While many tend to think of airport security as an infallible line of defense, that mental image might not be as comforting as once thought. As reported by CNN, a Delta Airlines passenger managed to board a Toyko-bound flight with a handgun in tow.
Shortly after the beginning of the New Year, an unnamed traveler boarded a flight traveling to Toyko Narita International Airport from Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport while carrying a gun, avoiding the security measures put in place by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).
The TSA confirmed — via a press release — that a firearm did, in fact, find its way onto a Delta Airlines flight.
“TSA has determined standard procedures were not followed and a passenger did in fact pass through a standard screening TSA checkpoint with a firearm at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport on the morning of January 3,” the press release notes.
“Upon the customer’s disclosure, the airline reported the incident to the TSA,” the TSA detailed, in a statement issued to CNN. This information, on its own, would be of concern to some, but the news comes in the wake of the ongoing government shutdown.
With the shutdown now — at the time of writing — in its 23rd day, TSA agents and employees have been required to report for work, despite not having received any paychecks as of late.
As previously reported by the Inquisitr, there has been a noticeable increase in the number of TSA agents who have been calling in sick while the government shutdown continues. While this has been a cause for concern, the TSA has responded to the situation, noting that the increase in call-outs has had a minimal impact on airport screening procedures.
In response to a passenger bringing a firearm on board an outbound flight, the TSA explains that ongoing government shutdown was not a factor in the lapse in security, and confirmed that a “normal” amount of TSA employees were reporting for work that day.
“The national unscheduled absence rate of TSA staff on Thursday, January 3, 2019, was 4.8% compared to 6.3% last year, Thursday, January 4, 2018. So in fact, the national call out rate was higher a year ago than this year on that date,” explained the TSA.
As CNN reports, the TSA has confirmed that it will “hold those responsible appropriately accountable.”
While airport security agents continue to work without pay, the TSA announced — per reporting by the Inquisitr — that it would pay employees with a $500 bonus, along with one day’s pay.