Security Changes at LIA - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock


Security Changes at LIA

In one week, Americans will observe the anniversary of September 11th. After that day, when planes were used a weapons against us, airports were changed forever. Now we learn more changes are on the way at Lubbock International.

Changes that will affect your air travel even more. In Lubbock we've seen changes inside and outside of the airport; from parking guards to National guards but just as you adjust to new guidelines, a new crew is about to be put in charge of your safety flying in and out of Lubbock.

"I've been searched from head to toe and my bags now this is about the third time they go totally through my bags," says Jeanell Edwards, a frequent traveler. One year later travelers are still adjusting to new safety measures. But more changes are on the way to LIA.

"One of the things your going to see over the next two to three months are changes in the ticket counter area and changes in the screening area as everyone is probably aware the TSA has taken over screening," said LIA Aviation Director Mark Earle.

Earle says the TSA, or transportation safety administration, will check every person who travels out of LIA. "You'll see a lot more people out there that will be the new TSA screening force and facilities or modifications to the additional facilities to accommodate that to make that all work, it'll be a significant change on the way passengers flow through the building."

Although air traffic in Lubbock fell 10% after 9/11, today's travelers say they welcome changes that will make them safer. "I'm willing to give the extra time, because I want to be safe," Tony Hubert of Shreveport said. "Its something you just have to plan a little bit ahead and get there and be cooperative with everybody and it's just fine," said Dot Crowe.

Some travelers say the process is frustrating. "I don't like flying anymore, I'd rather drive." Why is that? "Well because I don't want to be delayed and I don't want to have to go through all this, but I understand it," Edwards said.

Understanding the changes means putting up with parking monitors, bag screeners, and the national guard.

On September 11th this year, Earle says they anticipate less travelers, but it will still be business as unusual. "September 11th for us will be a day like any other, since the past September 11th of last year. On September 11th of last year we went up to the highest security level possible under the FAA system and in the months after that added additional security on top of that. We have not been able to back off of any of those measures since September 11th, so we're at the highest level of alert and we anticipate we'll be on that level as we move forward."

Earle says the only change would be if there are any specific threats made against the aviation system. On September 11th Earle says some flights will be canceled, only because people are choosing not to fly on that day. So he says airlines are expected to cut back their flights, but so far no flights in or out of Lubbock have been affected.

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