Gulfport Airport Enforces Stringent Security Measures - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Gulfport Airport Enforces Stringent Security Measures

Normally Dorothy Striplang wouldn't wear white socks with black sandals. She only put on the socks so she wouldn't be barefoot when she went through the airport's passenger screening area.

She didn't feel awkward. In fact, she said she'd do whatever airport security asked, "If it's necessary."

It became necessary for airport passengers to remove their shoes after the recent Richard Reid shoe bomb incident. As a precaution, the FAA ordered random searches of passengers' shoes.

As one passenger carried her shoes toward the screeing area, she said, "I don't mind. You gotta do what you gotta do."

Gulfport Biloxi International Airport took the shoe search requirement a step further. Instead of random searches, all shoes get put into a container, so they can go through an X-ray machine.

"Ours are done because of our very high concern for security on the one hand," airport Executive Director Bruce Frallic said.

Frallic also talked about a second reason every passenger must remove their shoes.

"We have a single checkpoint," he said. "And it's a very narrow area. And to pull people back through the system is very difficult and confusing."

So the airport set up a row of chairs in front of the screening entrance. It's where passengers remove their shoes, before they head to their gate.

Even pilots go through the Gulfport airport's shoe check. Airport security wants to make sure everybody feels safe when they fly out of the coast.

By Brad Kessie

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