US Air Traffic to Resume Thursday
US air traffic is to resume Thursday, without elaborating whether a full flight schedule will take to the skies, AFP said.
"I believe we are going to fly again today," Attorney General John Ashcroft said, without specifying at what time planes were due to depart.
But in a statement, Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta said he had ordered the national airspace system re-opened to commercial and private aviation, effective at 11 am Eastern time (1500 GMT).
"We will re-open airports and resume flights on a case-by-case basis, only after they implement our more stringent levels of security," Mineta said in a statement, cited by the agency.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on Wednesday ordered several stringent measures to make the nation's airports and skies safer, while allowing limited air traffic to resume late in the day.
Flights diverted after Tuesday's terrorist attacks flew to their original destinations Wednesday, but the FAA grounded all other commercial air traffic for a second straight day, CNN said.
Mineta had said the ban would be in effect until further notice and until officials assess airports' progress in implementing more stringent security guidelines.
The restrictions affect everything from curbside check-ins to a ban on knives in airport concourses to an increased security presence, both covert and overt.
In addition, the Justice Department said Wednesday night it was considering placing armed federal "skymarshals" on some commercial airline flights for the first time in more than 25 years, the network added.
The Customs Service, which says it expects to supply 400 agents to more than a dozen major airports, headed the skymarshals program from 1970 to 1973.
Meanwhile, the State Department re-issued a worldwide warning Wednesday to Americans about traveling abroad -- the same caution in effect since last year's October 12 attack on the USS Cole in Yemen – Albawaba.com
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