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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
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.

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

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