FORT WORTH, TX (August 20, 2008) – On the morning of August 19, a TSA transportation security inspector used a sensitive piece of equipment on nine American Eagle aircraft to hoist himself up from the ground onto several jet bridges at O’Hare. Such unorthodox inspection techniques required additional maintenance inspections per FAA procedures, causing delays to approximately 40 flights and inconveniencing hundreds of customers.
If not observed by vigilant Eagle employees in Chicago, the actions of this inspector would have been unknown and could have jeopardized the safety of the airlines customers and crew because of potential damage to the sensitive equipment mounted on the aircraft fuselage.
American Eagle Airlines agrees with the TSA that the inspection process is an important layer of security detail and is confident that it followed all proper security procedures for securing aircraft overnight at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport. Discussing specific security procedures in detail in a public forum could compromise the security process.
American Eagle is also concerned that the TSA inspector’s method of physically hoisting himself up to the jet bridge using a part of the aircraft could have placed him in physical danger.