Homeland Security Fail

Thomas Lifson
Frightening evidence of how lax our airport security has become is provided by an incident near Los Angeles, where a parked private jet airplane was tagged by a graffiti artist vandal. Russ Niles of AVweb reports:

Los Angeles World Airports has confirmed an unusual incident of aircraft vandalism at Van Nuys Airport earlier this week. A Learjet was tagged with some elaborate graffiti, which would have taken the "artist" some time to complete. Paint work to obliterate the freedom of expression (which includes what may be the tagger's signature) will cost in the tens of thousands of dollars and there will undoubtedly be a thorough inspection of the rest of the plane. What's not clear is how the spray-can wielding perpetrator penetrated the defenses of one of the U.S.'s busiest business aviation airports. Diana Sanchez, public and community relations director for the airport organization told AVweb they're looking into it. 

The Los Angeles Police Department and the FBI are reported to be working on the case, but that is hardly comforting. Keep in mind that Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) runs two other airports: Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and Ontario International (ONT), and the security measures that permitted someone to spend hours vandalizing an aircraft parked on the apron at Van Nuys are administered by the people responsible for ensuring the security of the many hundreds of airliners (including plenty of A380s and 747s at LAX)  that move through  LAWA facilities daily. That would most definitely include the Department of Homeland Security.

Van Nuys Airport is one of the busiest general aviation airports in the world, handling hundreds of thousands of aircraft movements every year, with two parallel runways, the longer one extending 8000 feet, and able to handle 727s and other large private jets. It is the preferred airport for Hollywood bigshots who jet off on Gulfstreams and other fancy jets. Any terrorist hoping to make a big splash by bringing down the plane of a beloved star might well head for Van Nuys.

As David Paulin wrote me, "So much for Homeland Security keeping an eye on airport security." But Janet Napolitano would no doubt say. "The system worked," just as she did when the underwear bomber was able to get through security and almost bring down a jumbo jet headed for Detroit.

Frightening evidence of how lax our airport security has become is provided by an incident near Los Angeles, where a parked private jet airplane was tagged by a graffiti artist vandal. Russ Niles of AVweb reports:

Los Angeles World Airports has confirmed an unusual incident of aircraft vandalism at Van Nuys Airport earlier this week. A Learjet was tagged with some elaborate graffiti, which would have taken the "artist" some time to complete. Paint work to obliterate the freedom of expression (which includes what may be the tagger's signature) will cost in the tens of thousands of dollars and there will undoubtedly be a thorough inspection of the rest of the plane. What's not clear is how the spray-can wielding perpetrator penetrated the defenses of one of the U.S.'s busiest business aviation airports. Diana Sanchez, public and community relations director for the airport organization told AVweb they're looking into it. 

The Los Angeles Police Department and the FBI are reported to be working on the case, but that is hardly comforting. Keep in mind that Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) runs two other airports: Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and Ontario International (ONT), and the security measures that permitted someone to spend hours vandalizing an aircraft parked on the apron at Van Nuys are administered by the people responsible for ensuring the security of the many hundreds of airliners (including plenty of A380s and 747s at LAX)  that move through  LAWA facilities daily. That would most definitely include the Department of Homeland Security.

Van Nuys Airport is one of the busiest general aviation airports in the world, handling hundreds of thousands of aircraft movements every year, with two parallel runways, the longer one extending 8000 feet, and able to handle 727s and other large private jets. It is the preferred airport for Hollywood bigshots who jet off on Gulfstreams and other fancy jets. Any terrorist hoping to make a big splash by bringing down the plane of a beloved star might well head for Van Nuys.

As David Paulin wrote me, "So much for Homeland Security keeping an eye on airport security." But Janet Napolitano would no doubt say. "The system worked," just as she did when the underwear bomber was able to get through security and almost bring down a jumbo jet headed for Detroit.