In the light of the Northwest Airlines "pantsbomber" episode and America's penchant for quick but poorly-thought out theatrical responses to such incidents, some international colleagues planning to attend ScienceOnline2010 have expressed some concern about the hassles they might encounter flying into our beloved burg in two weeks.
Preliminary accounts from the RDU International Airport suggest, however, that our local TSA and customs officials have maintained reason and restraint while also keeping travelers as safe as possible:
Paul Beach, an Air Force communications officer who flew into RDU from London Heathrow Airport, said passengers on planes headed to the United States went through the standard security procedures to get to their gates, then, once there, were individually patted down and had their carry-on bags opened.
Coming into RDU, Beach said, he noticed extra security officers and bomb-sniffing dogs at the point where international passengers enter the terminal.
Still, "nobody was griping," he said.
Martha Quillan's report, "At RDU, clearing security not a hassle," appears in today's edition of the Raleigh News & Observer.
ScienceOnline2010 is a three-day conference being held in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, on January 15-17, 2010. Launched in 2007 as the NC Science Blogging Conference, ScienceOnline has become an international gathering whose goal is to bring together scientists, physicians, patients, educators, students, publishers, editors, bloggers, journalists, writers, web developers, programmers and others to discuss, demonstrate and debate online strategies and tools for doing science, publishing science, teaching science, and promoting the public understanding of science.