US Airports Respond to EgyptAir Crash
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Though it has not yet been officially deemed a terrorist attack, most theories surrounding the crash of EgyptAir Flight 804 point to some sort of act of terrorism. Major airports in the United States have already responded to these theories, saying that they will increase security in the wake of the crash.
Heightened security posture
Police at Los Angeles International made a statement about their own plans in the wake of the crash. "The safety and security of passengers, airport workers, and visitors is our number one priority. In light of EgyptAir flight MS804, which disappeared over the Mediterranean Sea, we have heightened our security posture and enhanced our counter-terrorism security measures at our Los Angeles World Airport airports."
Security officials at the airport have said that they will not discuss what additional steps they are taking to improve security in detail. They also stated that there were no new specific threats against any airports in Los Angeles.
However, the statement did mention that the number of checkpoints used by airport employees would be kept to a minimum so that officers from the special Vulnerability Analysis and Assessment Unit (VAAU) would be able to monitor them more closely.
Shouldn’t affect TSA wait times
The statement also stressed that these kinds of changes to security procedures are not out of the ordinary. Security agencies and police at Los Angeles area airports ”constantly review the security measures we have in place, and will enhance and improve security as needed."
It seems like these are behind-the-scenes changes should not affect wait times at TSA checkpoints, which have been excessively long in recent weeks. The TSA will not add any additional screening procedures.
DHS has already been on alert
On a national level, the Department of Homeland Security has said that it will not add any additional security measures at this time. However, an official from DHS did tell Fox News that the agency has been on a heightened state of alert, especially in foreign airports, since the bombing of the Metrojet plane in Egypt last fall.
Other airports are also making small changes
Other airports have also changed their security stance slightly. Atlanta Hartsfield Jackson, the country’s busiest airport in terms of number of passengers, has said that it is not making any major changes to security as a result of the EgyptAir crash. However, the airport has increased the number of canine patrols and deployed additional “special response” teams, which are heavily armed units who patrol the terminals.
Delta Air Lines, the main tenant at ATL, has said that it is monitoring the situation as well.
Changes could come in the future
Aside from this increased level of vigilance and greater scrutiny of airport employees who have access to secure areas of the terminals, little should change at airports until more is known about what caused the EgyptAir crash. If it was, indeed, a bomb that brought the plane down, the TSA could respond with additional screening procedures, just like it responded to the so-called shoe-bomber by scanning shoes and the underwear bomber by installing full-body scans.
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