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MacArthur Airport appears calm amid the storm

Passengers wait in line to be screened at

Passengers wait in line to be screened at MacArthur Airport. (December 25, 2009) Photo Credit: Ed Betz

Darren Koffer sat near the Southwest Airlines ticket counters at Long Island MacArthur Airport yesterday afternoon, his bags on the floor, passing time with relatives as he waited to board his flight to Chicago, delayed by bad weather.

“No, I’m not afraid at all,” Koffer, 43, a business developer for Motorola, said of flying home in the wake of the attempted terrorist attack. “I’m confident in the government to take the right safety measures, but unfortunately, we can’t control what goes on outside of our borders.”

It seemed business as usual yesterday at the Ronkonkoma airport, which handles only domestic flights. As family and friends hugged and kissed travelers goodbye or waited for loved ones to arrive, there was no apparent climate of fear or any obvious changes in security. Travelers still waited with IDs and boarding passes in hand while Transportation Security Administration officers checked and initialed other passengers’ tickets. People took off their shoes, sweatshirts and hats and placed them in bins on the X-ray machine conveyor belt.

There have been reports that the TSA will implement new regulations for international travelers that would mandate that an hour before landing passengers stay in their seats, have nothing in their laps and not access their carry-on luggage.

“I think it’s hard to say where to draw the line, but I trust those making the decisions as to what’s necessary,” said Pat McFarlane, 52, who was returning home to Minneapolis after visiting Long Island for the holidays. “I’m certainly concerned as always about flying, but it certainly hasn’t altered plans.”


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