Los Angeles city and airport officials have sought the expertise of security officials at Ben-Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv, Israel to help enhance security measures at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa visited Israel earlier this month to oversee an agreement between Los Angeles World Airports, the city agency that operates LAX, and Ben-Gurion International Airport to enhance LAX security plans to reduce the threat of an attack.
“Israel’s Ben-Gurion Airport is widely considered to be the worldwide leader in airport security,” said Villaraigosa. “The expertise and experience of Israeli airport officials will provide an invaluable benefit to all Angelenos and our visitors by improving the safety and security of one of the nation’s largest and most-traveled airports.”
During his visit, Villaraigosa received a detailed tour of Ben-Gurion Airport by Israeli Airport
security director Nahum Liss. Los Angeles World Airports executive director Gina Marie Lindsey and Ben-Gurion Airport managing director Zeev Sarig then signed a Letter of Agreement, which provides for a peer review analysis of LAX security plans by Israeli airport security experts.
The peer review will take place at LAX in the fall and will
include a detailed analysis of current procedures, along with
recommendations to enhance the plans and reduce the threat of a
City Council members Wendy Greuel, Jack Weiss and Dennis Zine also witnessed the agreement, along with Board of Airport Commissioners president Alan Rothenberg and several other members of the Los Angeles delegation.
Operated by the Israel Airport Authority, Ben Gurion served over ten million passengers last year, making it the largest and busiest international airport in Israel. Located nine miles southeast of Tel Aviv, the airport is the hub of El Al, Israir Airlines, Arkia Israel Airlines and Sun d’ Or International Airlines.
Protected by a security force that includes both police officers and soldiers, Ben Gurion Airport is considered one of the world’s most secure airports, city officials said. Airport security guards operate both in uniform and undercover to maintain a high level of vigilance to detect any possible threats.
The airport has been the target of several terrorist attacks, but no attempt to hijack a plane departing from Ben Gurion airport has been successful, officials note.