Security tightened at local airports

Security tightened at local airports
By: Arnold Wyrick

A terror plot uncovered by authorities in the United Kingdom sent a ripple affect in airports across the nation, and here in the Heartland.  All airports have been placed on a Terror Threat Level Orange.  And no more liquids of any kind, except for baby formula, and medications will be allowed in carry on bags.

"Law enforcement officers here at the airport are more vigilant as well in regards to doing more patrols in and around the terminal," says Doug Kimmel Airport Manager at the Williamson County Regional Airport in Southern Illinois.

Now all baggage being checked on or carried on is subject to scanning, and in some cases opened up and thoroughly checked out.

"At an airport this size it's really not going to disrupt the screening process.  I mean we have no more then 19 passengers boarding at any given time, compared to larger airports like Saint Louis or Nashville," Kimmel said.

The warning signs and new changes to carry on baggage are posted throughout the airport to ensure that all passengers are aware of what they can, and cannot carry onboard the aircraft.

"I think the security measures that have been implemented by the Federal Government and the F.A.A., they're measures that I think are working.  Are they fool proof, no.  It's just a reminder everyday that we cannot be too cautious, or too careful," says U.S. Congressman Jerry Costello Democrat of the 12th Congressional District.

While some passengers found the new changes in items allowed on planes upsetting, they still realized it was for their own safety.

" It's going to create some hostility for every one.  And a lot more pressure flying and makes things more difficult on everyone.  You now can't bring a Mountain Dew bottle on board without it becoming quiet an issue.  But you've got to do what you've got to do to ensure the safety of U.S. Citizens," says Matt Endrizzi of Vienna, Illinois.

Which is why officers with the Transportation Security Administration are going to be checking your baggage even longer the next time you board an airplane in the United States, looking for any illegal items inside.