Tighter security measures in store | VailDaily.com

Tighter security measures in store

Veronica Whitney

The changes, resulting from an overhaul of screening checkpoints within the terminal overseen by the Transportation Security Administration, are a requirement to comply with a congressional mandate after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

The Aviation and Transportation Security Act mandates the Transportation Security Administration deploys federal passenger screeners to all commercial airports by Nov. 19, and that the administration screens all checked luggage for explosives by Dec. 31.

“The key is to make it more efficient,” says airport manager Eddie Storer. “There’s going to be newer and faster equipment.”

Based on interviews with airport and airline staff in a review of the airport’s needs, the administration has proposed to:

– Rotate the security checkpoints to an angled position.

– Replace two X-ray machines and add a new one.

– Add two explosive trace detection devices.

– Remove the partition that currently separates the checkpoints.

– Extend the wall between the passenger exit lanes from the security checkpoints.

– Add two wanding stations.

– Add a law enforcement podium.

– Add a private screening booth.

A larger workforce will be able to screen an average of 600 to 660 passenger per hour. The Transportation Security Administration, which now has federal screeners in 142 Airports, expects to have 59 screeners working at the Eagle County airport, which currently has 16 screeners throughout the year and 25 in high season, Storer said. All screeners will have to go through a total of 105 hours of training, a combination of classroom and hands-on training.

The screeners and their training will be paid for by Transportation Security Administration, Storer said.

“Having more screeners means they don’t have to stand such long shifts,” Storer said.

A partnership between the administration and Eagle County will fund all construction costs, and the administration will pay for equipment, installation and maintenance.

Construction should start by Oct. 14 and must be completed by Oct. 31

To apply to be a screener call 1-877-631-JOBS (5627)

Veronica Whitney can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 454, or at vwhitney@vaildaily.com.

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