Wichita airport increases security in response to Ft. Lauderdale shooting

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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) Security measures you don't normally see at Wichita's Dwight D. Eisenhower National Airport were in place Friday afternoon.

The increase follows a shooting that left five people dead and several others hurt at the Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.

Airport personnel in Wichita say they were alerted to the shooting by TSA agents.

The airport was not directly affected, but several security measures have been increased.

Those traveling through the airport may see law enforcement personnel walking around with tactical rifles. They may also see several K-9 officers around the airport.

Passengers say the security is necessary, but they're not sure what can be done about someone with an agenda.

"I work at LAX everyday, and it could happen out there," said passenger Larry Lee. "You know you have all the security in the world, but security can't stop a deranged person when he wants to come in and do what he wants to do. It's the element of surprise."

One area of concern for airport authorities is the open baggage claim area. Staff say they want keep every area of the airport safe.

Dean Headley, an associate professor at Wichita State University, studies major airline performance and said any time we see a vulnerability involving airport security, we can expect changes to travel protocols.

"We've shown the system is vulnerable," Headley said. "It has happened now. It hadn't happened before, but it has happened now. A person checked a gun, takes it out and started shooting people. Something will happen from that from the overreaction point, I believe, and then we will back up from there.”