Patterico's Pontifications

10/2/2007

Oakland, You have Some ‘Splainin’ to Do (Update X3)

Filed under: Air Security — DRJ @ 12:08 pm



[Guest post by DRJ]

The Oakland International Airport (and the charter airline that handled this flight) needs to update its press release in light of this TSA Statement:

“TSA Statement on Incident Involving U.S. Troops at Oakland International Airport

On Thursday, September 27, 2007 North American Airlines flight #1777 carrying soldiers and marines landed at Oakland International Airport from New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) where passengers were screened by U.S. Customs upon landing from overseas.

At no time were service men and women prohibited from entering the sterile area of Oakland International Airport by TSA personnel or regulations. Airport officials, the airline and ground handling company coordinated the arrival and all services associated with this flight, including refueling, refreshing supplies on the aircraft, maintenance checks and all passenger services.

TSA personnel across the country have worked closely with airports to ensure the utmost care when handling flights involving our troops and will continue to facilitate their movement to the greatest extent possible while ensuring a high level of security for all travelers.”

H/T TSA.

— DRJ

UPDATES below:

UPDATE 1: Yesterday’s press release from Oakland International Airport blames this incident on inadequate information provided by the ground handling company selected by the charter airline, North American Airlines. It is not clear what information this refers to so it’s hard to evaluate whether it was inadequate.

I hope the Oakland International Airport will clarify this and identify the ground handling company so its input is included.

UPDATE 2: Itsme points out this Oakland International Airport press release issued today:

“We want you all to know that Port of Oakland staff is taking a leadership role to address the mistakes that were made involving this North American Airlines flight, and we are working with all parties involved so that we can prevent this from occurring again.

Here are some details of the military charter flight which landed and departed Oakland last Thursday.

North American Airlines, a charter airline, was contracted by the U.S. military to transport service people from Iraq to Hawaii, with a few aircraft service stops scheduled in the U.S. Oakland was one of these locations.

Airport personnel had worked with Hilltop Aviation, a ground handler here at Oakland which contracts with North American Airlines, to coordinate the aircraft arrangements and passenger handling for this flight.

Airport staff was notified by Hilltop Aviation that the passengers on this flight were not screened per Transportation Security Administration (TSA) procedures. Also, we were notified that weapons were on-board this flight. Airport procedure is to park aircraft away from the terminal building when these two conditions are present. Together with the TSA, this decision was confirmed to Hilltop Aviation.”

This last section seems inconsistent with the TSA statement, above.

The press release continues:

“Airport staff did not receive advance notice from Hilltop Aviation that some of the service men and women on-board had anticipated meeting family and friends during their brief stay here in Oakland. If this information had been shared in advance, there would have been a different outcome.

In fact, North American Airlines operated another military charter flight here into Oakland earlier on the same day. There was a specific request from Hilltop Aviation to Airport staff to allow these passengers to come into the terminal building, and this was coordinated successfully with Hilltop Aviation and the TSA.”

Does this mean Oakland International Airport, the charter, and/or the ground handlers only let military troops into the terminal to meet family but not otherwise? That seems strange.

The press release provides contact information for the Airport, the charter airline (North American), and the ground handling company (Hilltop Aviation). I don’t think this is the final word.

UPDATE 3: Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums has issued a gracious apology. H/T Steve.

57 Responses to “Oakland, You have Some ‘Splainin’ to Do (Update X3)”

  1. North American Airlines was probably too cheap to pay for a gate at the airport.

    Don’t blame Oakland.

    alphie (99bc18)

  2. God I hate you, alphie.

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  3. Why is that, Christoph?

    ’cause I don’t think a glaring example of the downside of crony capitalism should be used to for right-wing propaganda?

    I’m sure there are plenty of airlines that fly from New York to Hawaii who would be happy to transport our troops at a discount.

    Why have a bankrupt airline using antique jets fly our troops?

    alphie (99bc18)

  4. Alphie,

    You may be confusing North American Airlines with Northwest Airlines.

    DRJ (ec59b5)

  5. At no time were service men and women prohibited from entering the sterile area of Oakland International Airport by TSA personnel or regulations.

    Still, we have the account from the Marine Chaplain about a TSA confrontation involving the same airport and the same lieutenant just last year:

    “He also indicated he was almost arrested by the TSA for getting belligerent about them not letting the Marines into the terminal.”

    steve (76260d)

  6. Alphie confused again, oh say it isn’t so.

    SPQR (6c18fd)

  7. Alpho shows what trollism is. The first anti war activists were the angels in heaven who cautioned God against sustained hostilities against Satan and hell.

