The airport will open a new screening lane by installing road lines |  News, sports, work

The airport will open a new screening lane by installing road lines | News, sports, work

Travelers wait in line for massive security checks outside Kahului Airport in June. By the end of this month, airport officials plan to add another screening lane to ease long lines and install a tent to protect waiting travelers from the sun. TRANSPORT DEPARTMENT pictures

Officials hope a new security screening lane and 200-foot tent will help ease travelers’ long lines at Kahului Airport’s security checkpoints.

All summer long, travelers have been trickling out of the terminal into the sun waiting to be screened by TSA, and crowds typically gather between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

But the TSA plans to open another checkpoint by the end of this month, and airport officials plan to erect a 200-foot tent purchased by airlines to shade travelers while they wait in line, said Marvin Moniz of the Maui district. Airport manager on Thursday.

Daniel Velez, a TSA spokesman, said the TSA is installing Credential Authentication Technology, or CAT, machines at the airport. Cabling and electrical work is also carried out to facilitate installation of the equipment, all at night when travelers are away. According to the TSA website, the machines help check and verify things like IDs and flight reservations.

Also sent to Maui were four teams of explosive detection dogs that recently graduated from the TSA’s canine training center in San Antonio, Texas, and are now screening passengers and providing “extra layer of security” Velez said.

Airport officials attribute long lines in recent months to summer travel, increased flights and larger planes, among other factors.

Moniz said the new checkpoint will join a single checkpoint located next to the arrivals escalators near baggage claim.

He envisions those two checkpoints being used to screen TSA PreCheck passengers, which will allow the seven checkpoints adjacent to the ticketing lobby to process all other passengers. TSA PreCheck currently uses a single checkpoint line adjacent to the ticketing lobby.

Moniz said he has seven lanes “should be much faster.”

He added that the 200-foot tent has yet to arrive, but hopes to have it up around August 29.

He hopes the additional checkpoint and tent will be erected in time “The Labor Day Rush.”

But in the meantime, travelers departing Maui between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. are still advised to arrive two to two and a half hours early, Moniz said. Those flying outside of these times should arrive from an hour to an hour to 15 minutes before the flight.

Monis said the crowds are caused by a variety of reasons, such as airlines increasing their summer flight schedules from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., as well as airlines bringing larger planes into the airport.

Moniz estimates that as many as 4,500 travelers may go through security during peak times.

He said because travel to Europe and Asia is still slow, airlines are bringing their biggest planes to Hawaii, which is the next longest flight compared to those regions.

He also thinks the crowds were exacerbated by summer travel.

Overall, Moniz said they’re seeing some slowdown in lines since Thursday’s rush was done before 1 p.m. He also attributes some of the slowdown to travelers participating in TSA PreCheck, an expedited screening program.

The airport also has long-term plans to add five more screening lanes on the side of the airport closer to the entrance, near the United ticket offices.

The project is currently under development and will take approximately two years to complete.

TSA also offered tips to help speed up the security screening process, including:

• When packing, start with an empty bag. Those who do so are likely to be carrying a prohibited item through the checkpoint.

• Plan your arrival time and check heavy traffic times. A valid ID card must be present at the checkpoint and the liquid rule must be 3.4 ounces or less, except for hand sanitizer, which has a temporary 12-ounce limit in carry-on luggage.

• Secure items in carry-on bags, not in check-in bins. Taking things like phones, keys, lip balm and other items out of your pockets is time-consuming and stressful. Keeping them in hand bags will eliminate these problems and be more sanitary.

• Register for TSA PreCheck at tsa.gov/precheck.

For more information, visit tsa.gov.

* Melissa Tanji can be reached at [email protected]

Today’s breaking news and more in your inbox

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.