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DOT responds to LAX shooting

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The Transportation Department said Monday it would consider enlarging the security perimeter at airports, following last week's shooting that killed two people and the gunman at Los Angeles International Airport.

The Transportation Department was responding to a call over the weekend by Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Alabama, to enlarge the security perimeter at the nation's airports to include public areas.

DOT spokesman Leonardo Alcivar told CNN, "We'll look at it. I'm not going to rule anything out."

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The shootings Thursday at LAX Airport took place in a public area -- in front of the El Al ticket counter.

Alcivar said the Transportation Department would have to look at a "myriad of logistical and security concerns" before expanding security to include such areas. It would entail a total reconfiguration of security at airports.

The Transportation Department reacted to the Los Angeles airport shootings by contacting all airport federal security directors and telling them "to keep their eyes open," Alcivar said.

Each of the 429 commercial airports in the United States is in the process of naming a federal security director.

A nationwide communications network was activated so transportation officials would know in "real time" what was happening, Alcivar said.

And transportation officials coordinated with law enforcement and air marshals to make sure they were fully deployed at airports around the country.

The Transportation Security Administration -- which is part of the Transportation Department -- is in charge of airport security.

It had been focusing almost exclusively on passenger screening checkpoints and baggage screening until last Thursday. Congress has mandated that by December 31 all checked bags must be screened.




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