Expansion of security screening checkpoints begins; will add lanes,
increase flow of passengers at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport
AUSTIN, TEXAS – A construction project to add two passenger screening lanes and increase the flow of passengers through security checkpoints by over 20% has begun at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. The expansion will bring some relief to security lines at the airport. The project will not affect current passenger screening capacity during the duration of construction.
The project will add a total of two security lanes and carry-on x-ray machines, one each at the checkpoint by Southwest Airlines and the checkpoint by American Airlines. Currently, Austin’s airport has a total of nine passenger screening lanes among three checkpoints. Upon completion, the expansion will bring the number of passenger screening lanes to 11.
The security screening checkpoint expansion project is anticipated for completion in Spring 2011. It is funded at $600,000 through the airport’s capital fund. Local companies Alpha Building Corp. and Prism Development, Inc. are performing the work. The construction project will provide more than 50 jobs. Additionally, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is participating in the project through their contractor and separate funding.
Passenger entry paths to screening checkpoints and the concourse will not change. Passenger exiting paths are expected to change in approximately four weeks. Currently, most passengers exit through the same walkway through which passengers completing screening enter the concourse. This congestive cross flow of exiting and entering traffic will be eliminated. The new path for exiting passengers will go between airport stores (Austin Warehouse District to the west, and Stars of Austin to the east) and the live music stage.
The expansion of the screening checkpoints will better prepare the airport for future passenger increases as well as alleviate current security line waits. Currently, travelers could encounter security line waits alone as long as 60 minutes during the morning rush, 4:30 a.m. – 8 a.m. Those with flights departing before 8 a.m. are advised to be in the airport terminal at least two hours prior to their departure time. Passengers departing after 8 a.m. should be in the terminal at least 90 minutes before their flight as security waits after 8 a.m. can be as long as 45 minutes.
Austin-Bergstrom International Airport is ranked as the best in customer service in North America and second among airports its size around the globe by the Airports Council International (ACI) Airport Service Quality Survey. Austin-Bergstrom has nonstop service to 37 destinations in the U.S. and served 8.2 million passengers in 2009. A complete listing of all nonstop flight destinations from Austin and the airlines that serve them is available on www.abia.org, click on ‘airlines & flights.’