All Orlando Airport employees who enter secure areas will be screened for at least a few days because of the arrests of baggage handlers accused of smuggling guns aboard a commercial airliner, federal officials said Tuesday.
The TSA also plans to temporarily increase security at three other Florida airports and one in Puerto Rico.
“We are looking at our resources to see if we can keep our officers here longer,” said Transportation Security Administration spokesman Earl Morris.
The agency was criticized last week after law enforcement officials made four arrests in connection with a drug-smuggling ring that bypassed Orlando airport security to send guns and drugs to Puerto Rico. Investigators say two baggage handlers used their employee uniforms and airport identification cards to enter restricted areas and avoid security screeners.
More than 160 security officers, aviation inspectors, federal air marshals and others were being dispatched to international airports in Orlando, Tampa, Miami, Fort Lauderdale and San Juan, Puerto Rico. The officers will be in place for a few days before rotating to other airports.
Orlando airport officials want to make the increased security permanent but declined to comment on the plan.
TSA officials are studying whether federal officers could stay in Orlando while the airport hires the security staff to do the checks.