SL International heightens security
Salt Lake International Airport heightened its security measures Thursday at 2 a.m. after the terrorism scare, conforming to the national standard set by the Transportation Security Administration.
"The principal change that people will notice when then arrive is that passengers cannot have any liquid past the checkpoints and on the plane," said Ron Malin, a TSA official in Utah. "Everything needs to be checked at a baggage claim. Those items include, of course, beverages, but also include shampoo, lip stick, hair gel, tooth paste and other items with a similar consistency."
The full list of prohibited items is published at http://www.tsa.gov. Malin said he suggests checking the list and packing accordingly. Passengers on flights from Britain are not allowed a carry-on at all. He recommended arriving at the airport two hours before scheduled flight times and checking by phone or online to see if flights are cancelled or delayed.
Malin said a few flights suffered minor delays Thursday morning, but wasn’t aware of any cancellations.
"Passengers have been curious and asking questions, and I would expect them to, but they’ve been very cooperative and have complied with all requests," he said. "They just need to be prepared."
Barry Gross, director of operations at All Resort Express, said the company called clients heading to the airport to advise them of the new regulations and the additional time needed to get through checkpoints.
"We do not advise them on the specifics of the policy," he said, "we advise them on the [possible] delays. We’re advising them that it may be worthwhile to go a little earlier."
Normally, All Resort Express advises that passengers heading to the airport book a shuttle departure from Park City two and half hours before their scheduled flight times, but with the heightened security they are advising leaving earlier.
"People are appreciative of the fact we’re making phone calls," Gross said. "It didn’t cause a great deal of difficulty to make those phone calls."
Park City Chamber/Bureau spokesperson Craig McCarthy said the Chamber/Bureau is pleased with the measures both the U.S. government and officials at Salt Lake International are taking. He said the heightened security measures will allow people to continue to travel with an added feeling of security.
McCarthy also said there is no reason for Parkites flying out of Salt Lake International or visitors coming into Utah by air to cancel their plans.
"Based on what we know now, we don’t anticipate any noticeable changes or anything that would affect Park City," McCarthy said about a possible decline in tourism.
After foiling what they claim to have been a planned terrorist attack, the Bush Administration raised the nation’s terror threat level to "severe" for all flights leaving Britain for the United States, and has increased security in all airports around the country.
"Due to the nature of the threat revealed by this investigation, we are prohibiting any liquids, including beverages, hair gels and lotions from being carried on the airplane," a Department of Homeland Security statement said.
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