According to NBCNews.com, the Department of Homeland Security sent undercover inspectors through several USA airports to review the performance of TSA officers, the screening equipment and their procedures.
Sacramento International Airport officials are urging passengers to get to the airport two hours before their flight as new security measures are now in place at TSA.
"It's a little spooky", says Jerry Wright.
After a classified briefing to the House Committee on Homeland Security, several members of Congress admonished the failures of the TSA as "disturbing". Travelers now need to take out liquids, food, and electronics larger than a cell phone from their bags before entering security scanners at many airports, all in the goal of preventing risky substances and weapons from entering airports and aircraft.
An undercover operation to test TSA screenings found they failed to discover weapons and prohibited items about 70 to 80 percent of the time. The same source familiar with the classified government report said that an 80 percent failure rate was "in the ballpark" of how poorly the agency is performing. In that test, operatives successfully smuggled both fake weapons and fake explosives through airport security.
Despite TSA's incredibly poor evaluation on the undercover tests this year, in 2015, DHS found that the agency failed 95 percent of tests aimed at stopping covert inspectors from smuggling weapons, explosive materials or other potentially deadly objects through screening.
Pekoske said TSA continues to embrace developments in technology, including use of CT scanners that provide a three-dimensional image in the Phoenix and Boston airports.
"I think they're doing a good job".
Even so, experts say airports remain a high priority target for terrorists. We need to make sure that we can push that as far as we can to minimize the risk, said Frank Cilluffo who is the former director the Homeland Security Advisory Council.
"We take the OIG's findings very seriously and are implementing measures that will improve screening effectiveness at checkpoints", TSA Administrator David Pekoske said in a release.