Cooperative passengers and some delays at Burlington airport
08/10/06 12:00AM By Lynne McCrea
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(Host) There were several flight delays on Thursday at Burlington International Airport. But flight schedules overall were largely unaffected by the increased security put in place after a terror plot was broken up in Britain.
As VPR's Lynne McCrea reports, airport personnel responded quickly to the new security measure that bans all carry-on liquids, including drinks, toothpaste, and hair gels.
(McCrea) As the day began, passengers moved easily through the screening areas at Burlington International Airport. Most appeared to have already gotten word that anything liquid was no longer allowed as a carry-on item.
Airport Director Brian Searles was alerted at 4 a.m. by Homeland Security that it was going to Level Orange.' At that point, roughly a dozen extra staff people were called in to help with the first early morning flights. Searles says the additional personnel included passenger screeners and police officers, some of whom were moving through the airport parking garage with dogs.
(Searles) "That's part of going to the next level of security. They're sweeping the entire garage with a dog trained to sniff out explosives."
(McCrea) Passengers in Vermont began to anticipate long delays at other, bigger airports. Dwight and Ellen Matthews of Shelburne were heading to Washington, D.C.'s National Airport for a connecting flight.
(Dwight Matthews) "I suspect today is going to be worse than a normal Friday afternoon at 4:00. So, I think it'll be about 45 minutes to an hour and half at a minimum to get through National, if you have to go through security today."
(McCrea) Some passengers weren't prepared for the ban on liquids. Among the items collected here was at least one container of maple syrup. Ellen Matthews says she knew in advance to pack the syrup she's traveling with:
(Ellen Matthews) "It's in the checked baggage, so hopefully it will be okay."
(McCrea) Airport Director Searles says he's monitoring information coming from the investigation in Britain and is getting updates on the hour. Meanwhile, he says travelers have been cooperative, as they deal with the change in screening measures.
For VPR news, I'm Lynne McCrea.