airport security

Lily Oppenheimer / WLRN

Carrying coladas, purse-sized puppies and mountains of luggage, passengers at the terminal of Miami International Airport rushed on Wednesday to board departing flights, going about their usual routines. Many ignored the members of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association, also known as NATCA, standing in the middle of the chaos, passing out flyers.

The use of facial scanning is becoming commonplace — maybe you've heard of the new iPhone? It's also coming to an airport near you.

At Orlando International Airport, Britain-bound passengers — some wearing Mickey Mouse T-shirts and other Disney paraphernalia — lined up at Gate 80 recently for the evening British Airways flight to London's Gatwick Airport. It looks like any other airport departure area, except for the two small gates with what look like small boxes on posts next to them. Those boxes are actually cameras.

people running on airport tarmac
David Santiago / Miami Herald

Saturday marks the one-year anniversary of a gunman opening fire inside the baggage claim area at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, or FLL. 

A passenger tried to bring a gun and ammunition in a carry-on bag at Orlando International Airport causing a long back-up at checkpoints during the Christmas holiday rush.

Starting Thursday, passengers on international flights to the U.S. will face heightened security checks of their luggage and new screening interviews or questionnaires.

The Trump administration is imposing the stricter security measures on travelers — including Americans — from all countries, on all U.S.-bound flights. But the exact set of procedures varies by airline, and some have received permission to temporarily delay implementation of the new rules, The Associated Press reports.

As a result, "confusion still remains about the new regulations," the AP writes.

Adrianne Gonzalez / WLRN News

Local safety and government officials met  Wednesday for the third roundtable on airport security and policy hosted by Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz at her district office in Sunrise.  

Participants spent two hours discussing the weak links in airport security put in evidence by recent reports on the Jan. 6 shooting at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, and what can be done to rectify them.

MADELINE FOX / WLRN NEWS

Last January, gunman Esteban Santiago allegedly killed five and injured six at Fort Lauderdale International Airport. Even though it only took Broward Sheriff's deputies 90 seconds to detain Santiago, for the next 12 hours the airport was a scene of chaos, with false reports of gunshots, passengers stranded and authorities struggling to manage the crisis. 

As the Trump administration considers steps to implement what the president has called extreme vetting of foreigners at the border, one aspect of security screening has already been amped up.

The number of people who have been asked to hand over their cellphones and passwords by Customs and Border Protection agents has increased nearly threefold in recent years. This is happening to American citizens as well as foreign visitors.

Kate Stein / WLRN

South Florida law enforcement and transportation officials met Friday with airline representatives and officials from the FBI and the Transportation Security Administration to continue analyzing the shooting at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport in January.

Five people were killed and six injured when a gunman opened fire in Terminal 2. Dozens more were hurt as they fled in panic from a supposed second shooter. There was only one gunman in the incident.

Updated at 2:55 p.m. ET

Airline passengers coming to the U.S. and Britain on direct flights from a number of majority-Muslim nations must now place most electronic devices, including laptops, tablets and cameras, in checked baggage under stepped-up security measures, the Trump administration and the British government said.

Passengers can still carry smartphones into the plane's cabin, but nothing larger, officials from the two countries added.

Peter Haden / WLRN

When Esteban Santiago killed five people in the Terminal 2 baggage claim of Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, he revealed a vulnerable area. The baggage claim is outside airport security and  people coming off flights or into the airport can move freely.

With this in mind, airport security consultant Leticia Monteagudo says travelers should get to the security screening quickly, spending as little time as possible outside secured areas.