Roman also said that security at U.S. airports is "insufficient" around runways and plane taxi paths, because of "an over-reliance on electronic security measures," such as sensors, to detect breaches of the perimeter around those areas.
"When those things break, there's insufficient manpower, particularly in the New York metro area ... to mount irregular but constant patrol of the perimeter" to compensate for the loss of electronic eyes and ears, Roman said. He said the patrols should be "irregular" so that their pattern can't be anticipated by terrorists.
Why don't airports have adequate manpower to perform those measures? "Money, money, money," said Roman.
Roman said that if more media attention was given to holes in security on airport perimeters, government officials would be willing to spend on filling those gaps, in much the same way they fund air passenger screening.
But he also noted that even though the Transportation Security Administration "has sufficient income to operate effectively," that agency, which is responsible for airport passenger screening, has done a "poor" job of planning and executing its mission.
Last June, the acting head of the TSA was reassigned after an investigation by the Department of Homeland Security found that agents posing as passengers had managed to get weapons passed TSA screeners 95 percent of the time.
"It's horrible," Roman said of the TSA's performance in those tests. "Here's a case where you have sufficient funds, but you have insufficient execution."
In response Tuesday a TSA spokesman pointed to testimony before a congressional committee last November by TSA Administrator Peter Neffenger, who said "I was greatly disturbed by TSA's failure rate on these tests, and have met with the inspector general on several occasions to better understand the nature of the failures and the scope of the corrective actions needed."
But Neffenger, in that same testimony, also said, "this was not a deliberate test of the entire system, and while there were areas for improvement noted by the inspector general — with which we concurred — [it is important to acknowledge] that the system as a whole remains effective and, as a result of this series of tests, has only gotten stronger."