Security Check: Airports after dark

ROANOKE, Va. - There's plenty of visible security at Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport during the day --but what about during the overnight hours?

There are no scheduled overnight commercial flights, but the terminal is open around the clock.

WFXR News worked with our sister stations across the country to see what security is in place during overnight hours at regional airports with 24/7 terminals.

Marketing and Public Relations Administrator Brad Boettcher told WFXR News that there's more than meets the eye when it comes to overnight security.

During an overnight trip we found the luggage left behind the ticket counter at the United Airlines desk and the gate to the TSA checkpoint area was left open; WFXR News did not encounter any security officers while walking around the terminal around 12:30 a.m.

"The reason it was open at that time, I thought it was because there were people still down there, and there were. It was actually one of our law enforcement officers was doing his nightly sweep," said Boettcher. "You were being watched in real time. You were not viewed as a threat but had you taken a couple more steps toward that ticket counter, had you tried to go down to the sterile area on the concourse, yeah, you would have had an interaction with our officer."

WANE-TV was able to walk through TSA checkpoint equipment, found unlocked drawers and keys at a taxi booth within reach during an overnight trip to Fort Wayne International Airport in Indiana.

An compilation by WANE-TV found similar discoveries at other regional airports open around the clock across the country.

Boettcher told WFXR News that security procedures are working well at Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport.

"There is monitoring in real time, there is staff here around the clock so it's one of those things where it should allow the traveling public to take a great deal of comfort in the amount of security we do have in place, but then also if somebody has the misfortune of they have to spend the night in the terminal, if they let the law enforcement officers know that they'll check on them when they're doing their rounds and it'll be a safe place for people to do that."


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