Will Federal Security Slow Down Airports? - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

11/26/02

Will Federal Security Slow Down Airports?

With Thanksgiving just two days away, Lubbock International Airport is bracing itself for the busiest holiday of the year.

"Passenger-wise, we see anywhere from 3,000 to 3,500 people a day that go through the airport during this season," says Aviation Director Mark Earle.

Virtually every seat that the airlines have are taken. They come just shy of 100% sell-out. And with this being the first Thanksgiving under the scrutiny of federal screeners, travelers are wondering if they'll face longer delays. Aviation Director Mark Earle says no.

"The number of screeners that the TSA puts at the security checkpoints is higher than what was put there by the airlines before. The training is better than what was there before, so really I think that you'll see improved flows through the checkpoints because of what the TSA is doing as the checkpoints," says Earle.

And so far, the job that they've been doing has met with the approval of travelers.

"I don't really expect to wait that much longer because I think they're going to move kind of fast, but they will be very careful. They're not just going to let anybody on through," said passenger Billy Petteway.

And be prepared, say officials, to be scrutinized for objects that in the past would have been easily overlooked. Be extra vigilant about not taking pocket knives or jewelry.

"I have to take this fake bullet I have in my key chain off every time I fly, which is a pain, but whatever, as long as it doesn't slow me down," said traveler Tom Denniston.

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