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Wednesday, July 6th, 2022

Rice calls for hearing to investigate airport preparedness and response measures

Kathleen Rice

U.S. Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-NY) called for a hearing on Wednesday to investigate emergency preparedness and response procedures at multiple American airports in the wake of incidents in New York and Los Angeles.

Rice’s call to action follows an Aug. 14 incident at John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) in New York where an active shooter situation was reported, which later proved to be incorrect. The incident caused mass confusion inside the airport, both for passengers and first responders. Following that night, various accounts indicated that not all airport employees received proper training on how to respond to active shooter incidents.

A similar incident occurred at the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) on Aug. 28 when many frightened passengers ran onto the street in a panic after incorrect reports of an active shooter.

“The recent incidents at JFK and LAX have made it clear that our airports are not fully prepared to respond to active shooter situations, which are increasingly becoming terrorists’ preferred method of attack,” Rice said. “Given the threats we face right now, we need to expect and prepare for these kinds of emergencies. If there are reports of an active shooter, airport workers should know immediately how to respond and what procedures to follow. That clearly wasn’t the case in these two incidents, so we need to find out why, and we need to ensure that every airport in this country has a comprehensive emergency response plan in place and that all airport employees get the training they need to execute that plan if and when the time comes.”