Bush seeks safer skies

Los Angeles Times

WASHINGTON — President Bush is scheduled to announce today a broad expansion of the federal role in aviation security in an effort to reassure worried travelers that it is safe to fly, congressional and aviation officials said Wednesday.

Bush will call for more government involvement in airport security screening, installation of airline cockpit doors capable of withstanding an assault, and what one lawmaker called a "dramatic" increase in the number of federal air marshals.

However, the president’s plan is expected to stop short of advocating a direct federal takeover of passenger screening, which is now in the hands of private companies hired by the airlines.

Instead, Bush favors much higher standards, better pay and closer federal oversight of screeners, as well the deployment of local law enforcement officers to airport security checkpoints, sources said. Administration officials also were considering a federally chartered nonprofit corporation to administer airport security.

As for arming pilots, a proposal by the Air Line Pilots Association, Bush indicated to reporters Wednesday that he is not enthusiastic about the idea. Congressional sources said it will not be part of his plan.

Among the measures under consideration was a proposal for video cameras to monitor airliner cockpits and cabins.

Other likely measures include wider use of a computer program that can identify passengers who pose a potential security threat, and an overhaul of anti-hijacking training for pilots and flight attendants, who now rely on manuals based on the rash of hijackings to Cuba in the 1960s and 1970s.

Congressional sources said Bush also will propose more federal funding to help airports pay for improved security.

The president plans to travel to Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport today to make his announcement, along with Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta and a bipartisan congressional delegation.

"We’ll announce some confidence-boosting measures, some concrete proposals, and I believe we’ll be able to work with Congress to get them done in an expeditious way," Bush said. His comments in a brief session with reporters came at a White House meeting with Muslim and Arab American leaders.

Talk to us

More in Local News

Norton Playfield, a three-acre play field owned by Housing Hope on Thursday, July 23, 2020 in Everett, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Vote nears on Housing Hope’s Everett playfield project

The Everett City Council will deliberate Wednesday on the multi-family, supportive housing proposal.

Two teens shot near Mill Creek, taken to hospitals

The males, 17 and 18, were in a vehicle when two males approached and got into an altercation.

Driver hits, critically injures pedestrian in Everett

A driver hit a male who ran across the road Saturday night but stayed there and spoke with police.

Marysville School Districts' McKinney-Vento & Foster Care Liaison Deanna Bashour (left to right) Andrea Wyatt, Larisa Koenig and Rosemary Peterson on Thursday, Oct. 15, 2020 in Marysville, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
A new haven of help for homeless students in Marysville

“You name it, if they need it, we’ve got it,” says the Connections Center’s foster care liaison.

The USS Michael Monsoor has been a recent frequent visitor at Naval Station Everett. (Sue Misao / The Herald)
New Navy ship visits Everett base while training near Canada

The USS Michael Monsoor may visit a few more times before it leaves at the end of October.

Pedestrian seriously injured in hit-and-run in Everett

He was expected to survive. A 31-year-old woman was later booked into jail as a suspect.

Everett man who fled scene of hit-and-run fatality sentenced

“I just panicked is all,” said Thomas Rock, who was sentenced to 3 years and 5 months in prison.

Ian Terry / The Herald

An abandoned car sits on flooded Mann Road in Sultan on Friday, Nov. 13, 2015.

Photo taken on 11132015
County considers raising roads to skirt flooding near Sultan

Ben Howard Road and Mann Road are in line for culverts and elevation gains.

Most Read