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Congresswoman Maxine Waters

Representing the 43rd District of California

Waters Statement on One Year Anniversary of LAX Shooting

November 26, 2014
Press Release

Waters Statement on One Year Anniversary of LAX Shooting
On the eve of the one-year anniversary of the shooting at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) Congresswoman Maxine Waters (CA-43), who represents the district that includes LAX, released the following statement:


"On this somber anniversary, my thoughts and prayers remain with the LAX shooting victims, their families and loved ones.


Last year's incident at LAX remains a deeply disturbing episode in the airport's history. Further complicating the situation were revelations of security lapses, technical issues, poor communication and an overall substandard emergency response system, which came to light following investigations by Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA), the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), and Congress itself.  These failures were unacceptable, and exposed systemic problems that LAWA is still working to address.


I believe Congress has an obligation to ensure the safety and security of our nation's airports and all of the workers and travelers who pass through them. That is why I am a strong supporter of the Hernandez Airport Security Act, legislation that requires the Department of Homeland Security to verify that airports have working plans to respond to security incidents such as active shooters, acts of terrorism, and the targeting of passenger-screening checkpoints like the one where Officer Hernandez was killed.


Although this measure passed the House of Representatives in July, it has not seen consideration in the United States Senate. I'm disappointed with this inaction and I believe it is vital that this measure be enacted into law, to further protect the workers and other citizens that interact with LAX every day.


LAX is the third busiest airport in the United States and the sixth busiest in the world. It is nothing short of critical that it have a modern, fully functioning emergency response system.


In order to ensure a state-of-the-art emergency response system at LAX and other American airports, the Senate must move immediately to get this measure to the President's desk, so the efforts of LAWA and the TSA are bolstered – and afforded critical federal assistance."


The Hernandez Airport Security Act, H.R. 4802, was introduced in response to the shooting and it aims to ensure that domestic airports are properly prepared and equipped to respond to security incidents and terrorist attacks. The bill would require TSA to report to Congress on the overall level of preparedness at airports nationwide, identify best practices that exist across airports and share them with other airport operators.  Finally, the bill would require TSA report to Congress on the status of active-shooter training for screening personnel, and law enforcement reimbursable agreements that are used to offset the costs of security at the screening checkpoints.