Washington - The Transportation Security Administration announced today the appointment of Donald Drummer as the Federal Security Director for Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR). Safety breaches at the airport raised concerns for NJ Senator Menendez (D-NJ) when back in 2006 when the results of a security exercise conducted by the TSA indicated undercover American agents successfully smuggled firearms, fake explosives and other illegal items onto airplanes 20 out of 22 times.
Following last year's stunning breach of security by a young man who walked past a security entry point to kiss his girlfriend goodbye which resulted in the shutdown of an entire terminal and the inconveniencing of thousands of travelers, U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez increased his campaign to improve security measures at New Jersey's main airport.
Menendez also requested President Obama include funding for specific security technology upgrades at the airport as part of his FY2011 federal budget proposal:
• Installation of a new video surveillance system that is fully and continuously functional and is not prone to malfunctions
• Networking the video surveillance so that it can be monitored from the Port Authority Police Department's security center
• Additional cameras to ensure that the entirety of the airport is under continuous video surveillance
• Motion sensor technology at secure area exit points to trigger an alarm when they areas are breached.
Senator Menendez said: "This is welcome news for New Jerseyans and for the millions of travelers who fly through Newark's international airport every year. Following last year's breach, the TSA took initial steps to guarantee travelers' safety, but much more remains to be done. I am encouraged by the TSA's commitment to improve its performance at the airport and by its decision to appoint Mr. Drummer, someone whose extensive experience and leadership skills in improving security operations is sorely needed at the Newark airport. I will watch closely as Mr. Drummer implements the long overdue upgrades to guarantee the airport's long term security."