An investigation into the November shooting at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) that resulted in the death of airport security officer Gerardo Hernandez and the injury of three others, has highlighted airport communications issues and the need for enhancement in this and other physical security areas.
It is important that lessons learned from the tragic incident are used to review and improve security operations and make changes to bolster safety at not only LAX, but at airports across the country. Subcommittee chairman Rep. Richard Hudson, R-N.C. said that ‘communications breakdowns are not unique to LAX.’
The panel was told that co-ordination among ‘all relevant agencies’ and technical issues prevented the agencies from communicating directly with one another, taking more than 45 minutes before a cohesive plan could be put into action.
The incident is likely to put pressure upon authorities to implement technology to enhance airport communications and the interoperability of communications to ensure such an incident does not recur. Across the world, airport security issues are being raised, from passenger processing to physical security and perimeter fencing.
With technological advancements, information sharing and communications systems, there is a realisation that the solutions are available, yet action needs to be taken and investments made to ensure utmost security is held paramount in airports across the globe.