Local News

RDU Works To Shorten Security Lines, Resume Expansion Plans

Posted October 19, 2001

— If you have been to the airport recently, you know how much of a hassle it has become just to get to the gate.

RDU International

is trying to shorten security lines and

increase passenger safety

.

Earlier this week, some

lines at RDU

snaked through Terminal A, out the door, and down the sidewalk along Terminal Boulevard. RDU officials say that one of three X-ray screening machines at the main checkpoint was broken, but has since been fixed.

Many passengers say that they do not mind the tighter security, but say that they do mind not having enough people and equipment at the airport.

"The security people are working on hiring more people so that all three [checkpoints] can be operational every day of the week," said RDU's Mirinda Kossoff.

Kossoff said that RDU is also looking at adding additional X-ray machines, but that there may be technical and space obstacles.

RDU officials have also reconfigured waiting lines so travelers do not have to stand outside, and are working the lines to make sure that passengers in those lines do not miss their flights.

Officials say that screening passengers takes four times as long under the new

FAA security measures

.

RDU will also soon get its own bomb-sniffing dog. No word yet when the black lab will report for duty.

Expansion plans that were put on hold at the airport are also expected to resume.

RDU Director John Brantley said that business at the airport has rebounded to the point that officials are going ahead with plans to expand one terminal and replace another.

Brantley said about three-quarters of the seats on outbound flights are full. That is up from 57 percent in the last week of September.

In addition, the owners of shops and restaurants in Terminal A are reporting an increase in business, and the airport has reopened Park and Ride lot four to handle the increase in cars.

Still, the number of passengers going through RDU remains down significantly from before September.

Currently, there are 170 daily departures, down from 326 in July. The airport said the number is due, in part, to reduced departures from some carriers and the shutdown by Midway Airlines.

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