Orlando airport to spend $7 million on additional security measures

Published 26 March 2007

Faced with mounting criticism, aviation authorities only need three minutes to approve its biggest security overhaul since 9/11; baggage screening, vehicle inspection, and voice stress analysis under consideration

Business alert: reeling from a series of recent security breaches, including the discovery of a drug smuggling gang among employees and another involving an employee carrying a bag of guns onboard an aircraft, officials at Orlando International Airport took only three minutes last week to approve $7 million in additional security measures. “It needed to be done pronto. We don’t want to read those things in the newspaper anymore,” said Greater Orlando Aviation Authority board member Jeanne Van Meter. According to the Orlando Sentinel, the changes reflect “the most sweeping security changes since the 9-11 terrorist attacks.” The news comes at the same time the Transportation Security Administration announced it would send 160 officials to Florida to conduct security background checks.

The decision presents opportunities for a broad range of companies in the homeland security business. Of the approved $7 million, $5 million will be spent on improved screening of employees and employee vehicles and the addition of new security equipment, including bag scanners and metal detectors. (Sadly, a local company, Lake Mary-based Covenant Aviation Security has already been chosen for vehicle screening duty, but there may be opportunities for vendors.) An additional $1.8 million will be spent on bureaucratic issues that involve hiring workers to do mundane tasks usually performed by the Transportation Security Administration. Most interesting, however, is this suggestion by board member Van Meter, responding to lax pre-employment screening methods: “She said the airport should consider the use of voice stress tests that could help weed out potentially problematic job candidates before they’re hired,” the Sentinel reported.