Last updated: 05:14 PM ET, Thu January 12 2017

Passenger Advocacy Group Calls For Tighter Airport Security

Airlines & Airports Rich Thomaselli January 12, 2017

Passenger Advocacy Group Calls For Tighter Airport Security

PHOTO: A passengers’ rights advocacy group is calling on Congress to increase airport security in the wake of the tragedy at Fort Lauderdale. (Courtesy Flickr/frankieleon)

In the wake of the shooting tragedy at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport last week, an airline passenger advocacy group is calling on Congress to improve airport security.

Calling airports “clearly the No. 1 soft target” for terrorists, FlyersRights.org is calling on lawmakers and the Transportation Security Administration to tighten the loopholes. Citing the FLL attack, Brussels, Istanbul, Sept. 11, and going all the way back to the 1987 Lockerbie incident, the group said

“Airports are now clearly the No. 1 soft target, and are naked and totally unprotected,” FlyersRights said in a statement. “No act of terrorism and mass murder in history has not been repeated without effective defensive measures in place.”

The group has previously called for Congress and the TSA to strengthen airport security, once last summer in the wake of the Brussels and Istanbul attacks, and once in 2013 after a shooting attack at Los Angeles International.

READ MORE: Sadness And Security Concerns at FLL

“Now emergency measures must be imposed to prevent more lives are lost and the paralysis of US air transportation system as occurred after 9/11 terrorist attacks,” the group said.

This includes:

* Calling out the National Guard for temporary armed airport security.

* Installing airport perimeter security to detect weapons and explosives on persons entering major airports.

* Banning the carrying of live ammunition in checked baggage.

* Increasing canine patrols to detect explosives.

* Placing anyone who is deemed a security threat by a law enforcement agency on the TSA Watch or No Fly list, but with due process means for removed from such lists.

Paul Hudson, president of FlyersRights.org, former member of the TSA Aviation Security Advisory Committee and father of a Lockerbie victim, noted, "Those victims at Fort Lauderdale should not have died, and should certainly not have died in vain.  Blood on the ground is unfortunately far too often the price for government officials and airline executives to act. "Most passengers were shocked to learn carrying live ammo and guns in baggage is permitted. And now terrorists are fully aware of this startling gap in U.S.airport security."

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