Security concerns are at the center of debate over a $9 billion plan by Los Angeles Mayor James K. Hahn to renovate Los Angeles International Airport. Hahn called LAX “antiquated,” the Los Angeles Times says. The mayor would dramatically rework LAX by building a check-in center about a mile to the east. A group representing the majority of airlines that do business at LAX said the plan “does not appear to enhance security, and makes it harder for Southern Californians to use LAX…”
A Rand Corp. report ound that the mayor’s plan would make passengers and airline workers more vulnerable to car bombings or chemical or biological weapons attacks by consolidating travelers at a facility near the San Diego Freeway. Passengers now check in at one of nine terminals. Another study, by Science Applications International Corp., said Hahn’s plan would disperse people and create “concentric rings” of security, through which passengers would pass on their way to terminals.
Security also would be enhanced at the check-in center itself by plainclothes officers and bomb-sniffing dogs, by facial recognition technology and by futuristic devices that would check passengers for weapons and explosives as they made their way to a people mover.