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National Guard to add to airport security

Members of the Guard to be placed in 21 Alaska airports

Posted: Friday, October 05, 2001

The Juneau Airport will get a contingent of the Army National Guard as added security in a few days. Meanwhile, curbside loading and unloading of travelers and their luggage has resumed and the nearby dike hiking trail remains open.

Members of the National Guard probably will be assigned to the airport beginning Tuesday or Wednesday of next week, said Maj. Mike Haller, Anchorage spokesman for the Guard.

"They will be there to augment the FAA and security that already exists. We are not there to replace anybody," Haller said.

Guard members will be assigned to 21 of Alaska's airports that handle a certain level of passenger jets. Their presence was requested by the Federal Aviation Administration.

The National Guard assigned here probably will be familiar faces because they will be volunteers from Battalion No. 3, which is headquartered in Juneau, Haller added. "To the degree that we can, we are trying to get local members to work in their own communities."

Haller did not know how many people will be assigned.

The airport had considered closing the dike trail as part of security. For the time being, however, it will remain open, said spokeswoman Patty de La Bruere.

As of 8 a.m. today, the airport has opened the front curb to the public. Vehicles will be able to load and unload there, but drivers may not wait or leave their vehicles unattended. Any unattended vehicle will be towed immediately. Parking and waiting is to be done in the long-term parking lot.

Taxis now will be allowed to drop off, pick up or stage in the short-term lot, but must remain with their vehicles, de La Bruere said. Delivery vehicles still must park in the long-term lot.

For details, call de La Bruere at 789-7821.

Ann Chandonnet can be reached at achandonnet@juneauempire.com.



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