Just five months after a gunman killed five people at the Ft. Lauderdale airport's baggage claim, a new report says communication and collaboration are the keys to enhancing safety before travelers step through security.
The report, issued by the Public Area Security Summit, made up of stakeholders from law enforcement, government agencies, and the airline industry, is the result of a series of meetings hosted by the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security in the wake of last year's deadly terrorist attacks within airports in Brussels and Istanbul.
"We're dealing with a public area of an airport. It doesn't matter where you move the perimeter to, there's always going to be an outside of a perimeter," said Stephen Alterman, a participant in the Summit and president of the Cargo Airline Association.
The Summit called for expanding threat awareness education like the "If you see something, say something" campaign, conducting workforce training, investing in construction designs with an eye towards facilitating security, and establishing "airport operation centers" where law enforcement, airport and airline officials can quickly gather to monitor security situations.
"There's got to be a central location to share threat information, so hopefully it's preventative, but certainly it's reactive, too," Alterman said.
Notably, the report did not recommend more checkpoints, barriers, or security agents for the public areas.
"The airport is already a stressful place to go to. The last thing the airports want, the last thing TSA wants is more stress at an airport," said Alterman.
The framework is not mandatory, and the report provided no timeline for when its reforms should be implemented. But the Summit is already working with some airports to put its recommendations into practice.