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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

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Sen. Murray lauded by airport execs for requiring TSA to safeguard exit lanes

Spokane International Airport is saluting Sen. Patty Murray (D-Washington) for her commitment to keeping the TSA responsible for manning exit lane security at all major airports.

Over recent months the TSA, a part of Homeland Security, had been pushing to change its responsibility, getting airports to cover the exit-lane security costs. It said the cuts were needed because of budget contraints.

But Murray didn't let that happen. While brokering the Senate's approval of a new budget passed Wednesday, she made sure it required the TSA to monitor exit lanes at the 154 major commercial airports in the U.S.

Spokane's airport directors opposed the TSA request, saying the change would have "resulted in significant costs increases for airports, introduced untold liabilities and would have blurred the roles of TSA and airports for carrying out a national security function that has been assigned to the TSA by Congress since the creation of the agency in 2001."

Larry Krauter, Spokane airport CEO, issued a statement Wednesday saying: "In this case, not only did (Sen. Murray) help commercial service airports in the state of Washington, but also airports across the country.  We are convinced that Sen. Murray’s actions averted serious negative consequences for the security of our national air transportation system.”

The Spokesman-Review business team follows economic development in Spokane and the Inland Northwest.