Page 3 of 3
Joseph, who worked at Charlotte Douglas, said there is a weak link in Charlotte and other airports across America.
"If anybody displays a prominent badge or anything else — if you have a badge or a vest and you look like you belong — chances are no one is going to question you," said Joseph. "If you look like you're a part of the program, once you're inside the fence it is easy to maneuver around the ramp. That's the sad truth to the security side of this."
Additionally, there's no evidence, according the Transportation Safety Administration, that Delvonte purchased a boarding pass for a plane. And, Chestnut said, there has been no surveillance footage showing the teen entering the airport.
"We don't know how he got onto the plane. We don't know how long he'd been on the plane. We don't even know how he got onto the tarmac," said Chestnut.
The TSA is leading an investigation into the security breach. Massachusetts Congressman William Keating, who initially led the investigation into Delvonte's death as the district attorney in Boston, called out Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano about Delvonte's death at a House Homeland Security Committee meeting on Feb. 9.
"If it wasn't this young man that just stowed himself for his own reasons, if that had been a person with more nefarious motivation, think of what would have happened with that ... commercial airliner, or any of the other airliners that were there at that time," he said.
In response, according to the Globe, Napolitano, said, "Clearly, if somebody — a 16-year-old — is able to circumvent those standards and requirements and get into the wheel well of a plane, there has been a breakdown."
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police also have an open investigation into the security breach. But Charlotte Douglas International Airport Aviation Director Jerry Orr won't speak publicly about the breach. Shortly after the incident, Orr told WBTV that there would be "no special review of airport security." Orr didn't return messages left by Creative Loafing.
Even when city officials asked questions about the breach, they didn't get answers.
City Councilman Patrick Cannon, who chairs the Community Safety Committee, said the city doesn't know much more than the rest of the public. "At one point, I was waiting on the forensics to come back so that I could be more informed about what had happened," he said. "In the process of waiting for the forensic report to be concluded, it appeared that there may be some legalities involved. As a result, I haven't been able to get that information."
While various investigations into the incident continue, they're moving slowly with few details forthcoming. And although a lawsuit hasn't been filed yet, Chestnut said the reason a suit is being considered is because "the family wants to see that it doesn't happen again. And, though they are not frequent flyers, they are concerned about safety on airplanes."
Moreover, there are no definitive answers about Delvonte's death.
"It's bad enough that Delvonte was on the plane, and what's frustrating and more concerning is that the airport can't tell us how he got on the plane," Chestnut said. "Initially Delvonte was being blamed for sneaking on the plane. Now, we're questioning that."