The Transportation Security Administration has completed the staffing of Logan International Airport's 14 passenger security checkpoints almost two weeks before a Congressionally-mandated deadline. In total, more than 950 federal employees were hired over a period of less than five months to meet the federal law which set a deadline of November 19th, 2002. The law requires the TSA to replace private company employees at checkpoints at all of the nation's airports.
"I applaud the Transportation Security Administration's decision to deploy more than 950 federal security personnel to Logan in time for the November 19th deadline and commend Massport workers for the dedication they have shown towards securing Logan and making it the safest airport in the country," said U.S. Senator John Kerry.
"Congratulations to Massport and the Transportation Security Administration for meeting the deadline requiring federal employees at all security checkpoints. This is an important milestone in efforts to enhance security at Logan Airport," stated Congressman Mike Capuano.
"Having good security means hiring the most qualified people and providing them with top-notch training," said Mayor Thomas M. Menino. "That's why I support the TSA conversion being carried out at airports across the country, including Boston's Logan Airport. I want to congratulate all of the Massport officials who worked so hard to get this transition done in a timely manner. And I thank them for providing passengers not only with protection, but peace of mind."
"Our partners in the federal government have accomplished an important and difficult task by hiring and training almost 1,000 motivated employees dedicated to the safety and security of each one of our passengers," said Massport CEO Craig P. Coy. "Together with Massport's nationally-recognized security efforts, the TSA is helping to make Logan a model for the country. My hat goes off to the TSA and Federal Security Director George Naccara."
Previous to the passage of the Aviation and Transportation Security Act, signed by President George W. Bush on November 19th, 2001, the checkpoints were operated by private security companies hired by the airlines and overseen by the Federal Aviation Administration. Following the terrorists attacks of September 11th, 2001 U.S. Senator John Kerry was a key proponent of federalizing the checkpoints and was instrumental in the passage of this historic legislation.
On September 26th, 2001, Massport became the first airport authority in the nation to call for the federalization of checkpoint screeners. Since then, Massport has pioneered the use of several technologies and procedures to enhance airport security including the implementation of advanced document scanning devices, arming State Police troopers with handheld computers for background checks and developing a behavior pattern recognition program to spot potential terrorists.
The TSA officially took responsibility for airport checkpoints nationally on February 17th, 2002. The TSA federal security director for Logan, Hanscom Field and Worcester Regional Airport, former Coast Guard Admiral George Naccara, was hired on June 3rd, 2002. Moving forward, the TSA still needs close to 400 additional employees to conduct baggage screening at Logan by December 31st, 2002.