LAX, ONT Deal With Alert Amid Busy Holiday Travel Season
Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) announced it has heightened
alertness and increased security at its airports in response to the
US Homeland Security Department's raising the national treat level
to high ("Orange").
Airport Police are working with the Transportation Security
Administration, local law enforcement officials and air carriers to
implement a range of security enhancements appropriate to the
heightened security alert.
LAWA officials said that all airline operations at Los Angeles
International (LAX) and Ontario International (ONT) airports are
normal and expected to remain routine throughout the holiday travel
period that began Friday, Dec. 19, and continues through Sunday,
January 4, 2003. An estimated 2.6 million passengers are expected
to arrive and depart on flights at LAX during that period.
Travelers are urged to allow additional time for vehicle,
passenger and baggage screening. LAWA recommends passengers allow 2
1/2 hours for airport security measures for domestic flights and 3
1/2 hours for international flights.
Airport officials noted that while the public may notice some
increased security related to operational alertness, such as
increased use of K-9 patrols in passenger terminals, other security
measures are confidential and may go largely unnoticed by most
people. Presence of additional uniformed officers in front of and
inside the passenger terminals will also be noticed.
All vehicles entering
the terminal areas at LAX and ONT will be subject to inspection. At
LAX, Los Angeles Airport Police will establish vehicle checkpoints
(similar to sobriety checkpoints) at three of the four entrances to
the airport's Central Terminal Area: (1) westbound Century
Boulevard, (2) 96th Street and (3) northbound Sepulveda Boulevard,
north of the Sepulveda Tunnel. The fourth entrance at southbound
Sepulveda Boulevard at Century Boulevard may be closed to all
vehicles except those accessing the private parking lot, Park
At Van Nuys Airport (VNY), the general aviation airport
operated by LAWA, airport police have increased patrols, closed
some access points and implemented additional measures in
coordination with tenants.
Unattended vehicles parked at the curb in front of LAX and ONT
terminal buildings will be immediately impounded and towed at the
Law enforcement presence at LAX includes hundreds of uniformed
and plainclothes officers from Airport Police, Los Angeles Police
Department and numerous federal agencies including the Federal
Bureau of Investigation, US Air Marshals, US Customs and Border
Protection, as well as the K-9 patrols and special operations