The Transportation Security Administration made an announcement that a plane leaving Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport had an armed passenger on board.
“TSA has determined standard procedures were not followed and a passenger did in fact pass through a standard screening TSA checkpoint with a firearm at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport on the morning of January 3,” a statement from TSA read.
At some point in the flight, the passenger revealed that they had smuggled the firearm aboard. They allegedly cooperated with authorities and were “met by Japanese authorities upon landing,” according to the Washington Post.
TSA also noted that agency officials have “held those responsible [for the security breach] appropriately accountable.”
The agency also claimed that the partial government shutdown, which has forced TSA workers to continue performing their jobs without pay, was not a factor in the breach of security.
“The perception that this might have occurred as a result of the partial government shutdown would be false,” TSA said. “The national unscheduled absence rate of TSA staff on Thursday, January 3, 2019, was 4.8% compared to 6.3% last year, Thursday, January 4, 2018. So in fact, the national call out rate was higher a year ago than this year on that date.”
TSA Assistant Administrator Micheal Bilello would also tweet that, “security standards remain uncompromised at our nation’s airports.”