No flights were delayed at the Des Moines Airport because of the shooting at LAX that killed one TSA agent and injured several others. But that doesn’t mean the security team isn’t prepared for a similar situation.
Passengers both leaving and coming to Des Moines say what happened at LAX crossed their minds but didn’t change their plans.
“When I saw the updates coming across my phone about the problem in L.A. I was a little concerned but no problems,” says Pat Gordinier traveling into Des Moines from Maryland.
“My dad was more concerned he called me and made sure we knew, to make sure we got here early in case there were extra security precautions today,” says Mark White from Iowa City.
The Des Moines Airport security team was notified about the situation at LAX but no security measures have changed because of the shooting.
“We believe that we have put a security posture in place from the get-go to do everything we can to protect our public,” says Des Moines Airport Security Manager Jim O’Donnell.
O’Donnell says the team is made up of two parts, unarmed TSA agents and armed Des Moines Police Officers.
O’Donnel says the uniformed officers serve as a good deterrent.
“We have worked with the Des Moines Police Department for a long time to make these officers as visible as they possible can be so the flying public coming in and going out feel a sense of relief that this airport is secure because of the visibility of these police officers,” says O’Donnell.
O’Donnell says what happened at LAX could have happened anywhere but he remains confident in his team and their ability to respond to any type of security situation.
“To have those police officers visible and act as a deterrent so that should someone come in and have an idea that that’s what they’re going to do that they might think twice about it when they see an armed police officer present this airport,” says O’Donnell.