    Thomas Jackson (bf83e0)

  8. Haha, SPQR,

    I think I have the right bankrupt airline.

    The most obvious way to confirm is to see if North American Airlines paid for a gate at Oakland, or if they just park out by the grass when their planes are refueled in Oakland.

    alphie (99bc18)

  9. DRJ, what makes you think anyone confused North American Airlines with Northwest Airlines? NWA’s Flight 1777 is a daily Philadelphia to Memphis run.

    North American is contract service provider with the Pentagon.

    http://www.flynaa.com/charterus.aspx

    steve (76260d)

  10. Steve,

    My concern was the reference to a bankrupt airline, which led me to believe there was an understandable confusion between Northwest and North American.

    DRJ (ec59b5)

  11. North American Airlines is a scheduled Part 121 airline that also does “high-density charters.” Like the ones the military uses to transport troops. It is not now, nor has it ever been, bankrupt, although World Airways and ATA, other lines now held by the same group, spent a little over a year in Chapter 11 (2004-05).

    Notice the troll has got us all talking about his usual dishonesty, rather than Oakland’s latest example of antimilitary bias. That’s “success” on troll planet.

    Back to Oakland — the spokes-bimbo for the Port of Oakland blamed it all on TSA. Sounds like she has graduated the Alphie school of personal integrity.

    Kevin R.C. 'Hognose' O'Brien (88bf29)

  12. Kevin,

    She blamed it on the communication to Oakland prior to arrival. They followed protocol as they should. Someone in the airline or at JFK messed up in not advising them about weapons on board. The TSA statement contradicts the claim made in the email about denying entry to the terminal. Malkin made the leap in logic that the airport blamed it on the troops. Blaming a charter airline is far from “blaming it on the troops”.

    Sometimes a snafu is just a snafu and not an anti-military plot by the 400,000 citizens of Oakland.

    Mountain meet molehill.

    voiceofreason (4dad1b)

  13. They followed protocol as they should

    They played it stupid and mean. Dunno if they have malice in their hearts or if they are just stupid and mean. Reserve the right to speculate on the subject without sanctimonious spin.

    boris (ad3d7f)

  14. Haha, Kevin,

    All I see is that the crony capitalists who are making a fortune off this war have attached a rage generator to this story and now the far right is off on some lunatic idea that the Port of Oakland has a super secret ban on military flights using their airport gates instead of looking into the shoddy way our troops are being ferried.

    alphie (99bc18)

  15. All you ever see is your own blind spot.

    Shouldn’t you be on duty accusing Rush Limbaugh of calling people who disagree with him “phony soldiers” ???

    Get to back to work!

    boris (ad3d7f)

  16. All I see is that the crony capitalists who are making a fortune off this war have attached a rage generator to this story

    All you do is attach a BS generator on any story that remotely casts the Left in an unfavorable light, Staunch Brayer.

    I also think Thomas Jackson torched you in #7.

    Paul (8dc031)

  17. The Marines could have walk to the terminal. So it wasn’t the absence of a terminal gate, paid for or otherwise, that prevented the Marines from entering the terminal, it was a Oakland bureaucrat who refused them entrance.

    Perfect Sense (b6ec8c)

  18. Where in the story does an “Oakland offical” appear, PS?

    We have some fly by night airline getting paid to fly U.S. troops in steerage an extra 3000 miles.

    We have TSA officials hired by a company owned by Poppy Bush and Cronies.

    Oakland???

    Where?

    alphie (99bc18)

  19. In the Port of Oakland press release, Alphie, I see your reading comprehension hasn’t improved. Probably because of the BDS caused cataracts in your eyes.

    SPQR (6c18fd)

  20. The Marines could have walk to the terminal.

    And enjoyed a beer and pizza outside security like anyone else? Sure, I guess.

    If the charter and its ground handler didn’t secure a regular gate to park the plane, doesn’t TSA have to at least *watch* 200+ people file down the stairs and walk up into the sterile boarding concourses? They can’t assume this would be appropriately handled by an outside contractor. There isn’t a ramp worker, pilot, crew member or caterer who isn’t screened. That doesn’t mean they can then hold open the door on behalf of TSA.

    steve (76260d)

  21. Oh right Alphie, it couldn’t have been an Oakland airport bureaucrat that stopped the Marines, it must have been a Halliburton official acting at Dick Cheney’s behest that stopped the Marines from entering the terminal.

