TAMPA, Florida - Tampa International Airport officials are rebuffing concerns about security at the remote employee parking lot and employee shuttle.
According to a Thursday morning article on the cover of the Tampa Tribune, dozens of employees expressed concern that employees were giving family members and associates access to the employee parking lot and shuttle.
While the shuttle picks workers up in a gated lot and drops them off at the airport's curb, it does cross through a secure section of taxiway that the Tribune suggested could represent "a danger to the airport."
"The employee parking lot is safe," said Tampa International Airport (TIA) spokeswoman Janet Zink. "It's probably safer than the parking lot at the mall."
The 10 News Investigators boarded the employee shuttle at the airport's curb without showing identification. But the only options to get off were in unsecure areas.
Security guards checked identification every time the bus crossed the secure taxiway, and the bus did not stop until it was at the opposite security gate.
"We monitor those buses 24/7...and can stop them remotely if there's a problem," Zink said, dismissing concerns that the buses posed a significant security threat.
"If employees want us to check all IDs before they board the shuttle, we can do that," Zink added.
The 10 News Investigators spoke to a number of employees riding the shuttle, but most said they were comfortable with its level of security.
Some said additional security at the parking lot would be nice, possibly reducing property crime, since Tampa Police on patrol occasionally and TSA only conducts random screenings.
However, Zink said there were "low" levels of crime at the parking lot.
The Tribune article acknowledged many workers were upset monthly parking rates in the employee lot had gone up from $12 to $18 a month in October (with another raise expected next October), but Zink said the parking rates are still below what Miami and Orlando's international airports charge.
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