Obama orders review of air security regulations

Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab
Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab

By Al Pefley - bio | email
Posted by Rachel Leigh - email

WEST PALM BEACH, FL (WFLX) - President Obama orders a review of the nation's watch list system and air safety regulations following the Christmas Day attack on a commercial airliner in Detroit.

President Obama also urged citizens to be vigilant and report any strange activity. The majority of passengers we spoke to Monday night at Palm Beach International Airport think the time has come to do something about airline security.

But no one seemed so frightened that they would stop flying.

Marie Bartolo of Palm Beach Gardens and her little dog, Alfie, just returned to South Florida from Newark.

She feels U.S. airports are safe enough. "I think they're doing a very good job to be honest with you -- the way it's going now."

Authorities say bomb-sniffing dogs might've been able to sniff out the chemicals a Nigerian passenger in Detroit had hidden under his clothing Christmas Day before he tried to blow up the plane.

And, experts say, body scanners, those high-tech devices that allow authorities to see what a passenger has beneath their clothes, might also have caught him.

While Palm Beach International does not have body-scanners at its security checkpoints, it does have bomb-sniffing dogs. Five of them, in fact, are assigned to the airport.

The sheriff's office could not say whether it has stepped up the use of the bomb-sniffing dogs since the incident in Detroit.

But some passengers are glad President Obama is calling for a review of the security measures currently in place.

"I think that it is a huge problem and needs to be addressed properly because I don't think they're doing as good a job as they could be doing,"  said Irma Gagliardi, an airline passenger from New York.

Another passenger says the latest actions by the president are coming too late, and should've been done before the bomb incident in Detroit. "My reaction is after the horse has left the barn; we're concerned, and we're doing things," said Harold Eriv, a passenger from New York.

A sheriff's spokeswoman says they are doing one thing differently at the airport. They've stepped up their foot patrols inside the terminal at Palm Beach International and are trying to be more high-profile than usual.