Sunday, August 05, 2012

Security breaches cause delays at Newark Liberty International Airport (KEWR), Newark, New Jersey

NEWARK — Terminal C had to be locked down and departing flights returned to their gates at Newark Liberty International Airport this morning, after officials realized a passenger had made it through a security checkpoint without being properly screened, a Port Authority Police spokesman said.

Service continued at Terminals A and B, but the lock down at Terminal C, which was ongoing as of 10:20 a.m., delayed flights and caused all passengers departing from that terminal to be re-screened, said the spokesman, Al Della Fave.

A second security breach took place at the airport earlier in the morning, but Della Fave could not provide details.

Della Fave said it was unclear just how the woman was improperly screened or how supervisors for the Transportation Security Administration at the terminal learned of the improper screening. Police determined the breach required the lockdown and re-screening procedures.

Planes that had left their gates after the improper screening had to be called back from the tarmac so that passengers on board could be re-screened, Della Fave said. He did not know how many passengers or flights were affected.

Terminal C is operated by United Airlines, which accounts for three quarters of all flights in and out of Newark Liberty International Airport.

Two separate security breaches caused problems for travelers at Terminal C in Newark Airport on Sunday.  

A TSA spokesperson told Eyewitness News that the first incident happened at 6:30 a.m. when an oversized bag that triggered an alarm. The bag was not cleared properly, but continued to the airline (United) for loading.
The TSA worked with the PA and the Bomb Squad to locate the oversized bag, which was then re-screened and cleared properly by 9:20 a.m.

The second incident at Newark Liberty International Airport happened at 8:45 a.m. when a passenger left a check point before he/or she was not properly screened. Because of this breach, Terminal C remained in a lockdown with no screenings taking place.

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