Panel Suggests Some Improvements for Security at Connecticut Airports

HARTFORD, Conn. -- A panel appointed by Gov. M. Jodi Rell concludes that the security at Connecticut airports is good, but there could be some improvements.

The Aviation Task Force was appointed in June to review security at the state's general aviation airports after a 20-year-old Bethel man allegedly stole a plane from Danbury Airport and took it joyriding to Westchester County Airport.

In a report sent to Rell Tuesday, the task force found that the current voluntary security efforts are strong enough and recommended that the state take no additional steps to regulate airport security.

However, it did find that there was some room for improvement of the state's airport security measures.

Topping its list of recommendations was the suggestion that each of the state's 80 airports complete the Transportation Security Administration's self-assessment document, designed to offer general aviation airport owners a set of guidelines to address security.

"It's an excellent document, and it covers all areas," Wayne Sandford, chair of the task force and deputy commissioner of the state Department of Emergency Management and Homeland Security, said.

The panel also suggested that to help police departments become better partners in monitoring general aviation airports in their communities, the Department of Emergency Management and Homeland Security reissue the advisory it sent out in 2003 asking that police gather security information about local airports and submit it to the state agency.

(c) 2005 The Associated Press