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Attacks prompt updates in airport security

Management at the Lincolnton/Lincoln County Regional Airport follows the old adage — better safe than sorry.
Since the terrorists attacks on America on Sept. 11, 2001, safety devices totaling $26,000 have been added to the airport.
Airport Manager Jeff Lynn feels the money is well spent.
“The security measures make the tenants more comfortable,” he said. “They feel safer leaving their planes here, and they feel safer flying in and out of here.”
Since 9/11, a four-camera security system has been added as well as fencing and a keypad gate. A security officer now patrols the 453-acre piece of property, and stricter policies are in place for airplane rentals.
“If we don’t know them it’s typically going to be hard for them to rent an aircraft the first day, before we check out their identification,” Lynn said.
Stricter policies not only affect strangers to the airport but regular visitors. “Regulars” at the airport now have to go through an automatic gate. Lynn said the inconvenience seems to be worth the reward.
“Most of them are very understanding,” he said. “Naturally the keypad system takes time to get past the gate, but we’ve had very few complaints. Most people are glad that we got it.”
The changes at the airport took time and money, but Lynn said they weren’t required. The security improvements were recommended by the Transportation Security Admission.
The security additions over the last three years won’t be the last. Lynn said more fencing, another keypad gate and additional lighting will be added in the future.
“I don’t think it’ll ever be the same as it was before 9/11,” he said. “You’ve got to constantly be thinking of new ways to enhance security.”
by Diane Turbyfill

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