Security has evolved at Southwest Florida International Airport

Security has evolved at Southwest Florida International Airport

10:09 PM, Sep. 17, 2012 | Written by Robert S. Cohen

Sept. 17 marked the 10th year since the Transportation Security Administration assumed responsibility for aviation screening operations at Southwest Florida International Airport, one year and six days after the terrorist attacks of 9/11. Then, as now, the dedicated men and women of TSA in Southwest Florida are committed to providing both world class security and world class customer service to the traveling public.

We have conducted dozens of joint operations in coordination with federal, state and local law enforcement partners. TSA provides assets such as explosives detection canines, federal air marshals, transportation security officers and behavior detection officers at locations including Southwest Florida International Airport, Punta Gorda Airport, the Southwest Florida International Air Show, Key West Express, Greyhound and LeeTran. These operations have provided an additional layer of security to these transportation venues as well as strengthened interagency cooperation and operational capability.

Since 2002, TSA has continued to evolve, adding layers of security such as our behavior detection officers. Earlier this year, both Southwest Florida International Airport and Punta Gorda Airport received the latest advanced imaging technology, enhancing our capability by detecting metallic and non-metallic threats concealed on the body while protecting passenger privacy.
This year, Southwest Florida International Airport hosted the first TSA General Aviation Security Summit. Our local office of regulatory compliance, transportation security inspectors, TSA headquarters representatives and our law enforcement partners from the Fort Myers Homeland Security Investigations Office and the Federal Bureau of Investigation provided information and recommendations to general aviation airport operators and flight training providers from four neighboring counties.

The depth of expertise in our organization is impressive. Our work force includes a cross-section of our community. The officers wearing the TSA uniform include retired military and law enforcement, business leaders and working mothers, to name a few. One of our transportation security explosives experts recently returned to duty after a tour in Afghanistan as an explosives ordnance technician.

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