Posted at 3:13 p.m., Thursday, August 10, 2006
National Guard may be tapped to help at airports
|Video: Increased security measures at Honolulu International Airport|
By Mike Gordon
Advertiser Staff Writer
Passengers will face the same kinds of delays for the foreseeable future as Hawai'i's airports join a stepped-up security crackdown across the country to keep out fluids and gel-like substances from airline cabins following a foiled terrorism bombing plot in London.
At a press conference at Honolulu International Airport this afternoon, Maj. Gen. Robert G.F. Lee, head of the state Department of Defense, said Hawai'i's airports did not "see the mass confusion here like you saw at Mainland airports."
A decision on whether National Guard troops will be needed to help with additional security will be made tonight, Lee said.
State and federal and tourism officials praised one another for turning what could have been a difficult situation into a generally smooth response.
Lee was told at 6:30 p.m. last night to be available at 7 p.m. for a conference call with federal Homeland Security officials about the foiled bombing plot. At 8 p.m., he spoke to Hawai'i security, transportation and tourism officials who developed a response that included alerting Hawai'i's hotel industry to let departing guests know about the new prohibited items and the need to arrive at airports at least an hour earlier than usual.