Airport Opens New Control Lane Amid Increasing Travel Lines – Maui News | Gmx Pharm

Travelers wait in a huge security line outside Kahului Airport in June. By the end of this month, airport officials plan to add another privacy lane to relieve the long lines and will also install a tent to protect waiting travelers from the sun. Ministry of Transport photos

Officials are hoping a new security lane and 200-foot tent will help bring some relief to travelers in Kahului Airport’s long, meandering security checkpoints.

All summer travelers poured out of the terminal into the sun waiting to be screened by TSA, with crowds typically gathering between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m

But by the end of this month, TSA is aiming to open another checkpoint, and airport officials plan to set up a 200-foot tent purchased by airlines to shadow travelers while they wait in lines, Maui District Marvin Moniz said Airport manager, on Thursday.

Daniel Velez, a TSA spokesman, said TSA is in the process of installing credential authentication technology or CAT machines at the airport. Wiring and electrical work will also be carried out to facilitate the installation of equipment, all at night when there are no travelers present. According to the TSA website, the machines help check and verify things like IDs and flight reservations.

In addition, four explosives detection dog teams, who recently graduated from the TSA Canine Training Center in San Antonio, Texas, have been dispatched to Maui to inspect and care for passengers “an extra layer of security” Velez said.

Airport officials attribute the long lines in recent months to summer travel, increased flights and larger aircraft, among other things.

Moniz said the new checkpoint will join the only checkpoint located next to the arrival escalators near baggage claim.

He posits that these two checkpoints will be used to screen TSA PreCheck passengers, allowing the seven checkpoints adjacent to the ticketing lobby to process all other passengers. A checkpoint line is currently used next to the ticketing lobby for TSA PreCheck.

Moniz said to have seven lanes together “should be much faster.”

He added that the 200ft tent has yet to arrive but hopes it will be up around August 29th.

He hopes that the additional checkpoint and the tent will be ready in time “the rush on labor day.”

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

Moniz said the crowds were due to various reasons, such as airlines increasing their flight schedules for the summer precisely in this 10am-2pm window, along with airlines bringing larger jets to the airport.

Moniz estimated that up to 4,500 travelers could go through security at peak times.

He said as travel to Europe and Asia is still slow, airlines are bringing their larger jets to Hawaii, which is the second-longest route compared to those regions.

He also believes the crowds have been exacerbated by summer travel.

Overall, Moniz said they are seeing some slowdown in the lines as the rush was settled before 1pm on Thursday. He also attributes some of the slowdown to travelers participating in TSA’s PreCheck, an expedited screening program.

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

The project is currently in the conception stage and will take around two years to become operational.

The TSA also offered tips to speed up the security clearance process, including:

• Start packing with an empty bag. Those that do are less likely to get a prohibited item through a checkpoint.

• Plan your arrival time and check peak traffic times. Have a valid ID ready at the checkpoint and follow the liquid rule of 3.4 ounces or less, except for hand sanitizer, which has a temporary 12-ounce limit in carry-on baggage.

• Secure items in your carry-on baggage, not in sorting compartments. Taking items like phones, keys, lip balm, and other items out of your pocket takes time and causes stress. Storage in carry-on baggage eliminates these problems and is more hygienic.

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

Visit tsa.gov for more information.

* Melissa Tanji can be reached at mtanji@mauinews.com.


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