Airport regulations are no joke, and that doesn’t just include passengers. Anyone entering the airport is subject to rules and security measures. Most of these security laws were put into place after the 9/11 attacks in New York City. While they were all set up in order to protect the public and all those utilizing air travel, some of the rules have been frustrating. One of the most complained about airport regulations is that non-passengers are not able to accompany friends or family past the security checkpoints. Only those with boarding passes or special circumstances are able to do so, at nearly every airport in the world nowadays.
However, just recently, many U.S. airports have begun to test out new rules regarding non-passengers. Old laws used to allow anyone to roam around the airport provided they went through security. On the other hand, newer laws are testing out more measured ways of allowing non-passengers to accompany their friends and family through to the gates. Several airports like in Tampa, Pittsburgh, and Seattle-Tacoma are trying out the new regulations.
Tampa International Airport plans to allow non-passengers through the airport only once a week, limit the number to 100 people, and have those people apply online beforehand. The reason for the attempts is an equal mix of responding to customer frustration and the desire to bolster in-airport revenue. Airports are full of high-end shops and restaurants that could get a lot more foot traffic if non-passengers were allowed through security.
A handful of other American airports ran similar pilot programs to see how such a regulation would affect their airport, security, and revenues. Many of the programs went so well that it’s becoming a common consideration all over the country. Perhaps this is the start of a new era for airport security.