Puerto Rico airport operator assures security changes won’t affect passengers
SAN JUAN – Agustín Arellano, the chief executive officer of Aerostar Airport Holdings, which operates Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport in San Juan, said Wednesday that a change in the handling of security checkpoints will not affect passenger safety.
“Under no circumstance will we allow security levels to be disrupted, changed, made laxer, or specifically allow the introduction of prohibited materials within airport areas,” Arellano said in a WKAQ 580 radio interview.
He said that, along with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), investments have been made in the purchase of state-of-the-art equipment for the detection of illicit materials. He stressed the collaboration of state and federal security agencies in the process.
A law passed by Congress in 2012 allows certain airports to participate in the program, allowing for companies to run screening operations under federal oversight and must comply with all TSA security screening procedures.
On Tuesday, the TSA notified that Aerostar applied for the Screening Partnership Program (SPP), which contracts security screening services at commercial airports to private companies.
The move could affect 300 of the 350 TSA positions at the international airport.
“Aerostar is not the employer, nor has anything to do with the process. It’s just the application for admission to the program,” Arellano said.
“Right now, we have a group of people who we think are part of the same group of TSA employees who do not agree with our request, but they have every right to demonstrate if they don’t agree,” he added.
Arellano indicated that once approved, the transfer should take effect in 12 months.
According to TSA, the following are SPP airports:
- Atlantic City International Airport
- Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport
- Charles M. Schulz–Sonoma County Airport
- Dawson Community Airport
- Glacier Park International Airport
- Greater Rochester International Airport
- Havre City-County Airport
- Jackson Hole Airport
- Kansas City International Airport
- Key West International Airport
- L. M. Clayton Airport
- Orlando Sanford International Airport
- Portsmouth International Airport
- Punta Gorda Airport
- Roswell International Air Center
- San Francisco International Airport
- Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport
- Sidney-Richland Municipal Airport
- Sioux Falls Regional Airport
- Tupelo Regional Airport
- Wokal Field/Glasgow International Airport
- Yellowstone Airport