    Or maybe you think it was the janitors that stopped the Marines from coming into the Terminal to use the bathrooms.

    Geez, out dumb can you get?

    Perfect Sense (b6ec8c)

  22. I see the press release, SPQR.

    I don’t see any mention of any Oakland officials involved.

    Instead, I see shoddy treatment of our troops by the companies making money off them.

    What would be the opposite of “BDS?”

    The overpowering urge the far right feels to defend war profiteers.

    Natural Born Peasant Syndrome comes to mind…NBPS it is.

    alphie (99bc18)

  23. Alphie, you really are amazingly incompetent. The press release states “Together with our security partners, the airport made a decision to park this aircraft at a remote location on the tarmac. ”

    Your repetitive idiocy got old long ago. Go back to the studio, your album is late.

    SPQR (6c18fd)

  24. By the way Alphie, did you see that the US Senate controlled by the Democrats who promised and promised to end the war, voted 92-3 to fund the war?

    Democrats lied, people will die.

    Perfect Sense (b6ec8c)

  25. Alphie, only an incompetent, stupid troll like yourself would miss that the press release itself states that the airport owned the decision to park the aircraft at a remote location.

    And only a flaming twit like yourself would ignore that for some bizarre fantasy about “cronies”. So Perfect Sense’s question of how dumb you can get seems to have no answer, at least while the Universe is still in an expansion period.

    SPQR (6c18fd)

  26. OAK has 32 gates leased and operating and apparently this charter didn’t secure one.

    Anyone plan to call North American Airlines and see if they were denied a gate they were promised?

    TSA would have monitored 200+ people walking up stairs from the ground into the sterile concourses during a layover/refueling. They would scarcely trust an outside contractor to just hold a door open. That requires reassignments they might not have expected or could handle at a peak time.

    Incompetence is more plausible than anti-war politics.

    steve (76260d)

  27. Steve, so you didn’t read the Oakland airport press release either?

    SPQR (6c18fd)

  28. The airport says it “did not receive clear communication in advance from the charter airline that was hired by the military.”

    The charter has yet to respond.

    If North American Airlines didn’t have a gate booked, there would be special handling for a couple hundred passengers to transit the unsecured area to secure concourses. To think such arrangements would *not* involve TSA is absurd.

    Airport authorities did not know some passengers wanted to go to the main terminal to visit relatives because Hilltop [Aviation, which provides services to airlines on the ground] did not say so, airport spokesperson Rosemary Barnes said. Had the airport authorities known, the troops could have been transferred to a terminal area where they would have remained separate from civilian passengers who had been screened.

    While a handful of troops were permitted into the terminal, most were served food, provided restrooms and permitted to smoke outdoors, near their charter plane, although smoking is normally prohibited in that area of the airfield, Barnes said.

    Barnes said the commanding officer on the plane did not complain about the arrangement.

    http://www.mercurynews.com/news/ci_7064236

    steve (76260d)

  29. DRJ, there is a more recent statement from the airport. An excerpt:

    Update to Port of Oakland Statement on 9/27/07 Military Charter Operation
    October 2, 2007

    …..

    Here are some details of the military charter flight which landed and departed Oakland last Thursday.

    North American Airlines, a charter airline, was contracted by the U.S. military to transport service people from Iraq to Hawaii, with a few aircraft service stops scheduled in the U.S. Oakland was one of these locations.

    Airport personnel had worked with Hilltop Aviation, a ground handler here at Oakland which contracts with North American Airlines, to coordinate the aircraft arrangements and passenger handling for this flight.

    Airport staff was notified by Hilltop Aviation that the passengers on this flight were not screened per Transportation Security Administration (TSA) procedures. Also, we were notified that weapons were on-board this flight. Airport procedure is to park aircraft away from the terminal building when these two conditions are present. Together with the TSA, this decision was confirmed to Hilltop Aviation.

    Please understand that commercial airports, such as Oakland International, pose a very unique operating environment. We are governed by federal rules and regulations pertaining to passenger and aircraft handling, and the safety and security of all who use our airport is our number one priority.

    Airport staff did not receive advance notice from Hilltop Aviation that some of the service men and women on-board had anticipated meeting family and friends during their brief stay here in Oakland. If this information had been shared in advance, there would have been a different outcome.

