Friday, January 27, 2017

Federal Aviation Administration Marijuana In Tower Issue Status: Boise Airport (KBOI), Idaho

We have previously REPORTED about and updated readers regarding the incident where Boise coppers smelled marijuana at the BOI airport tower in the middle of the night of November 19 after aircraft were unable to establish communications.

Here is the latest status report from the Federal Aviation Administration:

“This email is to notify you of the status of your Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request regarding a November 19, 2016, incident at the Boise Tower. Your request was received in our office on December 16, 2016, and was clarified and amended on December 22,2016. At this time we are still working to process your request. We are not yet prepared to release records, although we may be in a position to provide an interim response as responsive records become available for release.”

Original article can be found here: http://boiseguardian.com

Feds Hide Behind FOIA Procedures    ⋅   December 27, 2016

Despite the best efforts of the GUARDIAN and other media outlets, the Federal Aviation Administration has so far failed to answer two essential questions regarding the November 19 incident at the Boise tower when controllers failed to respond to radio calls and four Boise coppers smelled the aroma of marijuana in the wee hours of that morning.

Our efforts to obtain information or documents has gone all the way to FAA headquarters inn Washington, D.C.

When the GUARDIAN posted the story detailing the police reports of four officers and an airport operations manager, this message was posted in the comments:

“If the Guardian had contacted the FAA before running this story, we would have explained that we drug tested both controllers and both tests were negative. We are continuing to investigate this incident.”   — Ian Gregor, Public Affairs Manager, FAA Pacific Division

KBOI TV2 and the Statesman got the same comment from Gregor. When we asked when the tests were administered, Gregor refused to comment.

Since those initial posts, we have filed requests, filled out forms, amended requests, been denied expedited response and stonewalled. The FAA has sent us a form letter from Elizabeth Ray who is billed as “Vice President of Mission Support Services.” This is currently the first “vice president” we have run across in the United States Government other than Joe Biden.

The FAA–through Gregor–seem to back their controllers and contradict the four coppers and ops guy at the airport who all filed reports of smelling the aroma of marijuana at the ATC tower early November 19. Because of Gregor’s statement, the FAA is in a position of either admitting their drug test policy doesn’t work or challenging the ability of trained police officers to observe the signs of marijuana aroma and influence.

The FAA has so far failed (refused) to tell the flying public if people suspected of illicit drug use (based on Boise Police reports) are still on duty in the Boise Tower with the lives of thousands of travelers under their control. While they officially claimed the employees “passed drug tests,” they have refused to provide the date or results of those tests.

Boise officials have offered to assist in the investigation and the FAA turned them down.

UPDATE 12/29/16

The request for info has been bumped up to the FAA headquarters in Washington, D.C. We got this “clarification” today. “In your requests, you are seeking the time, date, and results of any drug test. Are you seeking the drug test for ATC operators on duty November 19, 2016 or a specific individual(s)?”

Both the Boise officials and FAA have steadfastly refused to name the ATC operators. Their PR guy in Los Angeles seems to know they “passed the tests,” but now they slow the process with the above query. 

Original article can be found here:  http://boiseguardian.com

 

BOISE (KBOI) — Police reports obtained from the suspicious incident at the Boise air traffic control tower last month indicate odd behavior from the controllers.

Around 2:30 a.m. on Nov. 19, helicopters called the Boise FAA air traffic control tower requesting to land, however, they got no response.

Boise Police officers went to the tower for a welfare check to make sure everyone was OK.

In all of the reports police wrote the men in the tower were fine health-wise, but were behaving very strangely.

An officer said of one tower employee “he appeared to have just woken up” and having “drowsy facial expressions.”

Another officer’s report said the employee was “smiling and informing us everything was okay.”

A third officer said they were “very groggy and sluggish… dazed and confused.”

On top of seeming inattentive, police officers describe the tower employees as apathetic to the situation.

One report said, “both of them appeared to be unconcerned.”

In fact, one officer’s report said the airport operations specialist, who went in the tower with the officers, told them afterwards that “the tower guy was calling out wrong runways and directions.”

Every officer’s report mentions smelling marijuana at some point while in the tower.

The FAA said both employees passed a drug test but they are continuing to investigate.

KBOI 2News submitted a request under the Freedom of Informations Act for all of their findings once the investigation is complete.

Story and video:   http://www.eastidahonews.com

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