Villaraigosa, Expert Panel To Review LAX Security

LOS ANGELES (CBS) — Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa will convene a panel of aviation, homeland security and law enforcement experts to determine whether Los Angeles International Airport is prone to terrorist attacks, officials said Thursday.

Before the end of the year, the independent panel will examine whether the airport’s perimeter, terminals and roadway entrances are adequately protected, according to Michael Molina, the airport’s deputy executive director of external affairs.

The team also will review how airport police officers are assigned and the overall command and control of the department, Molina said.

Summit Announced In Wake Of LAX Emergency Exit Violations: KNX 1070’s Charles Feldman Reports

The review panel’s composition is expected to be announced within the next two weeks.

Members of the panel likely will include advisers from Israel’s Ben Gurion International Airport, who have already visited LAX, Molina told the City Council’s Trade, Commerce and Tourism Committee.

“I thought it was time to possibly lay to rest some of these allegations and have a timely review and audit of our practices by an outside authority,” Councilwoman Janice Hahn, who chairs the committee, was quoted by the Daily Breeze.

“I hope we don’t go into this with any kind of political agendas,” Hahn said. “This is really about the safety and security of the airport.”

The study was ordered after the head of the Los Angeles Airport Peace Officers Association alleged in July that LAX was “more vulnerable to terrorist attack than at any time since 9-11” due to budget and staffing cuts to the airport police department.

(©2010 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

  • Hayden

    I think the disgusting carpets, restrooms, and terminals themseles are a hazard to travelers. Everything at LAX is so nasty and is a disgrace to the region. It makes us look bad to tourists coming to our city, the lines for security are a nightmare, traffic is also a nightmare, and waiting for your bag is sometimes a one hour ordeal. It is time to make so major improvements on LAX or the local economy is going to have problems due to business going elsewhere bacause of our outdated airport.

    • Hayden

      Plus a major overhaul of LAX’s terminals could allow for more security and efficiency. It doesn’t take a genius to see that LAX is underprotected and dilapetated. It isn’t rocket science. Why does the Mayor waist our city’s money to make an expert panel? It isn’t rocket science Mr. Mayor, it is called using your brain and common sense. You should try it some time.

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