SFO gears up for crowds amid heightened alert

Ramped-up security and a busy holiday week have the terminals full and bustling at San Francisco International Airport, which is projected to see more than 1 million holiday travelers.

San Francisco Police Department Airport Bureau Sgt. Mike Sullivan said SFO police are conducting additional vehicle checks for cars heading into the airport’s main road in front of the terminals. Drivers who linger too long at pickup and drop-off points are being waved off more quickly, a security measure that started in earnest Saturday. Sullivan was unable to estimate how many additional patrols are on airport property.

Airport officials predicted that from June 29 through Friday, more than 1 million passengers would pass through its terminals, a figure that represents an increase of approximately 2 percent over last year’s Fourth of July holiday.

SFO spokesman Mike McCarron would not comment on the exact nature of the heightened security, but acknowledged that there is an additional police presence and K-9 units. Security lines are expected to be of normal length, with waits of approximately five to seven minutes, McCarron said. United Airlines spokesman Jeff Kovick said the airline, SFO’s largest carrier, is advising travelers to check in online and review their flight status before arriving at the airport.

Despite the busy week, the American Automobile Association projects that people will still be traveling via car and train. AAA of Northern California estimates that of the 5.7 million Californians traveling 50 miles or more for the holiday, more than 80 percent of them are expected to drive.

tramroop@examiner.com

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