With the terrorist acts in Glasgow and the attempted car bombings in London, even sleepy Burlington Vermont is beefing up airport security.
Jill Fahy writes in the Burlington Free Press that travelers passing through the small airport this week aren’t going to encounter bomb-sniffing dogs or machine gun-toting police, but an increased law enforcement and security presence is reserved for times of busier holiday travel and heightened alert.
Early Tuesday morning, as holiday travelers waited for their flights out of Burlington, the subtle signs of this increased security presence were evident: Burlington police officers were assigned patrol duty; their cruisers were among the first vehicles travelers saw as they rounded the drive past the terminal. Outside the terminal, a Transportation Security Administration worker normally assigned as a baggage handler stood on the curb facing the airport’s parking garage.
“I’m here to make sure cars aren’t parking in front of the airport,” said TSA Officer Zach Edgerley. “It’s to let everyone know that we’re out here.”
Ann Davis, spokeswoman for TSA, said U.S. airports intend to maintain a security presence throughout the week.
Texan Ron Hollaway sat alone in a far corner of the Burlington airport Tuesday, waiting for a 9 a.m. flight to Dallas via Cincinnati and New Orleans. A frequent flier who makes his living on the road, Hollaway said he wasn’t going to let the threat of terrorism spoil his holiday with family in Canton, Texas.
“I ain’t got no reason right now to be worried about it, but if it happens it happens,” Hollaway said. Flooding in his home state is more of a concern right now, he said.
Ronan Farrell of Dublin, Ireland, and his wife were on their way home after a week in the States and Montreal. Farrell said he was more concerned about delays brought on by the additional security than with terrorism.
“I grew up in a country that’s rooted in terrorism,” Farrell said, “so I know the more you sit around and worry about it, the bigger it becomes and you’re letting them win.”