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

Arlington woman dies in crash on Highway 530

The Washington State Patrol says a Stanwood man ran a red light, striking Zoey Ensey as she turned onto the highway.

FILE - This 2003 electron microscope image made available by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows mature, oval-shaped monkeypox virions, left, and spherical immature virions, right, obtained from a sample of human skin associated with the 2003 prairie dog outbreak. A leading doctor who chairs a World Health Organization expert group described the unprecedented outbreak of the rare disease monkeypox in developed countries as "a random event" that might be explained by risky sexual behavior at two recent mass events in Europe. (Cynthia S. Goldsmith, Russell Regner/CDC via AP, File)
Monkeypox case count rises to 6 in Snohomish County

Meanwhile, cases in the state have roughly doubled every week. Most of those have been in neighboring King County.

Farmer Frog employees sort through a pallet of lettuce at their new location on Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2022 in Snohomish, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
At Farmer Frog’s new pad, nonprofit helps feed 1.5M Washingtonians

The emergency food distribution network began amid the pandemic. Demand was high — so high, the truck volume led them to move.

Logo for news use featuring Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
Snohomish County, cities announce $9.6M for mental health, shelter

Projects span from Edmonds to Sultan. Each city is using American Rescue Plan Act money, with the county contributing, too.

Logo for news use featuring Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
Suspect in custody after man’s gunshot death, standoff

Deputies responded to a domestic violence call and found the suspect barricaded on the property near Snohomish.

Two students walk along a path through campus Thursday, Aug. 4, 2022, at Everett Community College in Everett, Washington. The college’s youth-reengagement program has lost its funding, and around 150 students are now without the money they need to attend classes. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Monroe nixes college program, leaving 150-plus students in the lurch

For years, the Monroe School District footed the bill for “U3” students, who have gotten mixed messages about why that’s ending.

Desiree Gott looks over documents before her sentencing Thursday, Aug. 4, 2022, at Snohomish County Superior Court in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Driver gets over 2 years in death of motorcyclist in Everett

In May, Desiree Gott was turning into the BECU on Evergreen Way when she crashed into Matthew Japhet, 34. She had taken meth.

A frame from video taken by a nearby security camera shows a Bothell police officer (right) shooting a man who allegedly charged him with a knife. (Snohomish County Multiple Agency Response Team) 20210128
Prosecutor declines charges in fatal Bothell police shooting

An officer shot Juan Rene Hummel, 25, five times in 2020, when Hummel charged at the officer with a knife in his hand.

Logo for news use featuring Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
Man dead in shooting near Startup antique store

The man in his 30s was shot before noon Saturday. A man in his early 20s was in custody.

Most Read