TODAY   |  October 02, 2012

Airport reality show reveals things people sneak in

For four months, Travel Channel cameras had exclusive access to the inner workings of Miami International Airport for a TV series that will show everything from hidden weapons to cocaine found in cargo shipments. NBC’s Tom Costello reports.

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>>> back now at 7:41 with an inside look at what it takes to run one of the nation's largest airport. a new show on the travel channel premiers tonight that could change the way you think about flying. nbc's tom costello covers aviation for us. he's at miami international with a sneak peek. hey, tom, good morning.

>> reporter: hey, david, good morning to you. you know, this is perhaps the most multi-cultural bilingual airport in the country. for those of us who marvel at 249/7 choreography it takes to keep a place like this up and running miami is particularly fascinating. for several months television cameras were capturing all of it. 38 million passengers each year. 800 flights a day. 36,000 employees, and 115,000 bags each day. miami international is the nation's 12th busiest airport and the gateway to latin america . the perfect intersection of planes, passengers, bags, cops and action for a 24/7 behind-the-scenes reality show .

>> psa may have interrupted a potential terrorist. we have a very serious situation on our hand.

>> reporter: lauren stover is director of miami airport security. what's the biggest challenge you face here every day?

>> not knowing what i need to know . anything can happen at any given moment. no two days are alike, and we have to be on our game.

>> reporter: for four months travel channel cameras are exclusive access to the inner workings of the airport and now mia is coming to tv, from hidden weapons.

>> you will not be flying today.

>> reporter: to tracking cocaine and cargo shipments from latin america .

>> white bowed sneer there's white bowedner this one. there's a very good chance that the whole shipment is loaded.

>> reporter: to $20,000 in cash and tsa checkpoints.

>> circumstances these are not permitted at the checkpoint actually. have you to check this in.

>> reporter: and the strangest collection of intercepted weapons you could ever imagine.

>> i mean, you've got to bring this in your carry-on, but i really kind of wonder what this person was thinking when they brought this thing through. this is a big no-no. many times people will come to the airport and forget that they had a gun. who forgets you had a gun in your baggage. we need to talk about this, seriously. i mean, yellow, what was in that person's mind when they walked through our checkpoint? maybe they were seeing their ex-mother-in-law or something.

>> reporter: so far this year the tsa and airport police have intercepted 13 guns while customs officers have seized 9,000 kilos of illicit drugs each year, mostly cocaine, not to mention turning around the biggest passenger planes in the world, customs searches, fires and even a gi's impromptu wedding proposal. will you mayrry me.

>> yes.

>> reporter: all of it good fodder for cable tv . the show starts tonight on the travel channel . it may make you wish that you worked here. or maybe not. back to you.

>> some amazing stuff. tom costello,