An on-duty flight attendant who was making her approach to work a flight out of Philadelphia Worldwide Airport on Friday ended up being arrested after she was caught making an attempt to take a loaded handgun by the TSA safety checkpoint.
The 23-year-old flight attendant now faces firearms costs beneath Pennsylvania state legislation and a possible federal monetary penalty for carrying the gun by an airport checkpoint.
Kial Santa Cruz additionally faces the potential of being terminated from her airline. Neither the TSA nor the Philadephia Police Division revealed which airline Cruz works for, though her police mugshot seems to indicate her carrying an American Airways uniform.
American Airways didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.
Police say Kial was stopped as she handed by the Terminal C checkpoint when a TSA agent flagged her baggage for additional inspection. A loaded .380 caliber Ruger semiautomatic handgun was present in her purse.
The gun had 5 rounds within the journal however no rounds within the chamber.
“We’re all the time on the alert for any doable insider threats,” commented Gerardo Spero, TSA’s Federal Safety Director for the airport.
The arrest comes simply two weeks after an airport concession employee was stopped making an attempt to take a loaded handgun into the safe airside space of the airport. The employee claimed he forgot the gun was in his bag.
“Flight attendants and employees contained in the terminal have insider data and entry to areas of the airport and plane that might pose a critical safety risk,” Spero continued.
“These are wonderful examples of why it stays necessary that airline staff and people who work in airports should be screened earlier than getting access to safe areas of the airport.”
Aircrew can typically skip most safety screening at US airports as a part of the ‘Identified Crewmember’ initiative, however the TSA has ramped up random further checks after a spate of incidents during which pilots and flight attendants have tried to smuggle forbidden gadgets by KCM entry factors.
Final 12 months, a flight attendant tried to smuggle 3.33 kilos of fentanyl by a KCM entry level at San Diego Airport, however she was flagged for random further screening, and the bundle was found when she handed by the steel detector arch.
The Affiliation of Flight Attendants (AFA) issued an pressing round earlier this 12 months warning crew members to not break KCM guidelines and to be significantly aware of not by chance making an attempt to take a firearm by the safety checkpoint.
In some instances, the union warned that flight attendants had managed to depart the USA on worldwide journeys with a firearm of their baggage just for it to then be found as they went to return to the US leading to hefty fines and even imprisonment.
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