More security in airport for DNC

by: Holly Maynard Updated:


CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Several changes are in place at Charlotte Douglas as thousands of Democratic National Convention visitors make their way to the Queen City.

By the end of Sunday, Charlotte Douglas expected about 11,000 travelers would have ended their trips there.

When they arrived, there's a good chance they noticed one big change there: much more security. In the span of a few minutes, Eyewitness News saw officers from several agencies.

The Transportation Security Administration alone added 161 officers for the DNC. They include behavior detection officers who watch for anyone acting suspicious, explosives specialists and canine teams.

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department has a large presence too. Channel 9 also saw officers from Atlanta walking back and forth in the terminal.

"This would be a bad place to try to hold up today," said Jerry Orr, the aviation director.

Travelers arriving home to Charlotte Sunday night said the airport definitely felt different.

"A lot of TSA employees, a lot of dogs, a lot of delegates coming in for the DNC," said Tiajuana Weeden.

Eyewitness News met her soon after she heard an announcement saying her ride would have to pick her up on the upper level instead of the lower level like usual. That's another change because of the DNC.

When her ride arrived, Channel 9 asked her driver about the changing road patterns he experienced coming to the airport.

"Traffic is flowing real well," said Richard Threadgill.

He also mentioned that new signs put up to direct traffic were bright enough to see easily.

Inside the airport, it was clear something big was in town. Eyewitness News saw several of the more than 200 volunteers there to help get people where they need to go. Channel 9 also saw a TV news crew from Sacramento getting work done.

There were also several people coming to Charlotte for the first time.  Ashley Valis came here for the convention from Maryland.

"When we arrived here it's been a breeze. Really easy. Everyone is super nice," she said.

The alternate traffic routes at Charlotte Douglas will still be in place Monday. The airport will also still be using its temporary cell phone lot at 5535 Wilkinson Blvd. for those people waiting for friends or family to arrive.

Several dignitaries, delegates, and other visitors are expected to arrive on Monday.