Tuesday, August 20, 2002

Airports beg for baggage-screening delay

By The Associated Press
and The Cincinnati Enquirer

        WASHINGTON - Managers of 133 airports that handle three-fourths of the nation's air travelers asked the Senate on Monday to extend the year-end deadline for screening all luggage for bombs.

        The airport managers signed a letter saying the Transportation Security Administration can't buy, install and operate the baggage-screening equipment by the cutoff date without creating major air traffic problems.

        Congress may extend the deadline, which it set after Sept. 11. The House last month voted 217-211 to move it back by a year. A Senate committee will consider the idea in September.

        Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport director of aviation Bob Holscher, who signed the letter, pointed out that many more airport officials are voicing their complaints.

        “There were 32 last time, and there are more than 100 now,” said Mr. Holscher, referring to a previous letter to Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta asking for a deadline extension. “It's getting too close to the end for them to make the deadline.”


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