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Sources: 5 Security Lapses At Newark Liberty In Last Month

Steak Knife Through Checkpoint One; Aviation Expert Rips Away
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Newark Airport

Newark Liberty International Airport (AP File Photo)

haskell_feature Peter Haskell
Peter Haskell joined WCBS in 1994. This followed stints at WCTC Radio...
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NEWARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A number of security lapses at Newark Liberty International Airport in just the last month have many questioning if the airport is safe.

Every passenger stopped during a security lapse at Newark Liberty on Jan. 16. Sources told CBS 2’s Christine Sloan a steak knife belonging to a crew member made it past this checkpoint. According to sources within the Transportation Security Administration, that was one of five security lapses in just one month.

One aviation security expert said it’s alarming.

“One is too much! If this was something serious — there was explosives — do you know what kind of tragedy we can face?” Isaac Yeffet said.

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Other incidents included two passengers who left checkpoints despite problems with their full body scanners and a dead dog that was loaded onto a plane without being checked.  A TSA source said the dog carcass was not screened because it was misdirected by airline.

Aviation consultant Denny Kelly told WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell he certainly isn’t surprised by the news.

WCBS 880 Reporter Peter Haskell with Kelly on the lapses.

“I think we have these lapses in screening all the time. I think most of them aren’t reported,” he said.

Kelly said he believes TSA screeners need to be better trained, supervised and paid.

“I don’t think the security today is any better than it was on September the 10th, 2001,” Kelly said.

One passenger Sloan spoke with was shocked.

“This is where a lot of the 9/11 stuff happened and it is very lax here. I go through other airports … they have a lot other airports that this one doesn’t notice,” Marvin Mohler said.

But passenger Dan Benbrook had a different take.

“I feel safe. I think they’re doing the best job they can do, a good job,” Benbrook said.

The TSA’s regional director visited the airport this week and while the agency won’t comment on the incidents, a spokesperson said: “It is routine for airports to conduct site visits.”

Yeffet, who headed security for El Al Airlines, said he wants rigorous training for screeners.

“They are not qualified — I am telling you they are not qualified. Look what’s going on since Sept. 11. Look at the shoe bomber. Where’s the security?” Yeffet said.

TSA officials said right now they are not changing anything with security and that they believe passengers are safe.

Years after 9/11, is security at Newark Airport still a problem? Please tell us your thoughts below.

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