Tuesday, January 24, 2017
Palm Springs airport wants to beef up security
By Skip Descant
The Palm Springs (CA) Desert Sun
Palm Springs International Airport aims to beef-up security as a precautionary move following a shooting earlier this month at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport which claimed five lives.
“The world we live in is changing, and we see all of these attacks occurring,” Palm Springs City Manager David Ready told the Palm Springs Airport Commission last week, as he and Police Chief Bryan Reyes presented their plan to add four additional police officers to ensure security on the non-secure side of the airport such as ticketing or baggage claim.
Esteban Santiago is accused of killing five people and injuring six at the Fort Lauderdale airport Jan. 6 after opening fire in the baggage claim area. Officials in Broward County, Florida have been criticized for cutting airport security staffing.
The plan to add four additional officers to the security details at PSP was approved unanimously by the Palm Springs Airport Commission. The proposal now heads to the City Council for final passage. The cost of adding additional officers is estimated at $600,000 annually, and would ultimately be paid via increased passenger fees, say officials.
“The long and short of it, it’s an important issue, but it’s also a big commitment,” said Ready.
“So these dollars would be recouped as part of the fees that the airlines pay,” he explained. “It’s part of their operational agreement.”
The airport now has about six officers who patrol the area, and spends about $1.5 million on security which officials stress has been an adequate force.
“I think we’re doing the responsible thing, take a step, like most airports are, and confronting the challenge for airports,” said Tom Nolan, director of Palm Springs International
“Nobody should imply that there is any imminent threat to PSP airport,” he went on. “That is not what we’re discussing today.”