U.S. Airports React to Downed EgyptAir Flight
- By Sydny Shepard
- May 20, 2016
Spectators from around the world tuned into the news at on Thursday, May 19, as officials told the story of EgyptAir flight MS804. The plane, from Paris to Cairo, never made it to its destination, officials believing it had crashed into the Mediterranean Sea.
While there has not been an official account of what happened aboard flight MS804, security professionals are not ruling anything out yet, including a terrorist attack. This showed evident in the quickly changing security landscape at airports around the United States on Thursday.
From Los Angeles to Charlotte, North Carolina, airport security was beefed up in an effort to stay vigilant while officials overseas determined the cause of the tragic event overseas.
At Los Angeles International Airport there was a noticeable police presence in the central terminal area, as a precautionary effort in the wake of MS804’s disappearance. Travelers at the airport would see extra police patrols near the terminals, and motorists entering the airport at subject to random checks along the roadway. These entrance checks have been implemented before, usually after major terrorist attacks.
Airport officials said there wasn’t any specific threat towards the airport, but the move was a direct result of updated intelligence assessments of the sprawling hub, which straddles Santa Monica Bay and is the country’s busiest airport in terms of final destination for travelers.
In Charlotte, TSA leaders said they were on high alert, as always. TSA K-9s were visible as they sniffed every traveler passing through the security checkpoints. Because of the long lines at TSA checkpoints already, the airport tried not to change the security measures dramatically in an effort to keep traffic moving through the checkpoints.
Some airport security officials believe that the EgyptAir flight could have been downed by a device brought on to the plane by an airline employee. These employees usually do not have to pass through the same kind of security that passengers do, resulting in prohibited items being brought on board. Professionals believe this approach to employee security will soon be changed to strengthen security around the country and the world.
As American travelers are becoming more and more frustrated with the long lines at airports TSA agents are caught between thoroughly checking passengers’ belongs and trying to move people through the lines quickly. The balance between efficiency and customer service as well as security has proven difficult in the wake of the events involving the EgyptAir crash.
Sydny Shepard is the Executive Editor of Campus Security & Life Safety.