- Associated Press - Thursday, February 16, 2017

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - With increased travel, the Bismarck airport will need to meet new Transportation Security Administration security guidelines or it risks losing federal aid.

Manager Greg Haug said the Bismarck Municipal Airport is moving to a new security classification because of the increasing number of passengers. The TSA said a private security firm hired by the city-owned airport no longer meets its standards for training and arrest authority.

Until now, the TSA has paid for a portion of the cost of security at the airport. The agency said it would no longer provide financial aid unless security is improved.

City Commissioner Josh Askvig said nothing short of police officers will satisfy the TSA.

Airport officials are weighing options, including having a Bismarck police officer work security at the airport, the Bismarck Tribune (https://bit.ly/2ktkq7I ) reported. Haug said the estimated cost at $500,000 will be more than double what the airport pays now.

“This couldn’t have come at really a worse time for us,” Haug said.

The changes in security standards won’t take effect until January 2018. However, in order to receive aid from the TSA reimbursement program the city will have to vote to make changes, including finding extra funding and hiring personnel by July.

Commissioners are expected to meet with city officials to determine the best course of action in time for the next commission meeting.


Information from: Bismarck Tribune, https://www.bismarcktribune.com

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