Aviation Director: Airport security 'more theatrical than real' - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Aviation Director says airport security 'more theatrical than real'

James Loomis, Aviation Director at Lubbock Preston Smith International Airport James Loomis, Aviation Director at Lubbock Preston Smith International Airport

The terrorist attacks on September 11th forced dramatic changes in airport security, but James Loomis, Aviation Director at Lubbock Preston Smith International Airport, says they're not effective.

"I'm not pleased with what has happened, because it's more theatrical than it is real," Loomis said.

Before 9/11 prompted the creation of the Transportation Security Administration, passengers didn't have to take their shoes off and security was much more lax.  

The new measures require special screenings and new rules regarding carry-on luggage, but Loomis says it's all a joke.  He believes passenger security has to begin before passengers even arrive at the airport.

"If we really want to be serious about things, we have to do something prior to them getting to that facility," Loomis said.  "We need to quit allowing people into our country that we know are bad."

Mark Earle was the Aviation Director in Lubbock on September 11th.  He is now  Aviation Director in Colorado Springs.  He says the terrorist attacks forced changes in the way airports run.

"It was clear that we were having to make major changes to the way we handle passengers and cargo going on our aircraft," Earle said.

Earle says the attacks destroyed American confidence in the transportation system and dealt a blow to the economy, but he believes heightened security measures are paramount when protecting the safety of passengers.

"We have to keep someone from weaponizing an aircraft and turning it into an event that shakes our economy as strongly - as much as September 11th did," Earle said.

Copyright 2011 KCBD NewsChannel 11.

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