UK terror attacks prompt tighter security at US airports

WILMINGTON -- Recent British terror attacks have sparked tighter security measures at US airports. The Department of Homeland security says an increase in the domestic threat level is not necessary. Traveler Erin Becker said, "When you get into the bigger airports, you get a little nervous, especially with the little kids..." The Beckers are flying back to Nebraska and Becker says she has plenty to worry about before getting on a plane. Becker said, "Making sure they're all staying with us and you just have to watch your surroundings and pay attention to all of that." Another thing she's paying attention to: heightened security at airports like ILM. After several terror attacks in the UK this week US officials decided to step up security measures at airports across the country. ILM Public Safety Officer Gary Taylor said, "Our local and federal personnel have asked us to increase patrols and be a little more vigilant, which we've also asked of all airport personnel right now." Most airports are on high alert -- among other things, that means increased security in and around airports and strict baggage checks. Taylor said, "Since 9/11 security has gotten a lot tighter and a lot better. A lot better personnel, a lot better equipment and everything else." Although airport security says high alerts have not been placed at ILM quite yet, there are still other regulations in place for passengers, like 3-1-1. Passengers are allowed to carry three ounce bottles of liquids or gels in a one quart-sized bag and each passenger is allowed to carry one on-board. Traveler Richard Anderson said, "That's the price you pay for freedom. You've got to do what they need us to do to make it safe for everybody." As for the Beckers, they say the increased security puts them at ease. Becker said, "Just with the way that they check through your bags, make you take off your shoes... I feel safer with that." Airport security officials say if ILM were to be placed on high alert, the order to change the airport's status would have to come directly from local transportation security administrators. Security personnel would then increase surveillance and begin conducting more thorough luggage checks.

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