St. Louis Public Radio News
2:04 pm
Tue December 31, 2002

Lambert Meets Federal Deadline for Baggage Screening

St. Louis, MO – When the clock struck 12 on New Year's Day, it also meant every bag at every U-S airport had to be inspected. Screeners at St. Louis Lambert Airport, though, beat that deadline by a couple days. They started inspecting all bags on Monday.

Bill Switzer, who runs Lambert's security, says passengers who showed up at the airport this week found a slightly new routine to getting on a plane.

"They probably saw confusion there," Switzer said. "Big machines there in the lobby. And then after they got their ticket from the various airlines, they were directed to take their bags to the checked bags area where we screened all the bags, 100%."

The change assures every piece of luggage, whether checked or carry on, goes through a bomb-detecting machine.

Switzer says the Lambert has more than 40 machines placed throughout the lobbies of both terminals to do the work.

He says the machines are a kind of long term quick fix: They'll be there for two to three years until the airport can install a more permanent system for screening bags.