A few years ago, it was revealed that the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) failed to detect over 95% of potential threats, leading to the ousting of TSA Director Melvin Carraway. Well, you can rest easy now as the TSA has improved that number to… 94.4%. At least at one airport.
In a recent test of Minneapolis–Saint Paul International Airport (MSP), the TSA reportedly failed to detect threats such as “explosive materials, fake weapons or drugs” in 17 of 18 cases. According to multiple Minneapolis-based Fox9 sources, the failure rate was so high that the TSA pulled the plug on further testing. The same airport did better in testing in April 2016, merely failing on 9 of 12 cases (75%).
We checked with the TSA to see if these reported test results were accurate. A TSA spokesperson responded: “TSA cannot confirm or deny the results of internal tests and condemns the release of any information that could compromise our nation’s security.”
Mind you, this 94% failure rate doesn’t mean that the Minneapolis TSA wouldn’t catch routine threats, such as a gun packed in a carry-on suitcase. The TSA “Red Team” who’s performing these tests are specially trained to test TSA security for flaws. The Los Angeles Times quotes a former head of the TSA calling the Red Team “super-terrorists for their ability to smuggle weapons and other prohibited items aboard planes.”
With that said, isn’t it more important for the TSA to stop “super terrorists” — rather than a person who just forgot to pull a gun out of a bag before packing it for a trip? It would seem that the former would be a lot bigger threat to aviation security than the latter. The latter may be careless, but the former has intention to harm.
Hopefully the TSA can get its act together. Although it might be forcing you to pull out your books for screening in some airports, with all of these ~95% failures on tests, it’s not really inspiring much confidence right now.
H/T: View From The Wing
Featured image courtesy of Getty Images.
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