Atlanta airport officials had already pledged to enact stricter security protocols prior to the most recent incident. (Photo: AP Images)
ATLANTA (AP) — A Federal Aviation Administration employee is under investigation after flying from Atlanta to New York with a gun in his carry-on, authorities said Friday.
The employee on Tuesday used a badge to gain access to a secure area of Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport and bypassed TSA screening, officials said. FAA Administrator Michael Huerta ordered the suspension of a program allowing safety inspectors to bypass security screenings, FAA spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen said in a statement.
The arrest comes less than a month after investigators uncovered a gun-smuggling scheme involving current and former airline employees and planes flying from Atlanta to New York. Five people were arrested, including a Delta Air Lines baggage handler. The baggage handler is accused of also using his security badge to bypass security and deliver guns to a smuggler on multiple occasions.
Federal authorities and Atlanta airport officials have pledged stricter employee-security procedures after the smuggling operation was uncovered. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson was also in Atlanta last week discussing security operations, and federal officials announced they are considering additional security measures for airline and airport employees nationwide.