Security Tightened at Houston Airports

Security at both Houston airports has been tightened in response to the elevated terrorism threat brought on by the arrests of a group of terror suspects in London. Houston Public Radio's Jim Bell reports.

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Because the London threat involved liquid explosives on US bound planes, US Transportation Security has banned almost all liquids from carry-on bags on American flights. Houston Deputy Aviation Director Mark Mancuso says effective immediately, liquid items are not allowed beyond security checkpoints at both airports -- for all flights, domestic and international.

"All liquids, including beverages, are prohibited in carry-on luggage, including what goes onto the airplane at the boarding gate itself. So any and all liquids are not going to be permitted."

Mancuso says liquid prescription medicines and baby formula will be allowed, but almost nothing else. Because people can buy soft drinks and other liquids at shops in the boarding areas, they'll be screened a second time before they get on the plane. People already have to be at the airport two hours ahead of their flight, but Mancuso doesn't know if the elevated security will affect that.

"We're not telling people to come any earlier than they have been in the past, if they've been getting here two hours early, but what we are telling you is that it's somewhat dependent upon the airline and the carrier you're flying, so we're telling people to contact their air carrier for information about how far in advance they need to get there depending upon the flight."

There's more information on the elevated terror alert, and what you can and cannot take on board the plane on our website KUHF dot org. Jim Bell, Houston Public Radio News.