San Diegans and other Americans who fly internationally in the coming days could be in for tighter security measures stemming from the recent crash of a Russian chartered jetliner in Egypt, the Department of Homeland Security announced Friday.
DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson said measures at some foreign airports could include expanded screening applied to certain items on aircraft. He also said U.S. officials could assess airports with international partners and offer assistance to certain foreign airports related to aviation and airport security, as well as additional measures, both seen and unseen.
The TSA did not provide details about the increased security measures, other than there will be more extensive baggage checks.
“While the facts and circumstances surrounding the tragic Oct. 31 crash of Metrojet Flight 9268 on the Sinai Peninsula are still under investigation, Transportation Security Administrator (TSA) Peter Neffenger and I, out of an abundance of caution, have identified a series of interim, precautionary enhancements to aviation security with respect to commercial flights bound for the United States from certain foreign airports in the region,” Johnson said.
“While there are no direct commercial air flights from Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt, to the United States, these enhancements are designed to provide an additional layer of security for the traveling public, and will be undertaken in consultation with relevant foreign governments and relevant passenger and cargo airlines,” Johnson said.
He said the enhancements will supplement U.S. aviation security requirements already in place at all foreign last-point-of-departure airports, and additional security enhancements he ordered last summer at certain foreign locations. Many of those enhancements have also been adopted by European nations, he said.
All 224 people aboard the Airbus A-321 jetliner died in the crash, which occurred over an area where Egyptian forces have been battling Islamic militants. Authorities are focusing on the possibility that the aircraft was brought down by a bomb.
Russian and Britain have suspended flights from Sharm el Sheikh, a popular resort area on the Red Sea, while some airlines are routing flights away from the area where the fighting is taking place.
— City News Service
>> Subscribe to Times of San Diego’s free daily email newsletter! Click hereFollow Us: