NEW YORK (FOX5NY) - The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which runs the area airports, conducts weekly active shooter drills and multi-agency response exercises. But now critics are claiming the chaos and confusion that recently paralyzed Kennedy Airport for hours shows some glaring gaps in security.
The mayhem started with reports of shootings inside Terminal 8 and Terminal 1 at JFK on August 14. Those reports turned out to be false. But passengers tried to run, others took cover, and no one knew what to do. We've learned it is because Port Authority Police -- which, reports say, arrived within a couple minutes -- had no access to public address systems.
Juval Aviv, the former director of security for El Al Airlines, said that is inexcusable in 2016. Another big issue, said Aviv, is the lack of an integrated CCTV or video surveillance. Some of the terminals have their own video feeds, but no overall comprehensive system exists so that police can see where a threat may be.
The Port Authority police union recommends that police have access to real time video, like the NYPD.
The Port Authority said it is working with federal, state and local partners on a top-to-bottom review of what went wrong that night. For starters, the PAPD PBA said how about an evacuation plan, emergency exit signs, and text message alerts in case of danger?
Sen. Charles Schumer is asking for the U.S. Homeland Security Department to step in.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is also taking a look at what went wrong. He dismissed the video camera issue and said the real enemy is panic. But the number of voices calling on the Port Authority to upgrade its basic security infrastructure is growing.