CHARLOTTE -- About 15 outbound flights were delayed Friday morning after a man sneaked past a security checkpoint at Charlotte's airport just before 8 a.m.
U.S. Transportation Security Administration officials gave up their search for the man about 3:30 p.m., after those flights had landed in cities across the United States and the planes and their passengers had been searched.
The Federal Aviation Administration shut down all outbound flights in Charlotte for an hour beginning shortly after 8 a.m., said Kathleen Bergen, a spokeswoman for the agency in Atlanta.
A search of the secure areas of Charlotte/Douglas International Airport turned up neither the man nor anything suspicious.
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Authorities at first assumed the man made his way onto one of the flights, but TSA spokesman Jon Allen said they haven't ruled out the theory that the man turned around and disappeared into the crowd after sparking the manhunt. Officials said it was too early to determine whether there was malicious intent or whether the passenger was confused by the screening process.
Allen asserts that there were no security risks at Charlotte or any other airport because of Friday morning's incident.
Still, he said, his organization would review video recordings from the checkpoint.
"We'll determine what the individual did, how (he was) able to bypass security, to determine what our response was," Allen said. "Then we'll figure out if there are changes that need to be made."