WASHINGTON — Federal aviation officials tightened security Sunday on U.S. planes serving East Asia after two U.S. jetliners flying over the Pacific were ordered down in bomb scares linked to Pope John Paul II's Asian tour.
"The FAA, on behalf of the U.S. government and as a security precaution, is screening gels, liquids and aerosol (sprays) over one ounce in carry-on luggage at certain airports," said Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Liz Neblett.
She declined to specify which airports would be affected, but a statement issued by the State Department late Saturday said the intensified measures were being imposed in the East Asian region.
A United Airlines flight from Tokyo to Honolulu was ordered back to Japan, and another from Los Angeles to Hong Kong was instructed to land in Taipei, officials reported Sunday.
Both incidents occurred late Saturday. No bombs were found.
Concern over the safety of U.S. airliners flying the Pacific increased after Philippine police arrested two Arabs and seized bomb-making equipment in a raid Jan. 6 on a Manila apartment near the Vatican ambassador's residence, where the Pope had been staying.