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Katko: Brussels attacks expose airport security flaws

Ellen Abbott
WRVO News File Photo
Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus)

Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus) says Tuesday's attacks in Brussels exposes security gaps at airports worldwide, and he says it’s an issue he’s been working on a while.
As chair of the House of Representative's Homeland Security Committee’s Foreign Fighter Task Force, Katko has been immersed in the issue of airport security in relation to terrorism for most of his first term in office. And he’s seen the gaps.

“The common threat through the vulnerabilities to all our airports, both internationally and domestically is the non-secure area of the airport," said Katko. "People walk in, there are large masses of people waiting for tickets, waiting to go through security, and that’s where the bombings took place.”

Katko says when task force members were in Europe last year, officials admitted that terrorist attacks were possible because of security lapses. Katko says the deadly bomb blast at a departure terminal in the Brussels airport should be a reminder of of the heightened terrorist threats that exploit airport security vulnerabilities.  

Katko's task force continues to try to push through legislation meant to make airports safer, noting one law that passed congress does that, by requiring active shooter and terrorist training on a regular basis at all airports nationwide.

Ellen produces news reports and features related to events that occur in the greater Syracuse area and throughout Onondaga County. Her reports are heard regularly in regional updates in Morning Edition and All Things Considered.