A bill recently introduced in the U.S. Senate would increase security outside of Transportation Security Administration (TSA) screened areas.
The Secure Airport Public Spaces Act would allow airports to use Federal Aviation Administration passenger facility charge funds collected on airport infrastructure projects to update their security infrastructure.
The funds would be used to add fencing or barricades, install ballistic protective podiums and active shooter location technology, and store rifles. Eligible areas of an airport include baggage claims and pick up and drop off areas.
Airports would also be able to use Airport Improvement Program funds for the purchase of state of the art surveillance cameras in public areas.
Sens. Cory Gardner (R-CO) and Gary Peters (D-MI) sponsored the bill.
“Millions of Americans travel through our nation’s airports every day, and we need to protect travelers and visitors from potential security threats in every part of the airport,” Peters said. “In recent years, we’ve seen a rising number of attacks that take place outside of TSA-screened areas. This bipartisan, commonsense legislation will give airports flexibility to address security vulnerabilities in public areas and safeguard passengers, visitors, and staff.”
The bill has the support of several organizations including Airports Council International and the Security Industry Association.