Airport monitors Belgium attacks; flights continue as normal

Published: Mar. 22, 2016 at 6:02 PM EDT|Updated: Apr. 1, 2016 at 6:23 PM EDT
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HENRICO, VA (WWBT) - Richmond International Airport officials monitored the terrorist attacks in Belgium on Tuesday as passengers learned of the devastating news.

The nation's top terror experts say there are no signs of an imminent terror attack in the United States. Still, security is beefed up at a number of airports across the country.

NBC 12 sources say the security team at Richmond International was told not to let down their guard Tuesday in light of the attacks in Belgium, so they stepped up patrols as passengers boarded their flights on a tragic day for travel.

The deadly attacks at Brussel's airport could happen anywhere. Passengers at RIC learned about it as soon as they landed.

"We saw it on social media," said Urbanczyk Williams.

Those deadly bombings were in an open area of the airport – where there's no security required.

"You don't really notice security anymore until you go through security. Like around the airport or anything, you don't see anything," said Larry Rouse.

That's a fear many passengers have - but airport sources say there's a structured plan to keep passengers safe.

In addition to TSA-- the airport employs some 30 police officers. Also, vendors are asked to keep an eye out and report anything suspicious.

In the past, there have been scares at Richmond's airport and the security team had to spring into action. Back in September, staff had to shut off access to the airport. A heavy police presence and a bomb squad were on site after a man stripped to his underwear and left behind three suspicious packages. Crews remained on scene for hours before detonating the packages.

"I'm investing in the fact that they know what they're doing," said Jonathan Freed.

Still some passengers say more security measures wouldn't hurt.

"We always need more, always need more. You just never know. I wouldn't mind because I know it's for our benefit," said Adrian Williams.

Airport sources say every day, they run into a problem of someone trying to bring a banned item onto a flight, but they work to stop it before it happens.

24 hours a day, there are security workers on site, especially at checkpoints and to monitor the premises.

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