While JFK may be the “safest airport” in the country, far too many people do not take homeland security seriously enough, U.S. Rep. Peter King told an airport civic group on Wednesday.
King, speaking at a JFK Airport Chamber of Commerce breakfast, said airport workers, including Transportation Security Administration and Port Authority of New York and New Jersey personnel, have been successful in hardening the facility against terrorist attacks.
“This is the safest airport in the United States because of these people,” King said.
But, he added, many people are lax on the issue of security.
“Too many people in the U.S. do not take homeland security seriously enough,” said the 11-year congressman. “It is important that we stay aware.
“New York is the number one target [for terrorists].”
King was introduced by Tom Kelliher, president of the Chamber, as “the leader in the ongoing effort of homeland security,” an important topic to one of the nation’s busiest airports.
Raised in Sunnyside, King is the former chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee and now chairs a subcommittee on counter-terrorism.
He is outspoken on terror and security issues.
“The reality is [some] people in this country have foreign ideology,” he said. “Al-Qaida is adaptive.”
Though the hot topic was the nation’s security, King also discussed the issue of federal funding for Superstorm Sandy victims in New York.
“We had to fight tooth and nail for funding,” he said.
He noted that there had been conflict with insurance companies but the issues have been resolved and the money is now coming through to homeowners and businesses.
“Overall,” he said, “the job is being done and districts are coming back.”