Administration manager caught using it to board a flight for personal reasons.
And police even stopped an analyst who works for the DFW airport board, the agency that issues the security badges, as she escorted her husband through an employee door to board a flight.
Out of more than 140 confirmed security violations in two years – at least 106 were linked to badge holding employees and vendors.
The airport, however, is choosing to keep their heads in the sand as to the real danger of all these security breaches.
the airport is confident its security system catches the vast majority of violators and if any are sneaking through, “that number is very small.”
It’s your job to secure the airport. It doesn’t matter if one person slips through. Your job is to keep them all out unless they belong there. Dismissing it as people making silly mistakes shows that true security is not what the airport is trying to do.
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