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Does the airport in Oak Island check planes for drugs?

Jason Gonzales
StarNews

A plane lands at the Cape Fear Regional Jetport in Oak Island on May 2, 2013. StarNews photo by Mike Spencer.

Q. I read a recent story about a major narcotics bust where a small single-prop plane landed at a small airport somewhere to refuel. For some reason it was checked and found laden with narcotics. What precautions are taken to check that aircraft aren’t refueling at Oak Island’s KSUT and carrying narcotics to points beyond or even delivering them here?

A. The Cape Fear Regional Jetport does not have a dedicated security guard to check for drug smuggling activities, but that does not mean the Jetport isn’t diligent in checking for illegal activities, said director Howie Franklin.

The jetport follows a safety security management program that was designed by the Federal Aviation Administration.

“We check for terrorists, drugs, or anything that could jeopardize the well-being of our airport,” he said.

And everyone that operates at the jetport has a stake in keeping the airport safe, he said.

“There are 10 businesses on the airport, and everyone is involved,” Franklin said. “We all are looking for anything adverse, suspicious people, and we have a duress code if someone is under duress.”

He added that the whole airport has security meetings six times a year.

“We take this stuff very seriously, because it’s our livelihood,” he said.

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