F.A.A. INCREASES AIRPORT SECURITY AFTER RESUMING SOME FLIGHTS
Reuters news service reported that U.S. airlines resumed some commercial flights and airports opened yesterday, as passengers were met with heightened security, such as the presence of German shepherds and thorough security checks, two days after terror attacks in Washington and New York. This had been the first ever national grounding of all commercial aircraft.
The U.S. Transportation Department yesterday ordered the U.S. national airspace to reopen commercial and private aviation beginning at 11 a.m. Eastern Time, but said that flights will only resume on a case-by-case basis while airports implement new security measures. Some of these measures include the banning of knives upon flight entry and curbside check-ins. Air marshals, or armed plainclothes security guards, are also to be placed on domestic flights.
Atlanta’s Hartsfield Int’l Airport, the busiest airport in the world, reopened yesterday under tight security. Teams of police officers, joined by German shepherds and other police dogs, patrolled the subdued hallways of the airport as a small number of passengers milled about. Officials said the airport had been cleared to reopen after it met a host of new security requirements by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
Travelers at Hartsfield were informed they would not be allowed to carry pocket knives or other cutting instruments on board, were prevented from using curbside check-in and were told to expect thorough security checks for check-in and boarding.
Ben DeCosta, the airport manager, said he expected the vast majority of travelers would accept any inconveniences that arose from the tighter security. “We have found that in this country, both Americans and foreigners, accept the need to have secure airports,” DeCosta said. “We are confident that people will understand.”
O’Hare Int’l Airport, the second busiest in the world with an average of 2,700 flights a day, officially opened at 1:45 p.m. EDT yesterday, with the required security measures in place.
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