Airport Security Will Cost $250,000

The Manhattan Regional Airport Security Improvements will cost $257,280. The City Commissioners were given the figures at a meeting before the regular Tuesday night meeting. Here is a memo given to the Commission from Ken Black, Airport Director:

Recently, I briefed you and RCPD Director Watson regarding the current threat to Airport facilities as provided by the Federal Aviation Administration Civil Aviation Security Field Office in Kansas City, Missouri. You are also aware of the issue regarding passenger screening here in Manhattan. The purpose of this memorandum is to summarize the impact of the current security climate on the Airport and the City of Manhattan.

Physical Security of Airport Facilities

The Federal Aviation Administration is directing airports that screen passengers to establish a 300-foot radius around their passenger terminals that eliminates the parking for unattended vehicles. An alternative to this restriction is to establish a vehicle checkpoint with armed security to screen vehicles entering the 300-foot security zone. Once the vehicle is screened, it can be parked and left unattended in the security zone. As you can see from the illustration in Enclosure 1, the 300-foot security zone eliminates most of the parking lots at the Airport. This dilemma is being experienced at many other small airports in the country. I believe the alternative course of action is preferable to building new parking lots. Control of the vehicle checkpoint effectively protects Airport facilities and people in those facilities from the threat.

Cost estimates to construct the necessary improvements for physical security are shown in Enclosure 2. There are two elements associated with these improvements: (1) construction of a vehicle security checkpoint, and (2) additional security fencing with electric gates. Brent Bowman and Associates and Tri-City Fencing developed these cost estimates. Costs to operate and maintain the vehicle checkpoint could be offset through paid parking.

Passenger Screening

Today, passenger screening is still the responsibility of the airlines. Some time in the near future we can expect the Federal government to control all passenger screening. However, the role of the Federal government is not totally clear at this time. President Bush has presented his proposal to Congress, and there will be debate concerning the Federal role. However, I believe the President has put forth some excellent security measures that will be supervised by the Federal Government (See Enclosure 3).

Passenger screening may also be expanded in the future to include General Aviation passengers and all commercial charters. It is likely that passenger screening will be required at our Airport in the near future. A cost estimate to construct improvements and purchase required passenger screening equipment is included in Enclosure 2.


Improving security at the Airport is both a public safety issue and an economic development issue. The safety of the traveling public is paramount, and it is clearly a top priority for the Federal government and the State of Kansas. Kansas National Guard personnel will soon provide needed security here in Manhattan and at other commercial service airports in the State. It is an economic development issue, because people should feel confident that their safety is important to the community. If that confidence is not enforced, then people will likely avoid using the Airport.

The Federal Aviation Administration and the Kansas Department of Transportation are moving forward to provide the necessary financial support to improve airport security. I recommend the City of Manhattan pursue Federal and State funding for the security improvements outlined in this memorandum. I await your direction.


1. Manhattan Regional Airport Proposed Security Area

2. Manhattan Regional Airport Security Improvements Cost Estimate

3. White House Press Release: Enhancing Aviation Safety and Security