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Heightened Alert Status Means Random Vehicle Checks AT RDU

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MORRISVILLE, N.C. — The increased terrorist threat level has the nation's airports on high alert. Raleigh-Durham International's newest security procedures include random car searches that will slow travelers down even before they get to the terminal.

The Raleigh-Durham Airport Authority began conducting random searches of vehicles approaching the terminals Friday afternoon.

The security measure was implemented in accordance with new federal requirements initiated by the Transportation Security Administration.

The random searches will be in effect while the nation's alert status remains at level orange.

RDU started inspections of cars in some parking lots on Monday. The inspection measures instituted Friday could target any car at any time, whether the driver is traveling or just picking up or dropping off passengers.

Signs inform drivers of the inspection process as they enter the airport.

"Because these are random inspections, we have set up spots that people will be asked to move over to so that traffic can keep moving," said RDU spokesperson Mindy Hamlin.

Hamlin said the inspections won't take long but that people should allow time for them.

Some travelers said they didn't mind.

"It probably should have happened earlier than it's happening now," said traveler Tom Cloutier. "They shouldn't have waited for a second round of threats to arise before implementing something like this."

Customers traveling to the airport should be reminded that the I-70/Lumley Road entrance to the airport terminals will be closed.

Park and Ride Lot 4 will be open. But access to the terminals will be restricted to the entrance accessible from Aviation Parkway and Airport Boulevard.

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