Security at Tulsa International Airport tightens

Monday, October 8th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

After the September 11th terrorist attacks, the FAA told all the nation's airports to create a contingency plan in case the US struck back. Sunday evening, we're seeing the results of that plan in Tulsa.

News on Six reporter Lori Fullbright says it might seem like security couldn't get any tighter at our airport, but, it did Sunday and it can again, if the need arises. The bombing of Afghanistan didn't stop travelers from keeping with their plans to travel. Certainly, no one was complaining about seeing uniformed police officers and national guardsmen working alongside airport security employees.

The fact America has now struck back didn't worry most travelers about flying safety. Passenger: "I'm not nervous about flying out of Tulsa, maybe if I was in a big city it would be different. But, I'm not worried." Another passenger: "Just not a worrier, I guess, it doesn't bother me at all." Another traveler: "It does absolutely worry me, especially for those people traveling. I'm very proud of all the security, so proud of it." The airport's contingency plan includes adding uniformed officers to the national guardsmen already stationed at the security checkpoints and searching all vehicles that go onto the air carrier apron. Brent Kitchen, Airport Director: "We were not notified ahead of time, but, as soon as the attacks happened, the FAA called and said to put in the contingency plan for airports across the US."

All this at a time when reporters from a New York newspaper recently managed to get through ten of 12 major east coast airport security checks with knives, boxcutters and scissors. How would Tulsa fair in such a test? Brent Kitchen: "Airlines handle that, but we have professionals searching bags and they do a good job at it and they work very hard at it." The airport won't say if there is yet another contingency plan in case terrorists decide to start retaliating on American soil, but say as tight as security is now, it can be made even tighter. The US State department issued a warning to all Americans traveling abroad, telling them to limit their movements and check with their embassy every day.

As for folks flying out of Tulsa, two basic rules apply, say good-bye to your loved ones before you go through security and don't pull up to the curb to wait for someone, only to drop them off.