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Major security lapses found in screening failures,

questionable rules, insecure cockpits and thin security forces


YONKERS, NY — Six years after the terrorist attacks of 9/11, the Transportation Security Administration has major security lapses even in some areas that the agency has supposedly met its goals, according to a Consumer Reports investigation.

The TSA was created in Nov. 2001 to secure all modes of transportation including at the nation’s 400 commerical airports and all airlines. According to the report, which appears in the February issue of Consumer Reports, the agency still falls short in 7 out of 24, or almost one-third of critical performance benchmarks set for itself.

CR has found major security lapses, including the following:

·         Insecure cockpits. CR cited dozens of problems including cockpit doors popping open in flight, pilots being locked out, and flight attendants breaking the doors by slamming them shut.

·         Screening failures. The TSA has an erratic record at checkpoint screening, including failures during undercover tests to identify weapons and explosives.

·         Questionable rules. The TSA has issued 25 versions of screening procedures over the years, and there's still confusion about bringing liquids and gels aboard. It also allows items such as lighters, tools, corkscrews, and pointed scissors that could be used as weapons.

·         Thin security forces. The government has tried to plug security holes in part by authorizing more flight crew members to carry guns. But the effort has lagged because of cumbersome training arrangements.

            Titled “Air security: Why you’re not as safe as you think,” the investigation is in the February issue of Consumer Reports on sale January 8, and online at

            One of the most visible elements of new security effort post 9/11 was the requirement that reinforced doors be installed. By 2002, the FAA reported that all major  U.S.  airlines  had  complied.  [Back to Press Releases Main]