Atlanta Airport is tightening security with tough measures against loitering

Rich Thomaselli

If you’re in one of the world’s busiest airports at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, you better have a good reason.

Because there’s no more hanging around.

During a security action, officials announced that you can no longer just hang around the airport. There was no specific incident that prompted this policy, but the Atlanta Police Department and Airport Police have begun enforcing the new rules. Airport officials say 24-hour monitoring of who can and cannot be in the terminal will help ensure the airport’s safety.

“This is a culmination of a broad range of issues,” said Atlanta City Councilman Michael Bond.

Police say theft, burglary, assault, robbery and shoplifting are a problem at the airport.

“There have been incidents where we have had some assaults by individuals entering the terminal and atrium areas; we have had repeated shoplifting and other petty and petty crimes,” Bond said.

Only passengers, airport staff and people on official business are allowed to enter the facility. It is not known whether those who pick up or drop off passengers, or assist the elderly or disabled, will be allowed into the airport.

“The airport was already restricted for some overnight hours…when you entered the facility you had to show a reason why you were there…those hours have essentially been extended 24 hours a day,” Bond said. “Atlanta police may question you if they believe you are doing something suspicious or engaging in activity unrelated to what is considered a legitimate reason to be on the premises.”

It is also unknown how issues such as parking decks attached to the structure will be handled in the future.

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