- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 16, 2001

Passengers flying into Ronald Reagan Reagan National Airport cannot stand or leave their seats during the last 30 minutes of the flight, airline officials said yesterday.

Industry and union sources discussing the rule on grounds of anonymity said the restriction is part of enhanced security measures for flights into the vicinity of the nation's capital.

Spokesmen for both US Airways and Delta Air Lines, which run the frequently flown shuttles between National and New York's LaGuardia and Boston's Logan airports, said the Federal Aviation Administration imposed the no-standing rule.

FAA spokesman Paul Takemoto would only say: "We strongly encourage all passengers to listen and obey the flight crews."

Several other security requirements unique to Reagan Airport were imposed when the airport reopened because of its proximity to the Pentagon, White House and other government buildings.

Passengers are told of the no-standing rule before the plane takes off. If a passenger stands up during the last half-hour of the flight and refuses to sit back down, the pilot has been told not to land the plane at Reagan, aviation sources said.

Passengers said yesterday that attendants reminded them as the plane neared the 30-minute zone that this was their last chance to use the restroom before the plane landed.

"We are a country of complainers, but nobody was complaining, even a little bit," said Roxanna Cardwell, a passenger aboard an American flight from Boston to Reagan.

In reopening reagan, the FAA also required all passengers to be checked twice for identification and to board planes through specially secured gates. It also told pilots to fly direct routes in and out of the airport rather than follow the Potomac River and expanded police and canine patrols at the airport.

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