FAA calls for security improvements at U.S. airports
The FAA says airports need higher-quality X-ray devices
to detect weapons
January 7, 2000
Web posted at: 10:24 p.m. EST (0324 GMT)
By Correspondent Carl Rochelle
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The Federal Aviation Administration says
U.S. airport security needs improvement, and it has some
The FAA is proposing better-trained, better-paid security
personnel and higher-quality X-ray devices to detect weapons.
The action comes after studies showed screeners at European
airports detected twice as many test objects as U.S.
"We saw," said Irish Flynn of the FAA, "that people who had
longer training, somewhat better pay and benefits, better
ongoing testing by the screening companies had much better
performance in detecting objects than comparable screeners in
the United States."
The average wage for a U.S. airport security screener is
about $5.75 an hour, according to the FAA. Training is poor
and few people stay on very long.
"In the United States we have many locations where the
turnover exceeds 100 percent," Flynn said.
FAA officials also want to begin certifying the security
companies that provide services at U.S. airports.
The X-ray devices proposed by the FAA allow security
personnel to be tested by generating a false image of a gun.
The idea is to see how well baggage screeners are doing their
The FAA is asking for 420 of the new machines at a cost of
$60 million, to begin replacing existing equipment now in