MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- The Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport will spend more than $50,000 to revalidate the security badges of nearly 13,000 of its employees by Oct. 2.
The Federal Aviation Adminitration has issued an emergency order to recheck the identification badges of all employees who have access to airplanes or other secure areas.
"We want to make sure that only the people who should have access to the most secure areas do," said Mark Rosenow, a commander with the airport police department. "This is a large task, but it's something that's very important."
About 12,800 employees -- including ticket agents, police officers and construction workers -- have Security Identification Display Area badges, which grant them access to the most secure areas in the airport. There are two other levels of badges that don't require revalidation.
The revalidation process calls for all personnel departments to review lists of employees who have SIDA badges and confirm that each employee is still eligible to have the badge.
When employees' security clearances have been verified, they will receive new stickers to add to their badges. The stickers are red, white and blue and contain a star hologram.
Rosenow said the stickers will make the badges even more tamper-proof.
He said the airport is spending between $50,000 and $60,000 on the revalidation process. Nine employees have been assigned to work on completing the task, which must be finished by the end of the day Oct. 2.
When employees originally apply for a SIDA badge, they must provide a 10-year work history. Gaps in the history can prompt a criminal background check.
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