Local Airports Increase Employee Security Checks

Airport security is getting tighter in Houston, but not necessarily for airline passengers. As Houston Public Radio's Jack Williams reports, the transportation security administration says its using random checks on airport employees as a new layer of security.

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The TSA says it started the program last fall and now uses random checks anywhere on airport property to make sure workers have appropriate credentials and don't have items that could pose security threats. Art Meinke is Federal Security Director at Bush Airport.

"What we have at this airport is a process and a group of employees that will go around to the areas that are already secure and then randomly go and check people out as they're coming through any of the access doors at the airport including the access gates for example out there on the perimeter of the airport."

Houston Airport System Deputy Director for Public Safety Mark Mancuso says he welcomes the increased security.

"Many airports are large and have numerous access points. It's difficult, if not impossible, to screen all employees all of the time because there's so many different ways to get into the airport. As a consequence I think that this approach will provide a more secure environment and I think that's what we're all after."

TSA officials say airports across the nation have adopted the employee check procedures, but say there was no specific incident that prompted the new layer of security.

Bio photo of Jack Williams

Jack Williams

Director of News Programming

News Director Jack Williams has been with Houston Public Radio since August of 2000. He's also a reporter and anchor for Houston Public Radio's local All Things Considered segments...