Rep. Maxine Waters (DWestchester) is requesting a meeting with officials at Los Angeles International Airport to determine if the airport’s current passenger screening procedures can detect passengers who could be carrying the Ebola virus.
“[T]here is growing concern in the community about the threat that Ebola poses to public health. Organizations representing diverse constituencies such as airport police officers, flight attendants and nurses have contacted my office to express their concerns,” the congresswoman wrote in an Oct. 19 letter to LAX Executive Director Gina Marie Lindsey. “Given the potential for the spread of Ebola through air travel, it is critical that officials in the community surrounding LAX understand the procedures that are being followed at LAX to protect passengers, employees, and the community.”
Waters, who represents the area that includes LAX, is asking to meet with Lindsey as well as representatives from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. U.S. Customs and Border Protection has been the agency responsible for any Ebola-related measures, explained Amanda Parsons, a LAX spokeswoman.
“All passenger screening is conducted by [the Transportation Security Administration] and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection. TSA conducts the screening prior to taking flight, taking images of bags and controlling passenger pat downs, and CBP conducts screening of international passengers landing in the U.S.,” Parsons said.
Waters said she also plans to invite the mayors of the cities surrounding LAX.