LOS ANGELES, CA – This week’s serving of federal arrest warrants on two former LAX employees for the illegal distribution of narcotics through the airport reinforces the need to screen airport employees.
By way of background, LAX does not screen employees. For the last several years, LAAPOA has called for total screening at the airport but this recommendation has been dismissed and neglected. Former LAXPD Chief of Police Patrick Gannon claims, “there is no way that you are going to have the ability to screen every single person that comes to work in the airport.”
However, the world’s busiest airport, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, which saw more than 100 million passengers in 2015, has 63,000 employees and is a 6.8 million-square-foot terminal complex, is now implementing full employee screening. Two other major airports—Miami International Airport and Orlando International Airport—also screen all of their employees. So, not only is employee screening at LAX feasible, it is essential.
“Airport employees, including TSA, should undergo the same screening as passengers in order to decrease the opportunities for these employees to commit crimes,” said Marshall McClain, President of LAAPOA. “Chief Gannon’s defeatist position on screening is not what our airports deserve and LAAPOA is hopeful our next chief will see the merits in total screening and support such policies at LAX.”