Secure Status

Secure Status By Jodi Prill, Associate Editor September 2002 About This Report AIRPORT BUSINESS recently conducted in-depth interviews with representatives of some 15 U.S. airports regarding security. The concensus: There is a...


Carpenter explains, the airport has its own police force, separate from the downtown, with 35 employees. "I really need to talk with the FSD when he gets here to find out just what my people are going to be doing and what I’m going to be doing," Carpenter says. "I question why you really need to bring in a bunch of new federal people. Maybe some airports that don’t have their own security may need it, but we have a full-time department here. We can just assume any duty they want."
Thomas Trudeau, manager of Rutland (VT) State Airport, has several unanswered questions. His main issue right now is what’s going to happen to the state police the airport has been contracting to provide security thus far. "That was hard to do," he explains. "The big question they (officers) have is, ’Are we going to do this for a while [because] if we are, we should hire [more personnel]; or are you going to take these jobs away and man it with TSA law enforcement officers?’ I don’t have an answer for them."
Trudeau would like to be able to offer the officers some assurance regarding whether or not they will be needed, but so far the TSA hasn’t been able to address his concern.
Jerry Olson, director of Cheyenne (WY) Airport, says his airport contracted with local police for services as well and the TSA is some $28,000 behind with its reimbursement payments to the airport. "That’s causing us some concern."

Thomas Trudeau, manager of Rutland (VT) State Airport, says it is slated for nine TSA employees, which he first viewed as quite excessive. With only four flights per day and less than 10,000 square feet of space in the terminal building, accommodating the TSA requirements might mean a tight squeeze for a facility modeled after a ski chalet.
"We did set up a screening area on a temporary basis and it’s turned into a more permanent thing," Trudeau explains, "But it ate up quite a bit of that space. So with TSA coming in here, all we’re going to be able to offer them right off the bat is to take over the little conference room we have — probably a 12x15-foot. space."
Trudeau is also concerned about where the baggage screening equipment will fit in the building, and has recommended that his airport receive ETD (Explosive Trace Detection), which doesn’t occupy as much space as the EDS (Explosive Detection System) equipment.
Carolyn Novick, manager of Redmond (OR) Municipal Airport, explains that prior to 9/11, the airport had plans for expansion. "When 9/11 came around, we had just completed initial terminal expansion — after that, we stopped it. We’ll probably go ahead with expansion next year, after we see what’s working in other places."
Unlike Redmond, Cherry Capital (MI) Airport officials couldn’t wait on expansion. As Stephen Cassens, airport director, explains, "Our terminal re-design was done prior to 9/11 and our decision to go forward [with the new terminal] was made several weeks right after 9/11. We felt we could not hesitate or wait to see what the outcome of that was, because we were already having operational issues with our airport."
Lockheed and Boeing have been to Cherry Capital Airport and currently they are, along with the airport, trying to decide on a plan for meeting the deadlines. "Right now it appears that it’s going to be a fairly difficult situation," Cassens says. "We have space limitations in our terminal building." The current terminal is 45,000 sq. feet with a new 108,000-sq. ft. terminal set to open in the winter of 2003. "We already had some limitations in regard to space in the building, and this is just aggravating that more as far as trying to find space to do these additional functions," Cassens explains.
John Lawson, director of Hilton Head (SC) Airport, states it will be a number of months before TSA employees staff his airport. "I’m not planning on seeing any [TSA] law enforcement officers within the next 12 months," he says.
Because of the surge in traffic a resort town like Hilton Head receives on weekends, initial evaluations show the airport will probably require a combination of ETD and EDS technology. No expansions are planned to accommodate additional equipment, but Lawson says that an enclosure will have to be built to house them. "We made it clear to them (consultants) that the machines could not go in the lobby, in front of ticket counters. They have to go in the back."

FORGING AHEAD
Boston Logan plans to invest $100 million to make sure it is in compliance when the November and December deadlines roll around. According to airport spokesperson José Juves, the airport is "working six, sometimes seven days a week and 24 hours a day on meeting security requirements." One of the key goals at BOS is to have an entirely inline system, where all bag screening takes place beyond security. "We don’t want a bunch of tables behind the ticket counter with people doing trace detection," Juves adds.
Prompted by the 2002 Winter Olympic Games, Salt Lake City International Airport has had 100 percent baggage screening since January. "We think our program is the basis and model that is being used at other airports," says Tim Campbell, executive director.
SLC uses a combination of ETD and EDS, and Campbell expects that there will be some modification of the current setup. "Because of the urgency of getting things in place, there are some building modifications that would improve the throughput of EDS," Campbell explains. "We have a very old terminal building and the EDS machines were put in very small areas that we now need to expand."
Currently, SLC has about 350 contract screeners, who, Campbell foresees, will be replaced by TSA employees by mid-September. TSA has yet to inform SLC of how much space it will require for administrative duties, but Campbell says the airport does not have a lot of options. One possibility is a location "just off the airport."

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