OFFICIALS REQUEST LAX-SAFETY REPORT

With the holiday travel season approaching, Los Angeles officials sought assurances Wednesday that security at LAX is tightened in all areas -- from federal screeners to private workers who clean airplanes.

``The pressure on these folks is more intense than ever,'' Councilman Jack Weiss told members of the council's Trade, Commerce and Tourism Committee.

``When you're talking about security at the airport, it has to be perfect.''

Gina Marie Lindsay, executive director of Los Angeles World Airports, said she has begun developing tougher standards for the private companies that provide cleaning services at Los Angeles International Airport.

Lindsay said it will apply to work done on airplanes as well as the treatment of passengers, particularly those with disabilities.

A letter is being sent to all contractors advising them of the higher standards and warning that they could lose their contracts if there are problems.

A recent study by the Transportation Security Administration found that 75 percent of screeners at airports across the country failed a random test to identify dangerous devices.

The TSA has assured LAX officials that the screeners who failed have received upgraded training and that LAX is well within national standards.

``With the holidays coming up, we have to have a sense of urgency,'' Councilwoman Janice Hahn said. ``If something happens, people will be looking to us to see what went wrong.''

rick.orlov@dailynews.com

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