Original Posted By: Ron Hargrove
>> **Special NATA Member Notice**>> ATTEMPTED SECURITY BREACH AT GENERAL AVIATION AIRPORT>> In an effort to show allegedly lax security procedures, NBC News> attempted to penetrate a charter helicopter operation at St. Louis> Downtown Airport on Wednesday, August 11th.>> The attempt was brought to a halt, and the individuals were> apprehended.>> Though this breach of security was stopped, it was indicated that NBC> and other news agencies might attempt to repeat their efforts at other> facilities around the country.>> NATA urges operators to continue to be on the alert for security> breaches by news agencies "testing the waters" and, more importantly,> actual terrorist organizations or individuals intent on doing harm.>> Operators nationwide are encouraged to review their security procedures> and reinforce their security policies on a regular basis. NATA Members> should review the TSA's Security Guidelines for General Aviation> Airports> (http://www.tsa.gov/public/interapp/edit ... l_1113.xml). Any> suspicious activity should be reported immediately to the Airport Watch> Hotline at (866) GA SECURE.>> The account of the August 11 incident, provided by the director of the> St. Louis Downtown Airport follows:>> "Earlier today two Middle Eastern men attempted to penetrate our> security. They telephoned one of my helicopter FBOs and asked about a> charter flight. After discussion of price and directions to the> business, they arrived an hour later. When the office agent asked how> they were going to pay for the flight they produced cash. When asked for> ID, they produced driver's licenses from two different states and they> were driving a car licensed in a third state.>> Things didn't smell right so the mechanic took them into the hangar to> see the aircraft while the office person called the FBI and local> police. The helicopter they were going to fly was blocked in by other> aircraft so the mechanic was able to stall them by having to slowly> shuffle the blocking planes. Meanwhile the two men got their backpacks> and odd-shaped luggage out of their car. Soon the local police arrived> and they were hauled off to jail in handcuffs.>> After a little time behind bars, the FBI verified that the two men were> employed by NBC New York and were on assignment to get a story of how> easy it is to charter a helicopter for a terrorist attack. The men had> stayed in a local hotel and purchased box cutters, leather-man knives,> and other potential weapons at the local Wal-Mart using a credit card.> The box cutters had been hidden in the lining at the bottom of the> backpacks and the other weapons were hidden throughout their baggage.> They had audio taped the telephone conversation with Arlene and were> going to use it as part of a national news story about how easy it is to> get information and directions to the location of the helicopter and> then hijack it to commit a terrorist attack.>> I doubt they will be back at our airport soon and this is a story that> will never be seen since they were caught. A very "well-done" to my FBO> and staff and the local FBI and police response forces. We have since> learned that we were the first airport where this had been attempted and> NBC planned to attempt similar penetration stories around the country.> Please help me spread the word to other airports.">> For additional information contact:>> Beth Van Emburgh Manager, Government & Industry Affairs> email@example.com> To unsubscribe from these newsletters please click here>>________________________________________________________________________________Date: Fri, 13 Aug 2004 16:41:30 -0400
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