U.S. airport security measures to be eased for domestic flights


WASHINGTON (AP) -- Citing a reduction in the threat of terrorism, Transportation Secretary Samuel K. Skinner said yesterday that the tight security measures at U.S. airports imposed during the Persian Gulf war will soon be relaxed.

Mr. Skinner added, however, that domestic airport and airline security would still be at a higher level than before the war and would not be reduced at all on international flights.

Hours after the war began Jan. 16, the Federal Aviation Administration raised airport and airline security to "level four," the highest level ever imposed.

Mr. Skinner said that would now be adjusted to a "modified level two."

The principal changes include:

* Lifting the requirement that only ticketed passengers be allowed beyond security screening points.

* Relaxing restrictions on parking near airline terminals.

* Allowing curbside baggage check-in for domestic flights under careful security supervision.

Some airlines and airports had complained that banning non-ticketed people from arrival and departure areas had cut sales at airport concessions.

James B. Busey, head of the FAA, said the more relaxed security could be in effect by next weekend.

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