Although operations have not resumed, officials from the San Antonio Police Department have confirmed that the three vehicles being investigated at San Antonio International Airport are not dangerous. Passengers from arriving flights have been allowed to enter the airport, and evacuated passengers have been allowed to re-enter the lobbies of both terminals; however, still no word on when the estimate 2,000 people affected by the evacuation will be able to resume their travel plans. source
Update: Bomb technicians have finished their investigation of the parking garages, and police are now allowing traffic to flow back into the airport. We’re still awaiting the resumption of normal airport operations.
Update 2: Airport officials have announced that normal operations have resumed, and asked for patience with the many flights that have been delayed or canceled. Local police, TSA officials, and the FBI are now searching for the caller behind today’s bomb threat.
(more on the story here)
UPDATE: The bomb threat has been lifted, Breaking News reports.
I didn’t have anything on me and and no-one asked me for anything. I did what I asked and just carried on walking.11-year-old Liam Corcoran-Fort • Discussing the security process he went through when he boarded a flight from Manchester to Rome — despite the fact he didn’t have any sort of identification or a boarding pass and was really just trying to use the bathroom. ”I just wanted to go to the toilet. I wasn’t trying to go anywhere I wasn’t allowed,” Corcoran-Fort, who has learning difficulties, said. ”But it was easier than my homework, even easier than computer games.” For what it’s worth, he did go through a metal detector and body scanner, the airport says.
It’s not technically a breach of security. The boy posed no threat to the aircraft. He went through a security process.Manchester airport spokesperson Russell Craig • Discussing an 11-year-old boy’s trip from England to Italy, where the boy took a Jet2.com plane from Manchester to Rome despite not having a boarding pass or passport. His trip may not have technically been a breach of security, but a ton of people got suspended from their jobs over it. Oops.
» So, what happened? After the Christmas 2009 “Underwear Bomber” incident, the TSA worked on improving the list, expanding it far beyond the initial set of names. Of note: The federal government is adding names beyond al-Qaeda, believing that the terror threat expands beyond the group behind the 2001 attacks on the Pentagon and the World Trade Center. ”Both U.S. intelligence and law enforcement communities and foreign services continue to identify people who want to cause us harm, particularly in the U.S. and particularly as it relates to aviation,” said TSA head John Pistole, who has had to deal with some backlash against higher security standards in the past year.
They talk a lot about jobs. They give good speeches about it. I want them to walk the walk. Put hard-working Americans to work so they can get a paycheck just like Congress is receiving on their vacations.Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood • Offering up some harsh words on the situation with the FAA shutdown, which will likely last a more than a month due to Congress’ August recess. LaHood, a former Republican congressman, notes that “safety is not compromised” but this is mostly a labor issue. One reason this has become such a political football is that, behind the scenes, it’s a bit of a proxy battle over unions — see, the National Mediation Board made it easier for these workers to unionize, if they so choose. This was part of the reason a short-term deal got blocked — Sen. Orrin Hatch wasn’t having it. Ultimately, it’s the same thing we said yesterday — a business should pay its employees instead of squabbling over minor issues. source (via • follow)
» People are working for free to inspect airports: After financing for the Federal Aviation Administration ran out on July 23, thousands of people were put out of work, and all over a fairly minor issue that has gummed up the Senate — how (or if) to pay for a subsidy program for rural airports. But that issue isn’t going to go anywhere for at least a month, after both chambers took their August recess. We know that the debt ceiling fight was tough and took a lot out of the politicians who solved that issue, but this seems like something that should’ve been dealt with before they hit the gavel and took vacations. This is not a judicial nomination. This is airport safety we’re talking about. Some talk about running the government like a business — well, here’s a secret, guys. Businesses don’t furlough workers over a disagreement that those workers have no control over, then ask them to work for free. Businesses pay workers.
The new normal in airport security? It was announced today by the TSA that terrorists might try to surgically implant bombs into themselves to bypass airport checkpoints, a warning which seems to imply further heightening of security could be coming. White House Press Secretary Jay Carney explicitly said that the warning “does not relate to an imminent or specific threat.” That said, that a terrorist could hide a bomb in their body is fairly obvious, so whatever intelligence they’ve gleaned must be enough to drag this out of the realm of the hypothetical. The TSA has also advised international airports to tighten their security. source
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» That doesn’t seem like many, right? Yeah, you’re right … while there were another 105 delayed flights worldwide, the fact of the matter is, it happened on a Friday night – the best possible time for a total system shutdown. While travelers were understandably angry, it was the difference between thousands of angry people and hundreds of thousands of angry people.