TSA will arrange additional training after passenger is cleared to fly with two box cutters, agency says


The Transportation Security Administration admits multiple failures and institutes alerts to security guards at airports nationwide after a man ran through a checkpoint with two box cutters. The move comes as passengers are expected to flood airports ahead of Thanksgiving.

TSA security checkpoint officers at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport failed to follow protocol Friday night when they discovered a box cutter in a man’s carry-on luggage, later causing an emergency diversion when the man allegedly threatened the passengers when the plane was in flight. , according to a TSA statement and a passenger on the flight.

The TSA said in a statement on Sunday that he reviewed Friday’s incident and found that officers did not make full use of the technology available to them that would have identified the cutters inside the passenger’s carry-on luggage, nor did they no longer followed protocol when they had made the « blades visible » to the passenger after a check.

The male passenger, who has not yet been identified, approached the TSA checkpoint around 5:30 p.m. Friday at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG) with a ticket for a Frontier Airlines flight to from Tampa International Airport (TPA), the TSA said. He showed his identification, including a temporary Ohio driver’s license, and underwent a physical check, the agency said.

The traveler then presented two backpacks and put their loose items in a trash can for further screening, the TSA said, which were screened using CT technology which « creates a 3D image that can be rotated 360 degrees for an in-depth analysis ».

Frontier Airlines Flight 1761 was diverted to Atlanta after the man was seen with a box cutter and allegedly threatened passengers mid-flight.

« The aircraft landed safely in Atlanta and the passenger in question has been taken into custody by Atlanta law enforcement, » spokeswoman Jennifer De La Cruz told CNN in a statement. .

No passengers or crew members were injured, the airline said.

All passengers departed the plane and were put up at hotels for the night in Atlanta. A new flight was scheduled for Saturday morning to take them to Tampa.

A subsequent review of the incident, which included closed-circuit television (CCTV) footage, revealed that « CT’s image review capabilities were not fully utilized » and the cutters were not identified by the CT operator, the TSA said. However, the traveler’s property was brought in for a further search, during which a box cutter was discovered.

The « visible blades » were removed, but were later returned to the passenger, the agency said. The man’s backpack containing the second cutter and the rest of his possessions was checked for explosives, but the second cutter was not detected at the time, the statement continued.

A government source familiar with the investigation told CNN that the passenger in question was not a known threat to the TSA and that the incident was escalated to the highest levels of the agency.

TSA employees who were involved in the incident have been placed in training status to « address CT image review and physical search procedures, » the agency said, adding that it will arrange briefings on the incident for all of its CVG and State of Kentucky employees.

The briefings will include reminders on procedures to properly handle box cutters as well as other contraband discovered during a search, the TSA said.

Statewide refresher training will be scheduled for reviewing CT images with an “emphasis on using image rotation and manipulation tools for optimal detection,” according to the release.

The agency said it will provide a briefing on this incident to all screening employees nationwide, which will include reminders on protocol for using technology tools and handling prohibited items.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office took the initiative to investigate the situation, according to the TSA.

“TSA has begun an internal review of the incident by viewing CCTV, airport security checkpoint processes/operations and will continue to provide updates as they become available. TSA can confirm that blades are prohibited in the cabin, but permitted in checked baggage,” according to Saturday’s statement.

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