Local airport security measures get another look after Florida shooting

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Friday’s deadly shooting at the Fort Lauderdale airport has airports all over the country taking another look at their security measures.

“It’s crazy,” said airline passenger Joshua Kenworthy. “You wouldn’t ever imagine that happening in an airport baggage claim area. … I never think twice when coming to pick up my bag. You just think you can grab your bags and off you go to your next destination.

We wanted to know just how safe are the baggage claim areas here in Hawaii.

Tim Sakahara of the state Dept. of Transportation tells us they did beef up the security presence at the Honolulu International Airport in light of the Florida shooting and it was noticeable. We saw several security officers walking in and out of the interisland baggage claim area, although none of them were armed.

I’m told this is standard protocol when an event like this happens.

Sakahara said there are 1,100 Securitas security officers at 11 airports statewide. Those with police powers and do carry weapons number about 350. “There are 400 additional airport security personnel at the airports,” he said. “They make sure people don’t go through a secured area, through an exit … they’re watching a perimeter.”

State Sheriff deputies are also stationed at Hawaii airports We saw one patrolling with a K-9 unit

Previous airport security breaches include one in 2003 when a man fired two shots near the baggage claim area in Kauai. Other incidents include a car crashing into the ticket lobby at Kahului Airport on Maui in 2004 and, in 2005, a vehicle crashing into the baggage claim area at Honolulu’s airport.

We wanted to know if more security will be added to the baggage claim area and will people coming to pick up passengers in baggage claim be screened??

“Any of that could happen,” Sakahara said, “but it’s not necessarily for me to say one way or another.”

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