By Chet Brokaw.
PIERRE, SD (AP)--South Dakota crop sprayers must do all they can to make sure their airplanes are not used as weapons by terrorists, Gov. Bill Janklow said Oct. 5.
"Let's all do our part, and let's all get on with the business of protecting America so we can get on the business of living our lives," Janklow told about 50 crop sprayers at a breakfast meeting in Pierre.
The governor told the crop sprayers about new federal security requirements imposed after the Sept. 11 terrorists attacks that used commercial airliners.
The U.S. government grounded crop sprayers briefly after the attacks because of worries the planes could be used as missiles or to spread deadly chemicals or germs.
The federal requirements seek to prevent terrorists from stealing airplanes or otherwise using them as weapons, Janklow said.
In talks with governors, federal officials have said states must make sure airplanes and security vehicles, such as ambulances, are not used by terrorists, Janklow told the crop sprayers.
States have to identify, monitor and guarantee the security of airplanes, he said.
The governor said he believes South Dakota has 102 licensed aerial sprayers, although a few fly out of neighboring states.
Americans have a hard time understanding or defending against terrorists who want to kill civilians and don't mind dying in the attack, Janklow said. South Dakota is not likely to be a terrorist target, Janklow said, but he added that he wants to make sure the state is not used as a launching point for an attack elsewhere.
Crop sprayers agreed.
"I'm willing to participate in any way I can," Rob Sherer of Blunt said.
Janklow said that when airplanes are parked temporarily or stored for the winter, steps must be taken to make sure no one can steal them.
Such measures could include parking heavy equipment in front of hangar doors, removing a wheel, installing a chain lock on propellers or using locks on cockpit controls.
The state Department of Transportation can provide equipment to block hangar doors, he said. The state will pay half the cost of propeller locks, Janklow said.
Crop sprayers also must contact county sheriffs when people they do not know try to hire them for spraying, try to rent their airplanes or seek to get flying lessons, the governor said. Sheriffs will investigate and notify the FBI in such cases, he said.
"If you ever see anybody who's suspicious...just call the sheriff," Janklow said.
The state also will come up with a plan to regulate the transportation of hazardous materials, and that will affect some crop sprayers, the governor said.
"We're going to make it as hassle-free as we can," he said.
Federal officials also are focusing on security for mass transportation, communications facilities, oil and gas refineries and chemical factories, Janklow said.
Airports either have to ban parking within 300 feet of terminals or install explosive barriers to protect the buildings, Janklow said. He said he plans to install such barriers at airports in Pierre, Huron, Brookings, Watertown and Aberdeen before the ground freezes.
The governor said he is setting up a terrorism center in state government that can take telephone calls 24 hours a day.
He also reminded the crop sprayers that the United States has no air defense system against attacks launched within its borders. Air National Guard planes in Sioux Falls and around the nation are armed and ready to shoot down any plane being used as a terrorist weapon, he said.
"They're prepared to go to war over the skies of the United States," Janklow said.