    In fact, North American Airlines operated another military charter flight here into Oakland earlier on the same day. There was a specific request from Hilltop Aviation to Airport staff to allow these passengers to come into the terminal building, and this was coordinated successfully with Hilltop Aviation and the TSA.

    While we cannot speak for the other parties involved in coordinating this military charter flight, we do encourage you to contact them directly with any further questions.

    ###

    Update to Statement

    Itsme (8220df)

  30. Itsme,

    Thank you. I’m updating the post to reflect this.

    DRJ (ec59b5)

  31. Mayor Ron Dellums’ apology:

    “I join the citizens of Oakland to express my concern over the way our soldiers were treated upon their recent arrival at the Oakland Airport,” Dellums said. “As a former U.S. Marine, I understand that our troops deserve only the utmost respect for their service to our country. I want to be very clear, the city of Oakland does not condone this type of treatment of our troops. I have directed our Port to look into these matters and work closely with airport personnel to ensure that this type of situation never happens again.”

    steve (76260d)

  32. DRJ,

    Thanks for following this one so diligently.

    voiceofreason (9eb62d)

  33. VOR, you guys are doing it for me. And Steve, if you have a link for Mayor Dellums’ apology, I’ll add it, too.

    DRJ (ec59b5)

  34. Dellums’ apology:

    http://www.nbc11.com/news/14256340/detail.html

    The TSA’s saying service personnel were never “prohibited” from entering sterile areas doesn’t mean the 200+ passengers deplaning in a remote area would NOT have been screened beforehand.

    I imagine *both* North American Airlines troop charters into OAK that day involved TSA:

    Authorities familiar with those events confirmed that the other flight’s passengers were screened and allowed into the airport’s secure boarding area. They also said that members of TSA advised airport officials on procedures for screening the second flight, if needed.

    http://origin.insidebayarea.com/timesstar/localnews/ci_7063381

    steve (76260d)

  35. I’ve added Mayor Dellums’ apology as Update 3. Thanks, Steve.

    DRJ (ec59b5)

  36. Let’s face it, this was a group cluster-…k: TSA, Oakland Int’l, NAA, & Hilltop couldn’t, or wouldn’t, talk to each other on the same page, so the story was never right, and never will be, now that they are all in CYA mode.
    Multiple bureaucracies using different terminologies for identical situations.
    Reminds me of military units using incompatible radios.
    GIGO!

    Another Drew (8018ee)

  37. As I understand it, U. S. military personnel are charged with defending the country against all enemies foreign and domestic. The legislation enacted establishing the TSA is in violation of the constitutional provision that says a person is to be considered innocent into proven guilty in a court of law. Therefor TSA personnel are in violation of the Constitution, which makes them a domestic enemy. It is therefor incumbent upon our military personnel to deal with TSA agents as enemies of the state, and in a state of rebellion against duly constitued Federal authority.

    Alan Kellogg (4a22db)

  38. Alan Kellogg #37:

    You’re joking, aren’t you? Or do you imagine that TSA personnel are judges applying standards of criminal law?

    PS, it might surprise you to know that “a person is to be considered innocent into [sic] proven guilty in a court of law” is not a constitutional provision at all.

    Letter to the Editor

    Itsme (8220df)

  39. As I understand it…It is therefor incumbent upon our military personnel to deal with TSA agents as enemies of the state, and in a state of rebellion against duly constitued Federal authority.

    Alan, Alan, Alan. Don’t you know that our military would fight back, but they’d be no match for the black helicopters.

    socratesabroad (94cc94)

  40. I think there are around 6000 fully equipped combat troops currently stationed in the U.S.

    Never mind the Black helicopters, the Girl Scouts could roll ’em.

    alphie (99bc18)

  41. for it’s tommy this, and tommy that, and throw him out, the brute
    but it’s savior of his country when the guns begin to shoot!

    assistant devil's advocate (c14872)

  42. As more news regarding this incidentbecomes evident its clear that the idiotarians of the Bay area were displaying their patriotism and deserved to be charged with a hate crime. Let’s hear the explanation of the airport managers, the TSA has made it clear who is responsible.

    Thomas Jackson (bf83e0)

  43. Sure it does, Thomas.

    No word from the airline responsible yet?

    Out of curiosity, can you name an area of America you think is more “patriotic” than the bay area?

    alphie (99bc18)

  44. Just wondering, and this would be off topic if it didn’t become the topic of so freaking many posts…

    Question to Patterico: Do you see alphie as adding any sort of value to your blog? All I see is him pissing on the rug. Is there some reason to let him do it that you see and I don’t?

