The all new
CBS News App for Android® for iPad® for iPhone®
Fully redesigned. Featuring CBSN, 24/7 live news. Get the App

Despite boosted security, many parts of airport terminals are vulnerable

There was nothing to stop the Fort Lauderdale airport shooter from doing what he did.

Investigators believe the gun used in the baggage claim shooting was checked as luggage -- something the TSA allows but requires the gun to be unloaded and locked in a case. It and ammunition must be disclosed to the airline prior to checking. 

Since Sept. 11, 2001, airports have seen a dramatic increase in security. But many parts of the terminals, like check-in and baggage claim, are outside secured areas and remain vulnerable soft targets. 

airport4.jpg

Many parts of airport terminals, like check-in and baggage claim, are outside secured areas and remain vulnerable soft targets. 

CBS Evening News

Ron Hosko is a former assistant director of the FBI. 

“One of the great challenges of a soft target is, it’s like squeezing a balloon,” Hosko said. “And where I tighten up my security in one place the balloon expands somewhere else and presents itself as another soft target.” 

And he says securing areas like baggage claim in every airport would be a multi-billion dollar investment. 

“We have to put it in that broader perspective. You’re more likely to die in a car accident on your way home than to be in a terrorist strike at a U.S. airport.” 

Immediately after the shooting, airports across the country increased security. That included airports in the New York City area, Miami and Los Angeles. The LAX police chief said they’re going to look at lessons learned from Fort Lauderdale to see what kind of changes they can make in L.A. to make the airport safer. 

CBS News was told that during the shooting, some passengers were told the safest place to be was on their airplane, and they stayed on the planes for hours.