By Patrick Donachie
Port Authority Police said 11 individuals passed through an unattended checkpoint that was supposed to be manned by officers from the Transportation Security Administration at John F. Kennedy International Airport’s Terminal 5 Monday, according to a spokesman for the PA Police.
The incident occurred at about 6 a.m., according to a Port Authority spokesman. He said the TSA had failed to promptly notify Port Authority Police about the breach, and said the PA attempted to locate the individuals at about 8 a.m. via a search of the terminal.
“Those terminal searches, initiated when a TSA supervisor discovered and alerted Port Authority Police to the lapse, were unsuccessful and it is believed the travelers in question boarded various flights,” the PA spokesman said.
Reports to the TSA seemed to indicate that three of the passengers did not receive a “required secondary screening” after setting off a metal detector, according to a TSA spokesman. However, the spokesman said all personal carry-on bags received required screening, a K9 team was at the checkpoint when the incident occurred, and the TSA conducted “security measures” when passengers arrived at their airports.
“TSA works with a network of security layers both seen and unseen,” the spokesman said. “We are confident this incident presents minimal risk to the aviation transportation system. Once our review is complete, TSA will take appropriate action.”
The PA Police determined that three of the individuals in question got on a flight to California after analyzing videotape, according to the PA spokesman.
The TSA is reviewing the incident and will release a report.
Reach reporter Patrick Donachie by e-mail at pdona