The Transportation Safety Administration is failing to keep airports secure, says a government report released Tuesday. The Government Accountability Office’s report, which analyzed TSA data, found that an average of 2,500 security incidents occurred each year between 2009-2015. Most of these incidents occurred at fence lines and airport perimeters — areas that airports themselves, not the federal government, are responsible to keep secure.
Security incidents often occurred at smaller airports, but unlike larger airports, the smaller ones do not undergo vulnerability assessments by the FBI and TSA every three years. As the GAO pointed out, ignoring small airports doesn’t make any sense, as a dangerous individual could board a plane in a small airport bound for a larger one.
The GAO also hit TSA for not using its data effectively. Despite collecting large amounts of data about security vulnerabilities, the agency failed analyze it in a way that would help prevent future incidents.
This isn’t the first time TSA’s methods for keeping airports secure have come under fire. Last year, the Department of Homeland Security found that TSA officers let weapons through checkpoints 95 percent of the time. The failure rate is especially frustrating given that getting through airport security lines takes forever and involves being forced through those creepy body scanning machines — you know, the ones that have leaked “naked” scans of passengers that were subsequently published online.
In short, not only is the TSA overlooking vulnerabilities at airports, but it’s also forcing passengers into privacy violations — for no apparent safety benefit.