Security enhanced at Myrtle Beach Airport since Sept. 11, 2001 - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Security enhanced at Myrtle Beach Airport since Sept. 11, 2001

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MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – It's the 12thanniversary of 9/11 and for all of us it was a day that changed security in our country - especially at airports.

During the month of August, there were more than 80 calls needing police response to MYR.

The number one reason for police response over the last 31 days was to enforce parking restrictions.

"Since 9/11, there have been a lot of changes to the airport as far as law enforcement goes," said Lt. Robert Kegler with the Horry County Police Department. "You used to be able to park at the curb, that is no longer the case."

Lt. Kegler explained that nothing can be stationary within 300 feet of the terminal.

Following parking enforcement, the second amount of calls for police at MYR were for unruly passengers.

This includes a child running away from his family after a trip to the bathroom, a man suspected of drinking too much before flying, and a passenger getting mad at baggage handlers over how they were looking at his girlfriend.

While they may seem like minor offenses, officers explained being disorderly in an airport is more severe than acting out on the street.

In fact, it is now a federal rule you need to pass a type of background check before being able to fly again if you cause a disturbance at the airport.

"In the end, they're doing it to better our travel experience and make everyone safe," said Jenna Branum, a passenger traveling through MYR.

Branum supports security changes made since 9/11.

"I think they've put a lot of measures in place that have made it more secure," she said.

One big change is what passengers are allowed to bring in a carry-on. Brass knuckles were the number one item confiscated during security checkpoints over the last month.

Those were followed by a handful of people trying to get through security with bullets in their carry-on. One man, even though he didn't have the ammunition on him, was arrested in August for having a gun in his suitcase.

"The screening process has changed a lot as far as technology goes," said Lt. Kegler.

TSA Agents saw the gun in the x-ray and triggered a silent alarm for officers to respond. Having these thorough checks makes passengers feel safer to fly.

"If someone has something to hide, I want it to come out before we're on the plane and in a closed premises," said Branum.

Which is why officers are always patrolling the perimeter of the airport.

"Everything coming in, deliveries, everything that goes into the secured area, has to be inspected by law enforcement now," said Lt. Kegler.

Even after the last flight leaves, officers remain on the property for security reasons. 

Copyright 2013 WMBF News. All rights reserved.

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