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Impact on Today's Shooting at Los Angeles International Airport

by Lux Joseph 1. November 2013

Almost every individual that has traveled before will probably tell you that there is stress involved. Whether it is the beginning stages of planning a trip, packing, or the actual day of travel; stress finds its way to be part of the process. However, today’s recent events at Tom Bradley Los Angeles International Airport bring a level of stress and anxiety that no passenger wishes to face. An individual opened fire today in Terminal 3 at Los Angeles Airport. At this time the suspect is in custody, but what does this mean for the travel industry and how does it impact the safety system in place at airports around the world.

The motive behind the suspect is unknown at this time, but based on statements from travelers and the beginning stages of the investigation, TSA may a key reason.  A 23 year old, now identified as Paul Anthony Ciancia of Los Angeles is responsible for this elevated level of fear and anxiety, injured lives of innocent people, and the death of one TSA employee. The suspect was found with a note on him stating his disappointment in the government and that he had not intentions to harm innocent individuals. Whenever you travel, there are always travelers complaining about the security process, TSA’s procedures and policies, and the tedious requests that are made of travelers by TSA. Many people forget the reason that TSA was established and the purpose it serves our country.

TSA was developed shortly after the 911 attacks in 2001 and has played a role ever since to improve the safely of American transportation. Over the years the security of traveling within the USA has changed in efforts to create a safer place to travel to/from. TSA secures the nation’s airports and screens all commercial airline passengers and baggage. The Los Angeles Times recently reported that authorities stated the gunman would approach individuals in the terminal with the rifle pointing at them and ask if they were TSA. If they said no, he would move on without pulling the trigger. Once he reached the security checkpoint, it was open fire in which three TSA employees were shot and several more injured. As of right now there is one confirmed death. This particular individual was considered to be a behavior-detection officer. They are the ones that are looking for odd or unusual behavior among travelers to help identify terrorists. This one TSA officer "It's with a very, very sad heart that I inform you that one of our own has lost his life today," said David Cox, president of American Federation of Government Employees. "To our knowledge, he was the first (TSA officer) to die in the line of duty."

As this news was announced, CME identified its current transports and upcoming transports to determine if and how it would affect our patients we are bringing home safely. At the time we had one transport arriving into Los Angeles within 48 hours and another one connecting through. Although the incident wasn’t affecting our current or upcoming trips, it certainly affected many other travelers. Reports noted the following affected flight data:

• Over 118 flights en route to LAX were canceled or rerouted
• 135 flights scheduled to depart from LAX were canceled
• 127 flights were delayed at least fifteen minutes

The impact that a ten minute event can cause is shocking. Although the shooting only lasted approximately ten minutes, the effects on individuals will last for days. Even several hours later, people were still coming out from places in which they hid.

Ever since 2001, there has been a fear in flying for all passengers. Even before 2001, most people believed the risks of something happening when traveling by air was more likely than any other type of transportation. Incidents like the one that occurred today will once again give TSA and United States Government an opportunity to look at the safety processes in place and see how we can improve them in the future.  

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