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Hartsfield-Jackson to start regular background checks on workers

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Amid concerns about a potential insider threat among airport workers, Hartsfield-Jackson International will conduct background checks on workers every two years to comply with a federal recommendation.

Up until now, the Atlanta airport only conducted a background check when a worker was hired.

After finding that 73 workers at airports around the country had “terrorism-related category codes” and were not detected by the Transportation Security Administration, the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General in June 2015 recommended better vetting of workers.

TSA said the 73 names were not people on a terrorist watch list, but that the information was incomplete and did not rise to the level of known or suspected terrorist status.

In July 2015, a TSA directive said airports must conduct a fingerprint-based criminal history records check every two years for all workers with airport badges.

To do the additional background checks, Hartsfield-Jackson is adding $786,500 to a contract with Transportation Security Clearinghouse, in a measure being considered by the Atlanta City Council.

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