Travelers flying out of Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport may encounter increased security measures in the aftermath of the foiled terrorist attack on an inbound U.S. flight on Christmas.
Sky Harbor remains swamped with both holiday and bowl game traffic. The airport is accommodating about 100,000 passengers per day as holiday travel continues, said Alisa Smith, airport spokeswoman.
“Here at Sky Harbor, we’re used to handling that type of traffic,” she said. “Generally, we recommend travelers arrive two hours ahead of time for domestic flights and three hours ahead of time for international flights.”
The Transportation Security Administration said passengers might see increased K-9 patrols, more law enforcement and additional screenings taking place both at the gate and security checkpoint. Also, there are more federal air marshals behind the scenes.
Passengers of domestic flights may or may not encounter this additional presence at the airport, according to TSA officials. Passengers are advised to visit the TSA’s Web site, www.tsa.gov, for further information.
The agency also is advising travelers to give themselves extra time to check in and proceed through the security checkpoint before their flight.
Passengers flying into the United States from abroad can expect to see additional security measures at international airports, such as increased gate screening including pat-downs and bag searches, according to the TSA.
Tougher airline security measures were imposed Christmas Day after a man flying from Nigeria to Amsterdam, then to the U.S. on a Northwest Airlines flight tried to ignite an explosive as the plane prepared to land in Detroit.
On Sunday, two men thought to have been acting suspicious aboard a flight bound for Phoenix were detained and questioned by federal anti-terrorism authorities before they were released, according to the FBI, Nothing dangerous was found during a search of the plane and passengers’ luggage, and the men were released after questioning and allowed to continue on to California.