Sen. Bill Nelson: MIA Security a Model for Other Airports

Senator Bill Nelson was in South Florida Wednesday to showcase Miami International Airport's extra security for airport employees.

The Florida lawmaker is a member of the Senate Commerce Committee which oversees the nation’s airline industry.

"I am gonna use this airport as the model for what the other 448 airports in this country ought to be doing," Sen. Nelson said.

According to Nelson, MIA leads the way for solving a major security problem. The airport became the first in the country to implement more stringent screening of employees after authorities uncovered a drug smuggling ring in 1999.

"They brought all of these employee entrance points down to a handful, just like this one, where they screen them just like we screen the passengers," Nelson said.

A recent incident at Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport has also brought internal screening procedures to the forefront. In December, a baggage handler was arrested on charges related to weapons smuggling on flights.

"Imagine if your airport security is that lax...then we've got a major problem of terrorism potentially," Nelson said.

Airport officials said the increased screening of employees also thwarts the possibility of a misplaced badge being used by someone else.

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