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Terror worries reach Eagle airport

Alex Miller
M. Spencer Green/AP PhotoA traveler tosses his toiletries out before entering a security line Thursday at Midway Airport in Chicago.
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GYPSUM ” Forget about bringing that latte or bottle of water on the plane for now.

In light of the alleged airplane bombing plot uncovered in Britain Thursday, the security alert level for U.S. airports has been elevated to “orange.” Because the plot involved the potential use of liquid explosive disguised as beverages or other liquids, the U.S. Transportation Security Administration has prohibited airline passengers from carrying any liquids on board aircraft.

Even far from the action in Eagle County, airline passengers are being subjected to more intensive searches and being asked to leave liquids behind.

“We ramped up to level orange at the direction of the TSA,” said Ovid Seifers, manager of the Eagle County Airport. “It means more security patrols, more awareness, more inspections, but beyond that, it’s pretty much business as usual.”

While airports in other parts of the country have experienced significant delays as a result of the heightened security and canceled flights out of Britain, Seifers said the local airport hasn’t seen much in the way of slowdowns.

“We don’t have the traffic volume in the summer to where that’d be a factor,” he said, adding that delays getting out of Eagle were due more to thunderstorm activity around Chicago.

Seifers said he expects the liquid restriction will be lifted as soon as the threat alert drops back down to yellow.

“It’s a different spin than in the past,” he said of the latest terrorist threat. “You know how these people are ” they’re creative and determined, so we’re just reacting to what we’re directed to do.”

Overall, though, Seifers said most travelers flying into or out of the Eagle County airport won’t notice much difference.

“John Q. Citizen flying out of here won’t see anything much, other than he can’t take his bottle of water or Starbucks onto the plane,” he said. “That’s true of any airport in the U.S. if you try to walk on with a bottle of water, they’ll take it from you.”

Alex Miller can be reached at 748-2931, or amiller@vaildaily.com.

Vail Daily, Vail, Colorado


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