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New TSA Safety Measures Land at XNA

HIGHFILL, AR -- TSA is taking a look at airport security and some new safety recommendations are landing at XNA.
HIGHFILL, AR -- TSA is taking a look at airport security and some new safety recommendations are landing at XNA.

The new security suggestions, released in a Transportation Security Administration report on Wednesday, come after a review of the deadly shooting at Los Angeles International Airport in November 2013.

"We've all learned that, often times the hard way and the painful way, you're better off having prepared for those things," said Scott VanLaningham, Executive Director at Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport.

Airports nationwide are being asked to take new measures to ensure safety and security, everything from holding mandatory active shooter training to routinely testing alert systems and amping up airport police presence during high traffic hours. VanLaningham explained his crews are constantly training.

"There are times, Spring Break being one of them, where we've got a fairly sizable number of people going through the building... We try and have the highest level of staff when you know you're going to have the most people here... We do regular drills where we bring all of the first responders out to the airport. We talk about where you're going to stage certain things."

"Makes you feel a lot more safe about being able to go and take your family, your kids... I think it's a great idea," said XNA traveler, Veronica Welch.

"I fly a lot so I'm always looking for a safer flight. Even if it's an extra 5 to 10 minutes through security, if I know I'm on a safe flight, who wouldn't be happy with that?" said frequent XNA flyer, Tawn Miller.

But VanLaningham said passengers' travel time should not be impacted as police and TSA staff review emergency procedures.

"We just want everybody to know that we take these things seriously. We plan for them and we hope we're ready to respond, God forbid, that you have an emergency."

Since XNA already has emergency plans in place, VanLaningham said they will be looking back at those security steps to make sure they are meeting the new TSA recommendations.

CLICK HERE to read the complete, outlined list of new TSA safety and security suggestions.



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