LAAPOA grieves with the rest of our nation the tragic loss of the 10 U.S. Marines, two soldiers and a Navy corpsman in yesterday’s terrorist attack outside Kabul Airport in Afghanistan, which also killed as many as 170 Afghans. We pray for their families and loved ones, as well as the at least 18 Americans and numerous Afghans wounded in the suicide bombing. At times like this, we are reminded of the day almost 20 years ago when terrorists attacked our nation using airplanes, subverting airport security and executing the largest mass murder of Americans in our homeland — all of which led to yesterday.
LAAPOA is proud to include many former military members among our ranks. Their past and continued service to our country is much appreciated, and we offer support and friendship to them during this difficult time. Their efforts have made our country safer, and we are thankful.
In this vein, we must remain vigilant in the U.S. There is widespread agreement among the federal government and national security experts that our nation may and most likely will experience increased threats in the immediate future from radicals and terrorists.
Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) must be proactive — not reactive, as has unfortunately been the pattern of practice in the past.
With heavy air travel, as one of the largest airports in the world and with a massive international traveler footprint, LAX must ramp up our security posture. Next weekend is the busy Labor Day weekend. Major construction projects are underway, bringing many more workers in close proximity to LAX.
And, of course, the 20th anniversary of 9/11 is only weeks away. We have seen the chaos of the Afghan evacuation that will lead to many more foreign nationals in America. It is our profound hope that our nation is providing a safe haven to those who have provided support for our efforts in Afghanistan, but there is a possibility that the mayhem we have witnessed will provide opportunities for terrorists to enter our country.
LAWA must rise to the occasion. We must protect our airport and community.
LAWA was awarded hundreds of millions of dollars in COVID relief funding, and the airport’s coffers are being replenished with increased passenger loads. Management must prioritize security and safety at this moment.
“We can ill afford to have another situation of a homegrown or foreign-born terrorist or a mentally disturbed person impacting our transportation industry or taking another life of one of our officers, employees or the traveling public, particularly when such devastation can be predicted and mitigated. It is important that we are prepared at this precarious time,” said LAAPOA President Marshall McClain. “Our officers remain vigilant and steadfast. We need Airport Management to match our commitment. Now is not the time, if there ever was one, to pinch pennies when comes to public safety. Protecting our airport is the best way we can honor those who have served in Afghanistan and around the world to stop terrorism. It is the least we can do.”