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.”
The latest person to try to ditch a JetBlue flight early put forth the boldest attempt yet … but at least she brought her own flotation devices.
Centerfold model Tiffany Livingston was on a flight from Orlando to Newark and wanted to get off very early. In mid-air, she left her seat and tried to open the plane door – not a bright move, and one for which the emergency slide would provide little help. Sources say she’s had mid-flight troubles before, when she hasn’t taken her meds.
Livingston’s claim to fame is that she was the centerfold for the first issue of VIP, the Singapore version of Playboy. According to the magazine’s profile: “Tiffany boasts the immaculate poise of a mature model wrapped with a bubbly demeanor.”
Ferrying people six at a time from Manhattan into New Jersey, Liberty is charging $200 a day for freedom from gridlock, not to mention the sheer frustration of not seeing the car in front of you move or the agony of being held captive by public transportation schedules. By helicopter, the hike from Port Monmouth, New Jersey to Manhattan takes as little as eight minutes … and the satisfaction of seeing the bumper-to-bumper below is a perk.
The fact that people are choosing this rather pricey form of daily transportation is leading some to believe that the worst of our economic woes are in the rearview mirror. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that compensation at Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase and Morgan Stanley ticked 14 percent higher last year.
If you have to get out of the city for a Newark flight, this might just be the way to go.