March 14, 2013The Honorable John PistoleAdministratorTransportation Security Administration601 South 12
StreetArlington, VA 20598Dear Administrator Pistole:We are writing to express our concern with repeated security breaches occurring at Newark Liberty International Airport. Due to the seeming lack of progress to close these gaps, we urgeyou to conduct a full review of security screening procedures. The American public deserves toknow that every effort is being made to ensure safe and secure air travel.Over the past several years, Newark Airport has seen numerous security breaches. In January2010, a man breached an exit lane without being screened and shutdown the airport for morethan six hours affecting 16,000 passengers around the world. Since this incident, there werenumerous breaches, including a deceased dog being placed on a flight without being screened forexplosives or disease.
And in October 2012, the media revealed the results of TSA’s
Presence,Advisements, Communication and Execution (PACE) test, showing that screeners at Newark Airport properly executed standard pat-downs of passengers only 16.7 percent of the time andidentified and took appropriate action on prohibited items in only about 25 percent of all cases.Just last month, an undercover agent was able to smuggle a simulated bomb through security,even after the agent was screened twice, including a pat-down. While we appreciate your effortsto address security lapses at Newark Liberty, we remain seriously concerned about the breachesat this airport.Reports indicating that the undercover agent was able to smuggle the simulated explosive in hispants suggest that we have not made much progress since Umar Farouk Abdulmutallabattempted to ignite a bomb in his underwear on Christmas Day 2009. This attack was only