OUR VIEW

Worth the wait

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Have you read any good books lately? Now might be a good time to start, especially if you're going to be traveling by air.

With tighter security at airports throughout the nation, you can expect a longer wait.

While Routt County sometimes seems sheltered from the rest of the world, even our own Yampa Valley Regional Airport has felt the impact of recently issued mandates from the Federal Aviation Administration.

This week, Sheriff John Warner and airport Aviation Director Jim Parker began discussions with Routt County commissioners on how to pay for these new security requirements.

Right now, Warner is supplying a deputy to patrol the airport in Hayden while flights are arriving and departing, as per regulations.

Warner said he would like the county to hire an additional deputy for this job because the situation causes one less deputy to be patrolling county roads.

The airport's parking lots have had to be pushed back 300 yards from the terminal so more parking spaces will have to be built.

Parker said there is no money budgeted for these expenses because, obviously, no one foresaw the events of Sept. 11 that brought renewed focus on airport security.

It goes without saying that, in the world we live in, air travel is a necessity. And now, tighter security is necessary to combat the evil that reared its ugly head more than two weeks ago.

Expect more spot checks by airport security and a longer wait at the baggage inspection area. At Denver International Airport, passengers are being warned that it can take up to four hours to check in and board a plane. In some cases, a four-hour wait would defeat the purpose of flying.

Despite such inconveniences, the bottom line is these new security regulations are necessary in the practical as well as psychological sense. When we pay for these improved security measures through taxes, fees and our time we're also buying a greater sense of protection against those who mean us harm. If the number of air travelers is going to return to pre-attack levels, that sense of protection is a must.

So, before you leave for the airport, make sure you give yourself plenty of time and make sure you have your ticket, which happens to make a great bookmark.

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