By Katy Ricalde
Senator John Thune fired off a blistering letter to TSA officials demanding answers regarding missing, lost or stolen SIDA (Secured Identification Display Area) badges that can be used by employees to gain access to secure areas at airports.
"Clearly there are an awful lot of things falling through the cracks and there's just no room for an error when it comes to this issue. We need answers. They're not providing them."
Thune, who chairs the Transportation Committee, said previous answers from the agency had actually raised more questions than answers.
The concern follows reports that more than 270 badges went missing at the San Diego International Airport in the last two years and more than 1,400 badges missing from Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.
Many of the missing badges were not reported for weeks or months in hopes they would be turned it - meaning they were not quickly deactivated.
The information comes following an investigation by a local NBC affiliate in Dallas, TX. They also found reports of missing crew and pilot uniforms.
The TSA is downplaying the report, saying most of the badges require a PIN or hand print in addition to swiping a badge. Experts warn it does not prevent someone from gaining access to the tarmac or other areas and many are calling it an astonishing breach of security that could leave the doors wide open to terrorists.
When Atlanta reported the information to the TSA they said they never should have given out the information in the first place, but we ask--doesn't the public have a right to know?
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