Argyle International Airport. (iWN file photo)

The Argyle International Airport will soon implement additional security protocols in keeping with the directives of the United States Transportation Security Administration.

Hadley Bourne, chief executive officer of AIA, told the media on Monday that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, which is responsible for civil aviation and other security measures in the U.S., through the TSA, recently issued directives that airlines have to put in place in relation to electronic equipment.

“And those directives, based on the different airlines and the procedure they have in place, once you are flying into the US territories, will come into effect soon. So I’ll just say I’ll start to sensitise the public,” he said.

The new directives come at a time when the AIA is responding to claims by passengers that items are being removed from their luggage.

From left: Winston Wright, manager of Ground Handling and Cargo Service at AIA, Hadley Bourne, chief executive officer at AIA, and Glender Francois, manager of Customer Service and Marketing/Public Relations. (IWN photo)

The most common missing items seem to be Sunset Strong Rum, the alcohol volume of which exempts it from being transported on commercial airlines, but travellers have also claimed that they have been missing mundane items, such as clothing, and in at least once case, a wedding ring and cash.

“So it’s not only alcoholic beverages, but you must understand that since 9/11, a lot of security measures have been put in place. Persons have been creative in their ways of achieving mischief and, as I said, electronic devices, even cell phones of a certain size [would not be allowed to fly].

“So just bear that in mind that when these new directives are put into place, it’s not AIA. We don’t operate in a vacuum, we are just implementing and trying to adhere to the international standards and regulations which are set out by the various authorities,” Bourne said.

But while Bourne spoke about new TSA protocols, when asked, he admitted that the airport does not have keys to open TSA approved locks when conducting manual searches of checked bags.

“The keys are on order. It is not a one fit all but we are actually investing in some of the TSA keys,” he said.

When asked how soon the AIA expected to receive these keys, he said he would “hope that before the end of the summer period for sure”.

In the meantime, passengers who locked their bags, even with TSA approved locks, will see them being cut off it AIA security officials need to search their checked luggage.