Local News

Travel Slowed by Tighter Airport Security

Posted January 2, 1998 12:00 a.m. EST

— The end of the New Year's holiday means many people are traveling home this weekend, but new, tougher airport security measures may slow down some airport visits.

The new measures aren't immediately noticeable to travelers. They are present only within a computer that screens passenger's information. Those who are selected for baggage searcheswillnotice the extra time they spend in the terminal, however.

The FAA began phasing in the new computer system Thursday. When passengers check in, airline personnel can look at their criminal backgrounds and travel history. Any who look suspicious may be subject to a baggage check.

Some civil rights groups say the new regulations target specific ethnic groups. Anti-discrimination spokesperson Hala Maksoud says the profiles are unacceptable.

Passenger Ajaya Gupta says if it makes air travel safer, it's worth it.

The FAA says it is not attempting to single out any particular ethnic group, it is just trying to make flying safer for everyone. The word at RDU Friday was that officials were reviewing the new measures. They have not said if the new system is already in place at RDU during the phase-in stage.

Editor's Note:

Starting January 15th, hourly rates increase from 75 cents to $1. Daily rates at the short-term parking lots go from $12 to $18 per day.

At the long-term parking lots, it will now cost $6 instead of $4.

The additional fees will help pay for the construction of a new parking terminal.