Concerned Keating calls U.S. airport secur ity a ‘tremendous weakness’

Concerned Keating calls U.S. airport security a ‘tremendous weakness’
By Marie Szaniszlo | Saturday, September 17, 2011 |
Ten years after terrorists used Logan International Airport as a launching pad for the World Trade Center attacks, there are still thousands of security breaches at U.S. airports each year, officials said yesterday.
Stephen M. Lord, director of homeland security and justice issues at the Government Accountability Office, said during a congressional hearing at Logan that there are an average of more than 2,000 breaches nationally each year.

U.S. Rep. William Keating said at the Charlotte, N.C., airport, for example, there have been repeated breaches since last November, when 16-year-old Delvonte Tisdale crept onto the tarmac and into the wheel well of a Boston-bound jet. The teen’s body was found on a Milton Street.
“This is a tremendous, tremendous weakness we have,” Keating said at the hearing of the House Oversight, Investigation and Management Subcommittee. “Leaving it to the local police force isn’t going to cut it . . . All the things here are undercut when we don’t have a uniform approach to this.”

Keating, who investigated the Tisdale case as Norfolk County district attorney, said there need to be stronger penalties against airports such as the one in Charlotte, which he said had ignored suggestions for improving security.
There also needs to be a single radio band authorities could use to communicate in the event of a terrorist attack, he said.
“The fact that that hasn’t been done is something I’m just lost at,” said Keating. “So many lives would have been saved had that been in place (on Sept. 11, 2001), and here we are, 10 years later.”
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