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Bush Trying to Convince Americans to Start Flying Again - 2001-09-27

President Bush travels to the Midwest city of Chicago Thursday where he is expected to annouce a series of new measures on airline security. The President wants to reassure Americans that it is safe to fly following this month's terrorist attacks in New York and Washington.

The President is going to Chicago to meet with airline workers affected by the terrorist hijackings. U.S. airlines and airline manufacturers have announced big job cuts and a reduction in flight schedules following the attacks.

Congress has approved a $15 billion aid package to help U.S. airlines weather the drop in business. But that will not turn around until more consumers are willing to return to air travel. Mr. Bush says he wants to reasure the American people that it is safe to fly

"We are going to deal with airport security tomorrow as well as other measures to try to convince the American public that it is safe to fly," he said. "One of my concerns is that this terrible incident has convinced many Americans to stay at home, and one of the keys to economic recovery is going to be the vitality of the airline industry."

President Bush says he will be announcing a series of confidence-boosting measures for American airlines. Administration officials say those measures may include stationing armed air marshalls on nearly all domestic flights, establishing better screening measures in airports, and constructing more secure cockpits in airplanes.