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O.C. Airport Restricts Access, Boosts Searches

February 21, 2003|Jeff Gottlieb | Times Staff Writer

All but two entrances to John Wayne Airport will be closed starting today, and automobiles, taxis and shuttles will face random searches as part of nationwide anti-terrorism security measures.

Because of the added precautions, airport officials say passengers should arrive 2 1/2 hours before their flights leave.

Orange County sheriff's deputies have been inspecting all vehicles pulling into airport parking structures since shortly after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Deputies have been looking in all trunks and portions of vehicles they cannot see.

Starting today, the only ways to enter the airport will be from Campus Drive, via MacArthur Boulevard, or the offramp from the southbound Costa Mesa Freeway. Sheriff's deputies barricaded the Michelson Drive entrance to the terminal Thursday. Today, the MacArthur entrance will be closed.

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