John Roth, Inspector General of the U.S. Dept of Homland Security, has stated that his office is currently reviewing the security of employee ID badges at more than 20 large airports. This review was swiftly instituted after it was reported that more than 1,400 airport ID badges had either been stolen of misplaced at the busiest airport in the U.S. over a timespan of two years. (NBC5 DFW)
NBC 5 Investigates, who revealed the initial information, also learned that some missing ID badges from DFW International Airport and San Diego International Airport weren’t deactivated right away due to a delay in reporting the issue to airport police.
The major concern of the missing ID badges is that employees are able to bypass security screenings and enter into secure areas through designated employee entrances. Though some of these employee entrances do require additional security measures, the fear is that someone with a stolen badge may not immediately be spotted giving them the opportunity to jump a fence or gain access to an open perimeter gate.
According to security sources, the TSA only allows for a threshold of 5% of unaccounted for ID badges. If an airport has exceeded that threshold of missing ID badges, they will be required to re-issue new badges to the entire staff. However, a new bill is currently being considered in the U.S. Senate that would drop that threshold down to 3% at the largest of the U.S. airports.