On US Airways Flight 522 from Newark to Phoenix, this 12-pound Manchester terrier busted out of its cage. You would have too … if the drugs had worn off. With no more sedatives in her system, Mandy bit a man sitting next to her 89-year-old owner. Then, the dog shot up and down the aisle, also biting a flight attendant, according to the NY Post.
As a result of this mutt’s mayhem, an emergency landing in Pittsburgh became necessary. Mandy and her owner didn’t get back on, though. They were moved to a different flight.
If you’re flying to or through the New York City area, bring a book Kindle. You’ll probably be at the airport for a while. A new U.S. Department of Transportation Office of the Inspector General report says that airports in this part of the country aren’t measuring up, which disrupts air travel nationwide.
According to the Associated Press, the report says that “scheduling rules continue to put too many planes in line during bad weather.” It adds that the “limits imposed by the Federal Aviation Administration at Kennedy, LaGuardia and Newark airports in 2008 are too generous and are based on good weather conditions, resulting in a glut of flights when the weather turns ugly.”
The bottom line? Twenty-eight percent of all flights coming into the Newark Liberty International Airport wind up delayed or just canceled, as of August 2010. For LaGuardia and JFK, the rate was around 26 percent. Those aren’t good odds for passengers.
In Washington, a diplomat from Yemen has said the government there is opening a full investigation into the alleged bomb, adapted from a toner ink cartridge, that was discovered in the United Kingdom at East Midlands Airport.
Look for tighter security all around at airports in the United States, some of which, according to CNN, will be “visible and passengers should expect a mix of security techniques.”
Suspicious items have been found on cargo flights that landed in Newark, New Jersey and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania today. According to the Transportation Security Administration, the planes have been “moved to a remote location … out of an abundance of caution,” according to CNN.
The fire department’s hazardous materials units in Philadelphia responded to situations with two planes – one a UPS flight, the other a 757 with nobody on it. Officials say that the types of material that could be involved aren’t known.
Homeland Security officials said one of the crew on the cargo plane from Paris, France, landing at Philadelphia around 9 a.m. called authorities thinking a package aboard the plane could have a radioactive makeup, according to MyFoxPhilly.com.
Security gaps are so big at Newark Liberty International Airport you can drive a truck through them. Literally. Inside the terminal, the TSA goes through bags and confiscates oversized fluid containers, but no inspection occurs when trucks and vans drive through security checkpoints and out onto the tarmac. Security company FJC is responsible for protecting the airport, reports Fox 5, for which it is paid $11.5 million. The company is also responsible for security at New York area airports JFK and LaGuardia.
The exclusive Fox 5 video shows FJC security guards stopping trucks at the checkpoint, then walking around the truck using a mirror to look at the undercarriage of the vehicle, but never actually examining the cargo inside the truck. Over and over, FJC guards do nothing more than glance inside trucks that are filled with cargo. The cursory inspections of the trucks’ contents lasted about 5 seconds and never actually involved a guard entering a single vehicle. After which the FJC guards simply waved through each and every truck. It is a security process that totally surprises counterterrorism expert Bill Vorlicek, who screened the video.
The range of risks to which the airport, passengers and employees are exposed is wide. Explosives, in particular, could cause mayhem. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives estimates that “an average delivery truck can carry anywhere from 10,000 to 60,000 tons of explosives,” reports Fox 5.
Port Authority COO Ernesto Butcher told Fox 5 the security lapses were “unacceptable.” The report continues:
“Vehicle inspections are just one of a series of multilayered checks to ensure the safety of cargo being brought to the secure side of the airport, but they are critical and will be continually monitored,” Butcher said in a statement. “Port Authority officials have re-emphasized to all FJC security guards and their supervisors the need for continual diligence and proper inspection techniques during their shifts.”