Security at Tulsa International Airport increases


Wednesday, August 7th 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6


The federal government is stepping up security again at commercial airports across the country.

Starting this week, security personnel will screen all the food and drink you carry through the checkpoints. News on Six reporter Patrina Adger went to Tulsa's International Airport to find out Airport screeners will not let you get through with open food and beverages containers. It's just another change in the security screening process.

Signs are posted as travelers walk up to the security checkpoint. "No open food or containers allowed." In an effort to keep up with the highest measure of security, all commercial airports are now required to X-ray food and drinks. And if you want to take your goodies beyond the checkpoint and down the concourse, Marketing Director Mary Smith says you have to follow the rules. “A paper or a Styrofoam cup with a removable lid won't be allowed to go through, baby bottles can go through but they'll have to be x-rayed. Before this new screening process, if you walked through with an open container, you would have to take a sip to make sure it was okay and then you were let through but now, you have to toss it."

That's what happened to Todd Stolusky who says he doesn't quite see the point in the new procedure. "I guess it could be for bacteriological thing but I admit, it's nothing I thought of. Protecting the integrity of these machines and equipment at checkpoint is important and if something spills while being X-rayed it could shut down machines and cause delays." Smith says it's just one of the aggressive steps their taking to protect travelers.

Thursday, the Airport Authority will also break ground for the construction of a new baggage screening facility. “The first floor of that building will house the explosion detection systems that we will be getting from the federal government to check baggage." Smith says security continues to be the number one priority, which is just fine with Stolusky.” "The ‘drink thing’ is a little odd to me but.” But you'll comply with the rules? Stolusky, “Yea, sure why not."

If you have to bring a drink through, it has to be in a reseal able container. Food and beverages will be placed in one of these plastic containers before it goes through the machine.

And in case you're wondering, Airport officials say the X-ray machines won't make your food dangerous to eat.