Senate to question TSA chief after airplane stowaway

The Senate committee that oversees transportation issues is planning to hold a hearing next week about the Transportation Security Administration's (TSA) plans to adapt to new airport security threats. 

The hearing, on April 30, comes as the TSA is facing questions about failing to stop a teenager from stowing away on a flight from San Jose to Hawaii over the weekend. 

The Senate panel said Wednesday that the meeting would "examine the TSA's efforts to implement new procedures to confront the evolving security threats to America’s transportation systems.


House Dem: Airplane stowaway should've been caught

The teenager who stowed away on a flight to Hawaii last weekend should have been caught "as soon as he [was] coming over the fence" of the San Jose Mineta International Airport, Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) said in an interview with CNN. 

Swalwell said it was a "remarkable story" that the 16-year-old survived the cold air and lack of oxygen outside of commercial airplanes when they reach cruising altitudes of 30,000 feet of more. 

But Swalwell told CNN's Don Lemon that the incident raises questions about airport security, especially in areas that are only supposed to be accessed by employees, such as runaways and tarmacs. 


House Dem: Reassess airport security after Calif. stowaway

A House Democrat is requesting a "nationwide assessment of airport perimeter security" after a teenage stowaway was discovered on a flight from San Jose to Hawaii on Monday.

Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) said the stowaway incident, which involved a 16-year-old bold who snuck into the landing gear of an airplane, showed there were gaps in airport security beyond the Transportation Security Administration's (TSA) passenger checkpoints. 

"In September 2009, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued a report on our nation’s airports and their perimeter security needs. Since then, a number of high-profile perimeter security breaches have occurred at airports across the nation," Swalwell wrote in a letter to U.S. Comptroller General Gene Dodaro that was released on Tuesday.


NFL player told TSA to search him further

An NFL player who was arrested for allegedly making a bomb threat at Los Angeles International Airport asked for further inspection from the Transportation Security Administration, the San Jose Mercury News reports

San Francisco 49ers player Aldon Smith was initially reported to have made the threat after becoming angry about being selected for additional screening by TSA officials.  

Los Angeles Airport Police Department officials said Tuesday that Smith asked for the additional attention from TSA, however.


Airplane stowaway raises questions about airport security

A teenager that stowed away on a flight from San Jose to Hawaii has raised questions about the effectiveness of airport security, the Associated Press reports

The teen, a 15-year-old boy from California, hid in the landing gear of a Boeing 767 airplane that was departing from San Jose. He was discovered when the plane landed in Hawaii, having survived a loss of oxygen and a temperature drop that are usually fatal at commercial airplane altitudes. 

The incident has raised questions about how a ticket-less passenger could not only get through Transportation Security Administration (TSA) checkpoints, but also end up on a runway with access to an airplane’s mechanical equipment without being detected.  


NFL player arrested for airport bomb threat

National Football League player Aldon Smith was arrested over the weekend at the Los Angeles Airport for allegedly suggesting to Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officials that he was had a bomb, Reuters reports.

Smith, who plays for the San Francisco 49ers, was angry after being selected for additional screening by TSA officials. 

Los Angeles International Airport Police Sergeant Karla Ortiz said Smith was arrested by airport police for making the false bomb threat, according to the report.


TSA union: Ryan budget returns airport security to pre-9/11 levels

The union that represents Transportation Security Administration (TSA) workers is arguing that Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-Wis.) proposed budget for fiscal 2015 would return airport security to pre-9/11 levels. 

Ryan proposed a $1.014 trillion budget for 2015 this week that he says would help cut $5.1 trillion from the federal deficit over the next decade. 

Ryan’s budget calls for reducing the amount of money that is given to the TSA, among other cuts to transportation-related funding. 

The American Federation of Government Employees union, which represents TSA workers, said Ryan’s proposal would result in more airport security checkpoints being privatized.