The NORAD command center at Cheyenne Mountain in Colorado has multiple means of getting in touch with the president at all times, and has routine communication with all national leadership.
The airline industry has been hit hard by the hijackings. Despite Congress passing a hefty aid package last week, U.S. airlines have fired nearly 100,000 workers in the last two weeks.
The president today was speaking as much to the public, trying to get people to start traveling again, as he was to the industry.
"One of the great goals of this nation's war is to restore public confidence in the airline industry, is to tell the traveling public, 'Get on board, do your business around the country. Fly and enjoy America's great destination spots. Go down to DisneyWorld in Florida. Take your families and enjoy life the way we want it to be enjoyed,'" he said.
House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., and House Minority Leader Richard Gephardt, D-Mo., accompanied Bush, in a show of congressional support.
The president expressed concerns about how quickly the proposals could be made law, but Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, D-N.D., said today he approves of the plan and will work to have it enacted quickly.
"We've got to have a sky marshal concept, we've got to have better security on the doors and the cockpits, we've got to ensure that there is a far better monitoring and checking system than we've got right now," Daschle said. "This proposal incorporates all of those ideas and so I think it's a good place to start."
Bush made no mention of proposals to allow pilots to carry firearms on flights, which have been put forward by the pilots' union. On Wednesday he dismissed those proposals, saying, "There may be better ways to do it than that."
Investigations and Diplomacy Continue
Investigators continued both their search for evidence and suspects connected to the recent terror attacks, and U.S. officials continued a crackdown on terrorist groups.
In Washington, Attorney General John Ashcroft released photos of the 19 men believed to have hijacked four passenger planes on Sept. 11 and, in keeping with what he called "a national neighborhood watch," asked any Americans who might have known these men to come forward with information. FBI Director Robert Mueller said investigators believe one or more of the men have contacts with Osama bin Laden's network al Qaeda.
Also, in an attempt to choke off the money supply of suspected terrorist groups, Ashcroft said the White House has sent money laundering legislation to Congress.