Stories

The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 27,000 investigative stories.

Most of our stories are not available for download but can be easily ordered by contacting the Resource Center directly at 573-882-3364 or rescntr@ire.org where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need.

Search results for "Airports" ...

  • Guns in Airports, Passengers Packing Heat

    2018 set a record for people trying to carry guns through airport TSA checkpoints. 4,239 guns were found in carry-on bags at airports across the country, that’s 12 guns every day. 86% of those guns were loaded. Our 11-month investigation focused on who was attempting to take firearms through security checkpoints and examined why there has been such a sharp increase in the numbers of weapons found in airports in recent years.
  • The Profiteers

    The tale of the Bechtel family dynasty is a classic American business story. It begins with Warren A. “Dad” Bechtel, who led a consortium that constructed the Hoover Dam. From that auspicious start, the family and its eponymous company would go on to “build the world,” from the construction of airports in Hong Kong and Doha, to pipelines and tunnels in Alaska and Europe, to mining and energy operations around the globe. Today Bechtel is one of the largest privately held corporations in the world, enriched and empowered by a long history of government contracts and the privatization of public works, made possible by an unprecedented revolving door between its San Francisco headquarters and Washington. Bechtel executives John McCone, Caspar Weinberger, and George P. Shultz segued from leadership at the company to positions as Director of the CIA, Secretary of Defense, and Secretary of State, respectively. Like all stories of empire building, the rise of Bechtel presents a complex and riveting narrative. In The Profiteers, Sally Denton, whom The New York Times called “a wonderful writer,” exposes Bechtel’s secret world and one of the biggest business and political stories of our time.
  • Missing Airport ID’s

    This investigation revealed hundreds of airport ID’s have been lost or stolen at some of the nation’s busiest airports. Some missing badges were not deactivated for days or weeks because employees or companies failed to notify airport police. Those badges allow workers to bypass security screening and access the most secure areas unchecked. As a result of our reports, a bi-partisan group of U.S. Senators has introduced a bill that directs the TSA to increase fines for airports, airport workers and employers who fail to report badges lost or stolen right away. And it requires all large U.S. airports to notify Congress if more than 3% of an airport’s ID’s are missing. Our reporting also prompted the Department of Homeland Security Inspector General to launch an ongoing review of lost and stolen ID’s. Our team produced and reported the story for NBC Nightly News and the TODAY Show, bringing our findings to a national audience.
  • Perimeter breaches at US airports

    People get onto tarmacs and even planes at major airports far more often than the general public or elected officials realize; more than 250 times in recent years. Until AP’s story, the breaches had been largely secret. The public had no idea that, for example, one mentally ill man had hopped the fence at LAX eight times, twice reaching stairs that led to jets. Associated Press reporters painstakingly filed public records requests and legal actions to produce the most comprehensive public accounting of perimeter security breaches at top U.S. airports. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R2YeqYfYB0s
  • Aviation Security Investigations

    One of the most alarming concerns for the traveling public is airport safety in the wake of terror attacks and other incidents. Over the course of 2015, CNN investigated the insider threat at airports, broadcasting a series of four exclusive investigations that generated high viewer interest. https://vimeo.com/150795855
  • Insider Deals at Airports Authority

    The Washington Examiner's Liz Essley exposed government nepotism and corruption with her coverage of the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, which oversees two airports and one of the largest ongoing public works projects in the nation, the $6 billion Silver Line. In addition to a series of stories detailing insider deals and nepotism, Essley's July 31 report on a $180,000 job given to former board member Mame Reiley the day after she resigned from the board caused the nation's top transportation official, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood, to demand immediate reform at the authority, as he stated in an interview with the Washington Post Aug. 13 and before a Congressional committee Nov. 16.
  • TSA Theft

    In the first nationwide investigation into a burgeoning problem of theft within the Transportation Security Administration since its inception in 2003, the ABC News Investigative Team compiled compelling data obtained through FOI requests, an insider’s tell-all, victim stories and its own tracking integrity test at TSA checkpoints that resulted in immediate impact and calls for swift change. The TSA, tasked with protecting the traveling public in the wake of the September 11 attacks, admitted during the course of our investigation that it had quietly fired hundreds of its employees for stealing the belongings of passengers. The ABC News team conducted a tracking integrity test at 10 major airports across the country, each chosen for its history of theft problems (as indicated by FOI data). We purposefully left iPads at TSA security checkpoints. In nine out of ten cases, TSA screening officers did exactly what they were supposed to do and returned the iPad to the ABC News Investigative team. But in one case, our iPad was taken and we tracked it using GPS technology to the home of a TSA officer (the last person our cameras in the Orlando airport also saw handling the device). The investigation resulted in the officer’s dismissal, thousands of responses from viewers across the country, and immediate calls from Senator Chuck Schumer and Congressman John Mica for reform within the agency. The TSA began conducting additional sting operations, during which a TSA officer was caught and fired in December.
  • Under the Radar

    Every year the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has been given a grant, which then will be distributed to airports. The question is where does this money come from and how is it spent? The answer to the first half is the commercial-airline passengers, who pay the ticket taxes which in turn becomes the grant. The second part of the question is answered by not the improvement of airline travel, but rather the private pilots who fly corporate and recreational planes.
  • Bird strike rates at U.S. Airports

    Airplanes landing and taking off at airports in Sacramento, Kansas City, and Denver have been the most liekly in the nation to hit birds , according to an NPR analysis of new data from the Federal Aviation Administration. Wildlife researchers believe they can alert birds to oncoming planes if they can come up with an appropriate visual signal, such as pulsating LED lights currently being tested.
  • Beneath the Neon

    The book follows Matthew O'Brien as he explores Las Vegas' underground flood control system for more than four years. Among his discoveries, O'Brien details access into casinos and airports and describes the people he found living in the tunnels.