Bill aims to tighten up airport security

Posted at 9:10 PM, Dec 09, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-09 21:10:19-05

A bill filed in the Senate is trying to prevent the insider threat at airports across the country. 

For pilots and crew members, screening at U.S. airports is done randomly. 

"I've been doing this job for 25 years and since 9/11 they've been doing extra screenings. I've done it twice," said Scott Spaulding, a pilot for a commercial airline company. 

Crew members like Captain Spaulding have a little more leeway with that they can bring on board, but like every commercial pilot in the country Spaulding has been through the vetting process, background checks and all. What is alarming to him is that not all employees have.

"A lot of the ramp personnel they don't get screened, they just go behind the counter and they have access to the ramp, they have access to the bags, they have access to everything," said Spaulding. 

The Airport Security Enhancement and Oversight Act filed by Senator Bill Nelson is now making its way through the Senate. It aims to increase screening for airport employees and give the Transportation Security Administration agents more access to terrorism-related databases and real time criminal records checks through the FBI. 

"People are scared. People want to know that everything onboard the aircraft and every person that has anything to do with that aircraft  is being screened cause that's where the threat is," added Spaulding. 

Spaulding works out of JFK, one of the busiest airports in the country and there is not a day that he doesn't think about 9/11. 

"It's the things that they [passengers] don't see, and the things we don't see. I don't see the cargo going in my airplane. I don't see the bags going in my airplane and that is a concern," said Spaulding. 

He is all for strengthening security, even if it means employees will have to take a few more minutes at a checkpoint. He says if this bill would tighten security, he doesn't think it would impact flight schedules. Employees would have to factor in screening time ahead of getting into work. 

The TSA would not comment on the current bill in the Senate.