SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – A pilot who posted YouTube videos criticizing security at San Francisco International Airport said Tuesday he is shocked at the uproar they’ve created.
Chris Liu, 50, said at a press event Tuesday that he posted a video to spark a debate over airport security. He and his attorney, Don Werno, defended the footage showing how grounds crew can enter secure areas by swiping security cards and without undergoing further screening. It exposes a security lapse at the airport, they said.
“There have been numerous articles written about this security problem, and I just wanted to address it,” Liu said during a television interview. “I didn’t really think that anybody was watching YouTube, so I didn’t really think much of it.”
Werno has said his client, who has previously remained anonymous, decided to go public after reporters figured out his identity.
Liu posted the videos in late November or early December. He took them down after the Transportation Security Administration objected, Werno has said.
Liu has been suspended from a federal anti-terrorism program that let him carry a gun on planes, and the TSA is investigating whether he revealed sensitive information.
One of the clips — shot with a cell phone — shows an ax in the cockpit that is used for emergencies. Werno has said his client believes the security pilots go through is “absurd” since once they get in the cockpit they have access to a weapon.
In another video clip, Liu goes through a door that exits onto the tarmac and shows a turnstile and card scanner used by ground crew members.
Werno and Liu said they didn’t think the videos revealed anything sensitive.
“If you’re suggesting that it’s a secret, I would suggest that it’s in plain view for everybody to see,” Werno said. “Really, the issue is why aren’t (TSA officials) securing our airports, and why aren’t they doing a better job of screening the ground crews?”
The TSA has said it is confident in the security at San Francisco International Airport.
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