Airports Testify at Hearing on LAX Lessons

ACI-NA Members Testify at House Hearing on Lessons from LAX

Thursday afternoon ACI-NA members Raleigh-Durham International (Mike Landguth, President and CEO) and Ft. Lauderdale – Hollywood International (Frank Capello, Director of Security and Second Vice Chair of the ACI-NA Public Safety & Security Committee) testified at a House Transportation Security Subcommittee hearing entitled:  “Lessons from the LAX Shooting: Airport and Law Enforcement Perspectives”.

This hearing was an opportunity to examine planning, coordination and communication challenges that airports and law enforcement face when responding to security incidents at airports, especially when they occur at passenger screening checkpoints.  It was a follow-on hearing to a Subcommittee field hearing held at LAX on March 28.  Today the Subcommittee was interested in the perspective of airport operators on TSA’s after-action report, plus recommendations and additional ideas for strengthening prevention, preparedness, and response.

Opening Statements

Rep. Richard Hudson (R-NC), Chairman

Opening Statement [PDF]

Witness Testimony

Mr. Frank Capello
Director of Security
Fort Lauderdale - Hollywood International Airport
Witness Statement [PDF]

Mr. Michael J. Landguth
President and Chief Executive Officer
Raleigh-Durham Airport Authority
Raleigh-Durham International Airport
Witness Statement [PDF]

Mr. Kevin Murphy
President
Airport Law Enforcement Agencies Network
Witness Statement [PDF]

Mr. Marshall McClain
President
Los Angeles Airport Peace Officers Association
Witness Statement [PDF]

Questions

The Congressional members questioned the witnesses about various aspects of airport security, including:

  • The nature of the relationship between TSA and local law enforcement
  • The coordination of active shooter training among entities at the airport, such as TSA, local law enforcement, airport staff, airline staff, vendors, and travelers
  • The coordination and interoperability of communications systems
  • The unification of control centers and 911 emergency calls
  • The recommended law-enforcement staffing levels
  • The need for TSA requirements on checkpoint security and perimeter security

Landguth and Capello both stressed the unique security situation and response plans at their airports – and the collaborative relationships they have with TSA and their local law enforcement officials.  Capello called for airports to develop their own plans and have TSA review them, and Landguth said that airport tenants and passengers should be a key consideration in emergency plans.  Capello said that 911 calls are routed to the airport communications center at FLL, while Landguth said RDU is looking at an integrated solution.  Both also said that security is a primary consideration when airports commence the facility planning and design process.