Flying While Armed
Two years ago, all it took to bypass airport security was filling out a form:
Grant was flying from Boston to San Diego on Jan. 1, 2007, when he approached an American Airlines ticket counter at Logan International Airport and flashed a badge he carries as a part-time assistant harbor master in Chatham, according to federal prosecutors.
Grant, a medical supplies salesman, also filled out a "flying while armed" form and wrote that he worked for the Department of Homeland Security, prosecutors said.
He allegedly did the same on his return trip to Boston three days later.
But this time, according to court documents, he was invited into the cockpit, was told the identity of the two air marshals on the flight, and was informed who else on the plane was armed, which raises security concerns.
Since then, the TSA has made changes in procedure.
At the airport, law enforcers now need advance permission to fly armed.
"We have added substantial layers of security to this process," said TSA spokesman George Naccara.
The case took almost two years to come to light so federal authorities could tighten airport security and prevent similar incidents, said Christina DiIorio-Sterling, a spokeswoman for the U.S. attorney's office.
"The flying public can be assured that this has led to a change of procedures to ensure that credentials are properly vetted," said Ann Davis, a spokeswoman for the Transportation Security Administration.
Posted on December 9, 2008 at 7:22 AM • 48 Comments