“The average passenger shouldn’t have to wait any more than 10 minutes in the security check lines,” San Diego County Regional Airport Authority President & CEO Thella Bowens said.
The unveiling is first phase of the $1 billion expansion project.
During peak times like the holidays, the airport will be able to open 12 lanes security lanes and screen more than 1500 passengers per hour.
“It’s the most important part of getting through the airport, but it can also be the most intimidating part,” Bowens said. “What you’ll see here is a wide open spacious area filled with the latest technology.”
The extra space is also an improvement for the Transportation Security Administration. Airports like Lindbergh Field weren’t built with post 9/11 security in mind so the expansion means more room for body scanners, X-ray machines and separate space for more thorough security screenings.
“A lot of these… remodels of security checkpoints have made it easier for us to get our technology in place so we can do what we need to do,” TSA spokesman Nico Melendez said.
The new checkpoint also has more first class and special family lanes, which should help traffic move faster.
“It’s made a significant difference in the time you need to get here in advance and it’s not as cramped,” Siobhan McGreal said while waiting in line. “You have more space to remove the items you need to remove while you go through security and I think they did a great job.”
The terminal expansion project should be done by August.