Logan Keeps Current Security Despite Shoe Bomber

This Christmas, shoes may have become the most checked carry-on items at airports. In the new world of airport security, even footwear can create a hassle.

The day after Boston University’s dormitories officially closed down, Richard C. Reid stepped onto a trans Atlantic flight carrying explosives in his shoes. Reid was stopped by fellow passengers on the flight, and the flight was diverted to Logan Airport.

Reid, who is Sri Lankan by birth, is currently being held in Boston. His trial has not been set, nor has the location. Officials are discussing changing the location from Boston to a Virginia courthouse.

Despite the perceived threat from shoes or possibly another “shoe bomber,” traveling figures still increased from last month, according to Massport.

“I’ve been told the numbers are an improvement over the November numbers,” said Massport spokeswoman Barbara Platt. Platt said final numbers are not yet available.

So far no new security changes are being initiated at Logan, although Massport is in the process of developing “facial recognition technology,” Platt said. Facial recognition technology would screen faces and match those with faces on a database of known terrorists.

Logan will open its Terminal B parking garage on Tuesday. The terminal has been closed since Sept. 12, when the Federal Aviation Administration issued a security directive prohibiting parking within 300 feet of an airline terminal. Massport requested a waiver to park vehicles in the garage with increased security measures.

Logan received some of the harshest criticisms after the Sept. 11 attacks for its security measures, particularly after rumors passengers had been able to pass through open gates with no trouble.

“I am delighted that the Terminal B parking garage is re-opening,” said acting Gov. Jane Swift in a statement. “This is proof that business is bouncing back at Logan and that our efforts to enhance security and improve customer confidence in Logan are working.”

Terminal B is the busiest terminal at Logan, handling about 500 flights a day.

“Logan is getting back to business,” acting Massport Executive Director Thomas J. Kinton said in a statement. “Travelers are returning to the skies, cars are filling the garage and employees are returning to work. The opening of the Terminal B garage is a sign of more good things to come.”

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