October 16, 2006
Guzman said the airport's Emergency Control Plan was activated Thursday and federal authorities were notified. A thorough search of the airport grounds was conducted Thursday by canine teams from the Anchorage International Airport Police along with the Seattle office of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms said Guzman.
"The search met with negative results in locating any suspicious items or explosive devices," said Chief Guzman.
Chief Guzman said the Ketchikan Airport Police received assistance in the investigation from the Anchorage Office of the F.B.I., Anchorage office of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, Anchorage office of Transportation Security Administration, Seattle office of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, the Ketchikan Police Department, a detachment of the Alaska State Troopers, U.S. Coast Guard base Ketchikan, Airlift Northwest and the State of Alaska Department of Public Safety's jet.
The Alaska Department of Public Safety's Westwind II jet transported a bomb-sniffing dog and its handler from Anchorage to Ketchikan in response to the bomb threats.
Governor Frank H. Murkowski said such utilitarian use of the jet underscores the necessity of having it available for emergency responses. Thursday's flight took about 1-3/4 hours, and saved at least 1-1/2 hours of flight time that would have been required if a King Air had been used. By comparison, a commercial flight from Anchorage to Ketchikan would likely take 5-6 hours and require two stops. The department has one King Air, a twin-engine turboprop aircraft. The jet-engine powered Westwind flies faster and at higher altitudes than the King Air.
"The Ketchikan airport was shut down for about six hours as it was, and it would have been even longer if the dog and its handler had not been transported on the jet," Murkowski said. "The Westwind is a very useful tool for the Department of Public Safety to have in its toolbox, as we have seen."
Among its other missions, the Alaska Department of Public Safety uses the jet to transport prisoners to and from Arizona for the Department of Corrections, as well as providing direct flights for the governor and other state employees.
Chief Guzman said Friday that the investigation into the bomb threats is progressing and is being conducted by the Anchorage office of the F.B.I.
Any persons with information about the incident are encouraged to call Ketchikan Crimestoppers at 225-CLUE.
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