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Wheelchairs Are Overlooked as Security Threats, Says Teen

Wheelchair Service in Airport Terminal. Window View with Sunlight.

Wheelchairs may be a missed investigation opportunity — and a threat — for airport security.

Even though safety precautions have gone to new level since the 9/11 terrorist attacks, some airline customers are still finding it possible to sneak prohibited items onto planes. One example is Josh Gardner, 19, who recently got a bottle of water and a wheelchair repair kit through security at Leeds Bradford Airport (LBA) and Malaga Airport (AGP) by concealing it in his wheelchair. Everything was hidden under his seat.

According to Gardner, the security team at each airport did not thoroughly examine his wheelchair, which raises concerns for him about how easy it could be for terrorists to sneak a weapon onto a plane.

LBA told the BBC’s Inside Out program that the wheelchair was in fact swabbed for explosives and dangerous liquids.

“This is an additional measure implemented by Leeds Bradford Airport that is not required by U.K. national policy,” an airport representative told the Telegraph and Argus, claiming the tools were actually permitted on the plane and “posed no threat to the traveling public.”

Aviation security expert Norman Shanks, though, has expressed concerns over this incident. “My reaction is the staff were not doing their job as they’ve been trained,” Shanks told the Telegraph and Argus.

The Civil Aviation Authority has not taken action on the issue, as officials at the airport say they were well within regulatory allowances with this incident.

[Photo: iStock]

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weero October 22, 2015

What a heroic dead - a handicapped passenger who tries to make the security check longer and more invasive for all other handicapped people out there n order to cash in 15 minutes of fame. Disgraceful.