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Small Airports Nationwide Implement New Security Training

09/29/2008 -A new training curriculum that helps small airports identify and correct security vulnerabilities is earning praise from aviation experts and is being implemented at airports nationwide,reports the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Through classroom training or online instruction, the new curriculum allows airport officials to scrutinize their property and address issues by building stronger ties with local law enforcement, by correcting physical design flaws and, if necessary, by implementing new security features.

The curriculum is available at three different levels, depending on an airport's security training needs.

While general aviation airports do not house commercial carriers, they still have corporate jets and similar aircraft that could be used in a terrorist attack. In 2002, 15-year-old Charles J. Bishop committed suicide bycrashing a Cessna airplane into the Bank of America Plaza building in Miami. A note he left behind expressed sympathy for Osama Bin Laden and the events of 9-11.

Developed by Brian Dorow, a college professor at Waukesha County Technical College near Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and financed by a $750,000 grant from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in 2005, the curiculum is free-of-charge to small airports interested in carrying it out. Upon request, Waukesha County Technical College will send staff out-of-state to give the training. 

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The program, says the Transportation Security Administration's Michal Morgan, who heads the department's general aviation security division, "will be a valuable asset as the government pushes airport operators to protect their facilities better."

"It's our contribution to the national security plan," said Dorow.