SALT LAKE CITY — Getting through security at the new Salt Lake City International Airport is now high tech as the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is working to make checkpoints more efficient and limit contact with travelers.
Improved security checkpoints at the Salt Lake City airport
When approaching the TSA checkpoints the first thing passengers will notice is the luggage bins arriving automatically. This new ‘touchless’ system means people won’t have to pick up a bin on their own to place on the x-ray belt.
“In this day and age, we want to make sure that we have fewer touchpoints,” said airport spokeswoman, Nancy Volmer.
Not only are the automatic bins safer for travelers, Volmer also says they make going through security more efficient. She said airports in Japan have a similar system.
There’s also plexiglass surrounding travelers on both sides of each security line.
“When you walk up to put your items in a bin, there’s plexiglass on each side, and so you don’t feel like you’re really having contact with the person standing next to you,” said Volmer.
In the new terminal, about 16 security lines are installed, but Volmer notes not all are being used currently due to low passenger count.
“It’s really a very large area, so I think everybody will feel very comfortable and safe when they’re traveling through the airport,” Volmer said.
Out with the old, in with the new
Renovations at the airport aren’t over. Construction of Concourse A has yet to be completed, but once it is Volmer says the concourse will be the size of 12 football fields.
“We basically have six football fields, we have to build the additional six,” said Volmer. To accommodate the length between terminals more escalators and elevators will be built.
Additionally, Volmer said the demolition of Terminal 1 is already underway.
“First the parking garage will come down, and then we’ll work on the old terminals and concourses,” said Volmer. Once Concourse B is completed there will be a total of 45 gates.
Then the construction crew will move on to building a tunnel that connects Concourse A to B.
Before the renovations, the Salt Lake City airport could accommodate around 10 million travelers a year. Upon completion of the new construction, it “can accommodate you know up to 34 million passengers a year comfortably,” saidVolmer.
She advises travelers to plan accordingly because of the additional space. “I would just reiterate to allow plenty of time with the new airport because it will take longer to navigate, but we do have tools in place to help you navigate it,” said Volmer.
There is an app and interactive map travelers can download to help guide them through the new and improved airport.
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