More than 1,400 security badges have gone missing from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.
Secure Identification Display Area badges are assigned to airport employees around the country. The badges allow employees to access baggage loading areas, taxiways, runways and boarding gates. To obtain access to these areas, employees must pass a TSA background check and other local security requirements.
“Badges are deactivated as soon as they are reported lost or stolen,” Reese McCranie, Atlanta airport’s directors of communications, said. “Due to these safeguards, we do not believe that lost or stolen badges pose a significant security threat to the airport.”
According to Larry Wansley, a former security official for American Airlines, a person in possession of a stolen badge wouldn’t necessarily have access to roam the airport. Many areas are also protected by biometrics, passwords and PINs.
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“Just because one aspect of it has been compromised, if you will, there are a whole lot of other backups that come into play,” Wansley said.
TSA declined to comment on the number of missing security badges that have been reported at other airports.