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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Wednesday, December 24, 2003

90 screeners added at Honolulu airport

Associated Press

The Transportation Security Administration has transferred 90 security screeners from the Mainland and Guam to Honolulu International Airport to help holiday travelers get to their flights.

The temporary screeners will work in Honolulu until after New Year's Day.

They began work Monday, a day after Gov. Linda Lingle raised Hawai'i's terrorism alert level to orange to coincide with the national threat level. This is the first time Hawai'i has been at the second-highest alert level.

Sidney Hayakawa, the TSA chief in Honolulu, said additional screeners were sent to Hawai'i because of the state's dependency on tourism.

State Transportation Department spokesman Scott Ishikawa said security checkpoints have been set up at all entrances to the airports.

Hayakawa said random checks are being conducted at all entrances but every vehicle entering the Honolulu airport's parking structures will be checked.

Security officers at Kahului Airport on Maui are randomly checking vehicles and restricting parking to at least 300 feet from the terminal.

Big Island security precautions include a variety of stepped-up measures, especially at airports and harbors, said Hawai'i County Civil Defense Director Troy Kindred. The measures include random screening of vehicles at airports, he said.

The focus of county officials is on public utilities, specifically electrical power, water supplies, telephone service and gas lines, said Big Island Mayor Harry Kim.