Hijack scare blamed on TSA screwup at Florida airport

It may appear that we tend to pick on the TSA a lot here on Gadling, but the agency is just a never ending source of stuff for us to write about. The latest incident involving the people that run airport security comes from Northwest Florida Regional Airport.

Several minutes after a Delta Airlines jet departed from the airport, TSA officials made a call to have the plane turn around and head back.

Unfortunately, they failed to notify the local Air Force base. When the base noticed the plane taking a different course than they had filed, a call went out to local law enforcement. The call history showed that the security staff at Eglin Air Force Base advised of a possible hijack attempt. The request asked for “anyone available, including a SWAT team”.

It took 20 minutes for dispatchers to confirm that there was no hijack attempt, and that the plane had been asked to return so they could screen a TSA staff member. According to TSA officials, there had been “some discrepancies” in the way they screened their own employee.

As is often the case, the TSA is “reviewing the incident” and will take “appropriate action if necessary”. I’m sure that makes us all feel much safer.