Hartsfield-Jackson Making Changes To Employee Security

Officials at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport have plans to beef up security for tens of thousands of employees, just months after a gun-smuggling case showed weaknesses in the system.As heard on the radio

First, Hartsfield-Jackson officials plan to reprogram all employee security badges to further restrict their access to only certain parts of the airport.

Eventually, airport officials want to screen nearly every employee as they come onto airport property and cut the number of access points to secure locations by as much as 80 percent. Exemptions will be made for first responders, emergency persons and some pre-approved flight personnel.

“Just with the sheer number of access portals reducing, it will be easier for our security personnel, TSA and others to ensure a safer environment,” airport spokesperson Reese McCraine says.

The move comes after two men with ties to Delta Airlines were arrested on charges they’d been smuggling guns through the airport to New York.

Some employees do get screened every day. Others, like those hired by the airlines or mechanics, don’t go through daily security checks.

The airport does do random inspections on its 63,000 employees, but McCraine says to screen every employee every day will require more people, infrastructure and equipment.

Airport officials are still trying to determine a price tag and funding plans for the proposed upgrades, but McCraine says the cost “won’t be insignificant.”