Port of Oakland Response to Military Charter Flight Report Findings
-- Oakland International Airport staff complied with all Federal laws and regulations --
The Port of Oakland, owner and operator of Oakland International Airport (OAK), has reviewed the findings of the Office of Inspector General's (OIG) examination of a military charter flight that operated at OAK on September 27, 2007. The OIG report concludes that the incident was caused by "lack of a coordinated policy between the Department of Defense and Department of Homeland Security for screening military personnel and recommends establishing a task force of aviation partners and federal agencies to develop and implement a uniform process for handling members of the Armed Forces on all military charter flights at U.S. commercial service airports."
"We continue to express our deepest concern that our military troops aboard North American Airlines Flight #1777 had a negative experience while traveling through Oakland International and we are committed to seeing that nothing like this ever happens again. Although the report concludes that airport staff complied with all laws and regulations, we have already updated our operations procedures and will continue to do everything within our power to improve the respectful treatment of our esteemed traveling military personnel," said Omar Benjamin, Executive Director of the Port of Oakland. "Additionally, we applaud the Office of Inspector General's diligence in examining the details of this flight and the efforts of Congressmen Mica and Petri to ensure that protocols are put in place at U.S. airports for handling military personnel traveling on chartered flights moving forward. We look forward to working together with our elected officials, aviation partners and federal agencies to improve the process for handling military charter flights."
"We have a long history of being supportive of the U.S. military," said Steve Grossman, Director of Aviation for the Port of Oakland. "Port staff have always treated our nation's military service men, women, and their families and friends with the highest level of respect and we go out of our way to ensure that their travel experience through Oakland International Airport is in line with our very high customer service standards."
Port of Oakland staff cooperated extensively with the Office of Inspector General in its examination of the handling of the military charter flight operation while at OAK.