After meeting the federal deadline last month for security changes
at Burbank-Glendale- Pasadena Airport, the airport’s Federal Security
Director Madelyn Sawyer has left her post, less than five months
after her appointment.
The departing director was instrumental in overseeing the
transition from contracted to federal baggage screeners, and for
building a cooperative relationship between the Airport Authority and
the Transportation Security Administration, said Mike Post, the
Burbank-Glendale- Pasadena Airport security chief.
Luz Ponce, Burbank’s assistant federal security director for
regulations, takes over Sawyer’s post today on an interim basis until
a permanent director is appointed Feb. 1. Ponce said she has applied
for the job.
“I’ll be working first and foremost to ensure that the security
posture of the airport continues,” Ponce said of her goal for the two
weeks she will be in the position.
During Sawyer’s tenure, she oversaw the hiring and training of
more than 200 federal screeners, and met federal deadlines for
screening all checked bags by Dec. 31. In addition, her staff has met
its goal of screening most passengers in less than five minutes.
Though Ponce and Sawyer anticipate a seamless transition, Post
said in the fluctuating aviation environment, new regulatory
conditions could arise at any moment, posing fresh challenges for the
Sawyer starts her new job today as division manager for the
security and investing division for the FAA’s Western Pacific region.
Part of the new job will include hiring workers for the agency.
“When the TSA assumed airport security responsibilities, there was
a void left on the FAA security side,” Sawyer said.
But a reduced FAA workforce hasn’t damaged its presence in
Burbank, Post said, adding that the FAA covers aircraft safety, while
the TSA is responsible for passenger safety.