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9-11, Airport Manager Glen Januska Remembers

David McNew/Getty Images

Airport traffic across the country came to a standstill 10 years ago following the events of 9-11.

Casper-Natrona County International Airport Manager, Glen Januska, was working at the Sioux Falls Airport at the time and had just returned to work after back surgery and was hoping to work some half days while recuperating. He says he was walking through city hall when reports came over the television news.

“Needless to say I didn’t work a half day that day. I probably worked 16 hours days going forward for the next week.”

The airport immediately went into high alert, Januska says, even before the order came from the FAA. As it happened the Sioux City Airport, just two days before, hosted  an airshow with flights by the Blue Angels and  a crowd of 40,000 .

“48 hours later I was standing out on the ramp, no aircraft taking off, no aircraft departing and it was a really eeire type of a feeling.”

He says he spent that first evening in front of local TV news cameras working with mostly information he culled from the national  news.

“What I was doing, in essence, was was regurgitating what we were doing based upon what we were seeing nationally. So mostly what I was talking about was really information I was picking up on a national basis watching the news.”

Januska says he personally believes that, since that time, the biggest impact on aviation safety came from the actions of the passengers on flight 93.

“I think it was that flight, where the passengers realized that there was a threat and made the decision that we need to take control. We can’t just sit back passive. And I think that attitude is the thing that has probably done more for security in people’s mindsets than probably any of the controls we’ve put in place.”

 

 

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