Orlando officials share flying concerns with TSA

Christine Show | Sentinel Staff Writer
April 8, 2008

Orlando leaders shared several concerns with the Transportation Security Administration on Monday, nearly a week after a man was accused of bringing bomb parts in his luggage to Orlando International Airport.

City commissioners said they want better customer service, more details about banned liquids, foot covers at security spots and closer screenings at flight schools.

City officials said they called the special workshop with TSA in an effort to gain a better understanding of TSA procedures. The timing was fortunate, after last week's incident in which Kevin Christopher Brown is accused of checking luggage with bomb parts when he arrived at OIA for a flight to Jamaica.

Commissioner Phil Diamond said many customers do not have a clear understanding of which liquids they can carry on, causing them to leave some belongings behind or throw them away.

Diamond said he thinks TSA should revisit its policy and maybe allow larger containers. He also said some liquids should be dropped from the list.

"It's something that impacts a lot of people," he said.

Commissioner Daisy Lynum agreed with Diamond before noting her own TSA troubles. Lynum said officials lack good customer service and often act in an unprofessional manner. She also said foot covers are needed at security points for people with foot problems.

Lee Kair, TSA's federal security director at OIA, said customers should fill out cards to inform officials of those types of problems. Lynum said she hasn't seen those cards available at the airport.

Commissioner Patty Sheehan said the bigger picture of security is needed for customers. She said there should be more public awareness of who flies the planes and who studies at flight schools.

In addition to commissioner questions, TSA explained its 20 layers of security and how new passenger lines will speed up the increasingly congested airport.

Christine Show can be reached at 407-420-5735 or [email protected]

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