© 2024 All Rights reserved WUSF
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Airport Safety 'ALERT' Bill Filed In Congress After Fort Lauderdale Shooting Anniversary

 

Saturday Jan. 6 marked one year since five people were shot and killed by a gunman inside Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL).

South Florida Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz filed an airport safety bill in Congress Monday to mark the anniversary. It’s been co-sponsored by U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch. Late Monday afternoon Rep. Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart also signed on as a co-sponsor. 

 

Broward County's recently-elected mayor, Beam Furr, stands beside Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz at the announcement of the Airport Alert Bill. He supports the bill's increased security measures for FLL.
Credit Caitie Switalski / WLRN
/
WLRN
Broward County's recently-elected mayor, Beam Furr, stands beside Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz at the announcement of the Airport Alert Bill. He supports the bill's increased security measures for FLL.

It’s named the Airport Advanced Logistics Emergency Response and Training bill. Or, the Airport ALERT bill for short. It aims to increase emergency preparedness trainings and change communication procedures at the nation’s highest security airports, called ‘Category X’ airports. 

FLL is one of these 28 high-security airports, along with Miami International. 

“In our many discussions that we’ve had in the past year, we learned that the problems we experienced post-shooting at FLL are prevalent at other ‘Category X’ airports,” Wasserman Schultz said. 

 

At the bill's announcement, Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel was reflective.  

“I was so proud to be the sheriff of the county that day, that fateful day. We learned a few things,” Israel said. 

Those things that Israel said the Sheriff’s Office learned included focusing on better communication in future emergency situations. 

FLL’s  director, Mark Gale, said the past year has been one of teamwork among county agencies.

“We have not sat idly,” he said. “We’ve been working behind the scenes, together as a team, as a community to try to continue to make our airport that much safer.”  

If the bill does pass in Congress, these ‘Category X’ airports will all have to integrate their operations centers for even higher security and communication measures. 

This story has been updated.

Copyright 2020 WLRN 91.3 FM. To see more, visit .

Mark Gale, the FLL airport director, stood with members from the airport workers union, and Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel at the bill announcement.
Caitie Switalski / WLRN
/
WLRN
Mark Gale, the FLL airport director, stood with members from the airport workers union, and Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel at the bill announcement.

Caitie Switalski is a rising senior at the University of Florida. She's worked for WFSU-FM in Tallahassee as an intern and reporter. When she's in Gainesville for school, Caitie is an anchor and producer for local Morning Edition content at WUFT-FM, as well as a digital editor for the station's website. Her favorite stories are politically driven, about how politicians, laws and policies effect local communities. Once she graduates with a dual degree in Journalism and English,Caitiehopes to make a career continuing to report and produce for NPR stations in the sunshine state. When she's not following what's happening with changing laws, you can catchCaitielounging in local coffee shops, at the beach, or watching Love Actually for the hundredth time.