Rand Gets Consulting Contract To Advise On L.A. Airport Security

The Los Angeles Board of Airport Commissioners recently awarded the non- profit research Rand Corp. a nine-month, $900,000 contract to develop an implementations strategy for security measures for Los Angeles International (LAX) and Ontario International (ONT) Airports.

The contract follows a study Rand did for the board last year that developed a series of recommendations for improving security at the airports, some of which are currently being implemented. The project is also expected to establish a foundation for the long-term by providing a comprehensive assessment and security criteria for airport facility planning.

Rand will also develop a comprehensive security technology roadmap to address state-of-the art technology associated with processing passengers, luggage, cargo, vehicles, perimeter roads and other applications. These technologies include explosives detection systems (EDS), automobile bomb detection and cargo screening.

One of the key recommendations from last year's study was to reduce people congestion in the non-secure parts of LAX, such as in the airport ticket lobbies, where 40 percent of the space is taken up by EDS systems, and at curbside outside the airport's terminals, where a lot of passengers are near their cars and are waiting to check bags and possibly be screened themselves.

The people congestion concerns stem from the potential for a terrorist bombing incident.

LAX has already begun to reduce certain congested areas by increasing the number of passenger screening lanes at some terminals and will begin construction soon to accommodate in-line EDS for checked-baggage screening.

LAX is the busiest airport in the world for point of origin and point of final destination passenger traffic. The airport has over 60 EDS systems now in its lobby spaces.

Other recommendations in the Rand study includes improved fencing, which LAX already had begun, and perimeter lighting, and the creation of a vehicular checkpoint on a main roadway leading into the airport. However, the roads leading into LAX extend into the Los Angeles business district, which makes this recommendation t difficult to implement without congesting traffic. The new Rand study will look for ways to implement the earlier recommendation, and airport spokeswoman said.

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