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Sources: Reagan National Airport to reopen



By John King
CNN Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- President Bush has signed off on a plan to reopen Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport with additional security measures, administration sources told CNN Monday.

The sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the reopening may be formally announced as soon as Tuesday. Reagan National, located in the northern Virginia suburbs near the Pentagon, has been closed since the September 11 terrorist attacks and is the only passenger airport in the United States still closed.

New security measures would include armed federal sky marshals on every flight in and out of the airport for the foreseeable future, plus heightened security measures inside the airport, said sources. The measures "would go even beyond" new restrictions put in place across the country since the September 11 terrorist attacks, source said.

Traffic in and out of the airport would be regulated by air traffic controllers "in a manner consistent with national security concerns," said the official. Additional air space in the area will off-limits airlines, the official said.

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On Monday, Virginia's governor and congressional delegation went to the White House to lobby for Reagan National's reopening, saying its continued closure is costing jobs and damaging the economy of northern Virginia.

President pondering reopening

Bush has been considering recommendations for the airport's future that Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta put together, White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card said Sunday.

"We want to do what is right rather than do it fast," Card said on "Fox News Sunday."

Speaking on NBC's "Meet the Press," Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld also said he would like to see the airport reopened, saying it would be "unfortunate" to "alter our way of life" after the attacks.



 
 
 
 


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