Sea-Tac Airport braces for arrival of Amanda Knox
As soon as the appeals court in Italy overturned Amanda Knox’s conviction of sexually assaulting and killing her British roommate, officials at Sea-Tac began to prepare for the onslaught of media from around the world.
“Once the verdict was announced,” said Sea-Tac spokesman Perry Cooper, “it became apparent that this was probably going to be a place where media would be gathering. … We’re the first place where she comes back and lands and gets back on U.S. soil and back at home … so we started to prepare for it and make sure that we were ready kind of for the worst here.”
A spokesman for Amanda Knox's family, Dave Marriott, confirmed this morning that a news conference will be held at the airport about a half-hour after the plane carrying Knox and her family arrives, which is expected at around 5:15 p.m.
Marriott says Knox's parents, Curt Knox and Edda Mellas, and legal adviser Ted Simon are expected to speak to reporters. Marriott says whether Amanda Knox will talk is up in the air.
Mass of media
Cooper, the Sea-Tac spokesman, said the airport will host the press conference on the south end of the terminal next to the newly completed concourse A, where shuttles and other transportation vehicles stage to pick up passengers. Half of the area is expected to be filled with media and the airport hopes to continue using the other half for normal operations.
Airport officials began blocking off the area at 9 p.m. last night and by 10 a.m. today, Cooper had received at least 45 phone calls from national and international news organizations looking to join the event in some way. He said that eight satellite trucks were already parked there.
He said the number one concern for the airport was security and they realized that it would be much better to provide a staging area than have journalists and crews combing the airport looking for Knox.
“The more we can contain things and keep it in one spot, the less it will affect normal operations,” he said.