Should security checks happen sooner at airports?
NEW ORLEANS -- For the most part, air passengers are screened after entering the terminal buildings, leaving much of the airport outside the security perimeter exposed to a potential attack.
After attacks at the airport in Brussels Tuesday, passengers are starting to wonder if there should be more security measures taken.
One frequent flyer at Armstrong International in New Orleans said it may be time to rethink where passengers are checked.
"Kind of the first thing that comes to mind is just how protected are we just outside of the security gates here," Chris Wrobleski said. "Coming in through arrivals or departures. That has kind of been resonating in my mind because I travel almost every week."
University of New Orleans Political Science Professor Michael Huelshoff said security is growing at airports in response to the most recent ISIS attacks.
"There may be some consideration of even more layers of securities at airports, so that maybe we're stopping people and we're checking them, well before they actually get in the building," Huelshoff said. "It's a real natural target there, when you have a lot of people in a fairly open area, where the damage from a bomb or attack using automatic weapons can be quite significant."
A spokesman for the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office which provides security at Armstrong International could not give specifics, but revealed deputies now have heightened security awareness at the airport.
New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu urged citizens to remain vigilant and to keep the people of Belgium in their prayers.
"Just another awful example of ISIS's footprint around the world," Landrieu said. "It's something everybody takes very seriously. As the people of New Orleans know, we prepare for these kinds of things. We have major events like the Jazz Fest, we have the French Quarter Fest, we have Mardi Gras and we have the major sports events that we have, so this is something that we train for all the time."
Back at the airport, Dr. Huelshoff said despite the terror attacks in Belgium and France, he's not worried about traveling to Europe this summer.
"This could happen anywhere," he said. "Maybe the probability is somewhat, a tiny bit larger in Europe, but you're much more likely to go Europe and have a great time."
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security released a statement about stepped up security measure.
It read in part, "TSA is deploying additional security to major city airports in the United States, and at various rail and transit stations around the country. TSA is also working closely with state and local law enforcement, airport and transit authorities, and the aviation industry in order to augment that security. "