September 11 showed the importance of Owensboro Airport | New
At 8:25 a.m. on September 11, 2001 – 39 minutes after the first plane struck the World Trade Center in New York – the Federal Aviation Administration ordered all flights to land and all airports to be closed until further order.
And we learned how important the Owensboro-Daviess County Regional Airport really is.
It would be closed until 3:01 p.m. on September 13, when Trans World Express flight 7886 landed.
There were no passengers on the flight from St. Louis, but the airport was eventually reopened.
And the sky was a little friendlier.
It was good news for Alycia Bartlett and Mike Solis of Titusville, Fla.
They could go home without renting a U-Haul.
“We couldn’t even get a rental car here,” Solis said. “The only thing we could find for rent to go to Florida was a U-Haul. “
At Owensboro car rental agencies, cars could not be dropped off in another city.
They had to be sent back to Owensboro.
“It’s the safest day you can fly,” said Reuben Netherland, vice president of Stupp Bridge Co. in Bowling Green. “There is so much security today.
He was on his way to a business meeting in St. Louis and planned to return to Owensboro that night.
“I’m more worried about the FAA closing airports than hijackers,” Netherland said.
In New York, Elizabeth Paris was waiting to return to Owensboro.
“They say it will be tomorrow morning at the earliest before we can get out of here,” said Paris, who was in New York for a United Nations meeting.
“I’m always afraid to fly,” she said, “even when the skies are clear and nothing is happening. But I am no more afraid of flying now than I have ever been.
Paris was staying at the Wellington Hotel on 55th Street and Seventh Avenue, over 60 blocks from the World Trade Center.
But she said she could smell the smoke from the fires.
Lisa Hill, national account manager for Simon and Schuster Inc., arrived at her home in Owensboro this Thursday evening after sharing a rental car with two other people and driving it to Nashville from Stamford, Connecticut.
Hill had traveled to New York for a business meeting at Rockefeller Center in Manhattan.
On September 12, she and her friends traveled 10 blocks with their luggage to catch a train out of town.
“I slept seven hours in three days,” Hill said. “People were buying cars to go home. Owensboro has never looked so good.
Bishop John J. McRaith, Bishop of the Diocese of Owensboro, was in Washington, DC on September 11 for a meeting of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.
He gave up on trying to get a return flight and began to drive to Owensboro in a rental car, his office said.
But when McRaith got home, he had to pick up his car at the airport.
“We had to tow the bishop’s car and about 20 others,” said Tim Bradshaw, airport manager. “The new FAA regulations state that we cannot park cars within 300 feet of the terminal. “
The cars were towed to the airport long-term parking lot in front of the airport fire station.
“We’re going to hand search the baggage and have bomb-sniffer dogs waiting,” Bradshaw said. “The only carry-on baggage we can allow are handbags and briefcases. “
The airport also had to remove garbage cans from outside the building.
The new rules provided that people accompanying passengers would no longer be allowed to enter waiting areas after metal detectors.
And pocket knives were no longer allowed on flights.