    Pablo (99243e)

  45. Simple, Pablo. His writing is its own punishment. Banning him would let him off too easy.

    Paul (8dc031)

  46. I don’t see you accusing krazy kagu of “pissing on the rug”… which makes the same accusation, when leveled at alphie, look utterly political (and accordingly reprehensible).

    Leviticus (b987b0)

  47. No word from the airline responsible yet?

    Are you saying that Ron Dellums pulled a Billy Jeff and apologized on behalf of someone else, Staunch Brayer?

    Paul (8dc031)

  48. I don’t see you accusing krazy kagu of “pissing on the rug”… which makes the same accusation, when leveled at alphie, look utterly political (and accordingly reprehensible).

    Levi, Staunch Brayer has improved somewhat; he does stay on topic more than he used to. The problem is that he continues to move down the same thought track on a topic despite, at times, overwhelming evidence and actual proof to the contrary. He’s achieved escape velocity in his displayed level of denial.

    There are times I am convinced if we were standing outside on a clear day and I told him the sky is blue, he would deny it.

    Paul (8dc031)

  49. Paul,

    It doesn’t look like former Marine Ron Dellums “apologized” for anything. He just expressed concern for what happened and said he’d do what he can to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

    Still waiting on a reply from the privately owned, government teat sucking airline that actually caused the screw-up.

    I’m sure everyone who is concerned for our troops has been calling their number?

    alphie (99bc18)

  50. I don’t see you accusing krazy kagu of “pissing on the rug”… which makes the same accusation, when leveled at alphie, look utterly political (and accordingly reprehensible).

    Krazy Kagu drops the lunacy and runs. alphie is a persistent threadjacker.

    Thankfully, I don’t much care what you think of the accusation, otherwise, I’d be hurt.

    Lucky me, huh?

    Pablo (99243e)

  51. North American Airlines responded to the incident, saying it did nothing wrong.

    TSA’s account has some novel aspects: Anyone heard of U.S. Customs handling security screening for a couple hundred transferring passengers? I haven’t. The air charter, ground handler and OAK weren’t able to ascertain the soldiers and marines had cleared any TSA checkpoint and fashioned a response they now regret. Mind you, TSA reportedly dealt with the other military charter the same day in Oakland, so why was this one not on their watch?

    The notion that anti-war leftists, in order to keep military families apart, compromised a Pentagon contractor and its ground handler is pretty far-fetched.

    steve (6cffea)

  52. “Krazy Kagu drops the lunacy and runs. alphie is a persistent threadjacker.”

    – Pablo

    Substitute “lunacy” with “intellectual piss” and we’re still in the same place (i.e. you applying a standard to one commentator that you refuse to apply to another).

    I’d love to see you argue that kagu’s comments are in any way more substantive than alphie’s; even if you tried, I’d bet Patterico would disagree with you.

    Leviticus (f6f899)

  53. I’m sure there are lots of things you’d love to see that just aren’t going to happen, Levi.

    And we’re still in the same place so long as you are unable to comprehend simple statements written in English such as the one you quoted.

    If you’d like to ask Patterico about his opinion and/or position on Krazy Kagu, you may feel free to do so. Me, I’ll ask him about the things I wonder about.

    Pablo (99243e)

  54. Always the accusation of adversarial incomprehension… I’m starting to think that’s a default fallback for an otherwise Speechless Pablo.

    Pray tell, friend: What part of your statement did I misinterpret? You say that “Krazy Kagu drops the lunacy and runs”. I say that substituting “intellectual piss” for “lunacy” leaves us in the unfortunate position of watching kagu piss on the proverbial rug. You say I misunderstood your statement. How?

    “If you’d like to ask Patterico about his opinion and/or position on Krazy Kagu, you may feel free to do so. Me, I’ll ask him about the things I wonder about.”

    -Pablo

    For my part, I’ll refrain from thinly veiled (partisan) suggestions telling Patterico how to run his blog.

    Leviticus (b987b0)

  55. That would be the part about alphie being a persistent threadjacker. KK is delightfully easy to scroll by. alphie is on some sort of demented mission.

    For my part, I’ll refrain from thinly veiled (partisan) suggestions telling Patterico how to run his blog.

    You might first do yourself the favor of projecting your own interpretations onto the words of others. Why was it you brought up kagu anyway?

    Pablo (99243e)

  56. Err…refraining from projecting…

    Pablo (99243e)


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