In the wake of Friday’s attack in Florida, travelers will notice increased security at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport this weekend, with additional officers patrolling “pre-security” areas at both terminals.
Officers with long guns and bomb-sniffing dogs will be very visible in baggage-check and ticketing areas, airport spokesman Patrick Hogan said Friday. The decision to beef up security came just hours after a gunman killed five people and wounded several others in a baggage claim area at the Fort Lauderdale airport.
The shooter, who was carrying a military ID, had boarded a flight from Anchorage, Alaska, Thursday night, then switched planes in Minneapolis Friday morning before flying on to Fort Lauderdale. The weapon he used was in his checked baggage.
At least three Delta flights to MSP — one departing and two incoming — were canceled in the wake of Friday’s attack. Though officials said they do not believe the Minnesota airport faces any specific threats, security was bolstered almost immediately.
“There is always a plan in place,” said Hogan, who called the presence of officers toting long guns “the new normal.”
“Unfortunately, there have been enough incidents like this around the world that airports have had to plan for ways to mitigate the threat,” he said.
In March, the Minneapolis airport was among several in the United States that stepped up security after suicide bombings at the airport in Brussels.
“These incidents remind us that bad things can happen anywhere,” Hogan said. “We need people to be vigilant, and if they see something suspicious, to call 911 immediately.”