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Good News! The $1.6 Billion Poured Into LAX Since 9/11 Has Made It Safer

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LAX is a safer airport than it was on September 11, 2001 thanks to $1.6 billion in improvements, according to a study released today.

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa assembled a panel to review safety and security at LAX, which — as the third-busiest airport in the nation — is viewed as a potential terrorist target. About a year ago, security at airport was getting bad press, according to the Los Angeles Times, so the mayor brought together a panel to review safety and security checks at the airport. This 27-member panel included members with backgrounds in homeland security, law enforcement, academia, anti-terrorism, technology and emergency management. The head of the panel was Lourdes G. Baird, a retired federal judge.

Since 9/11, the airport has beefed up law enforcement staffing, expanded security operations and spent half of a billion dollars for new fences, barriers, security cameras, screening systems and an updated communications center. The report says that $1.6 billion poured into the airport has improved security significantly, but there is room for improvement.

"The report confirms what we know to be true: LAX is safe and is safer today than it was following 9/11," Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said, adding that the airport has already implemented many of the report's recommendations. "We will be taking concrete steps to further enhance security and protect the flying public."

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There were 58 recommendations in the report. Collaborations between law enforcement agencies should be improved. Vetting for people who apply for security badges should be tightened. The security needs of private companies at the airport need to be addressed, and security procedures for cargo operations be reviewed more frequently.