Like many airports around the world, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) has had its share of long waits in the past several months. Over the summer, social media showed crazy long lines at ATL. Queues got so long that back in July, Jon Ossoff, a U.S. Senator from Georgia, began pressing the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to reduce wait times at ATL; that’s how bad it was.
We’ve heard less about ATL’s (and most airports’) massive queues since the summer has ended and fewer people are traveling. However it’s possible that lines at ATL are about to get long again. And instead of it lasting for just a busy holiday weekend or a big traveling season, these delays could last for the next 12 to 18 months.
We’ve written about how security checkpoints airports around the world are in the midst of getting more technologically advanced CT scanners that will eventually mean, among other things, not having to take laptops and liquids out of carry on bags. In fact, I used AskTSA to find out about the TSA’s plans to end the 3-1-1 ban in light of having these new 3D scanners (don’t get too excited about their response; here’s what they said).
As of September, about 500 of these new CT scanners had been installed in about 180 U.S. airports. And now it’s ATL’s turn.
They’ve just started installing the new scanners at the south checkpoint. The construction involved in this $66 million makeover means the airport is shutting down 3 or 4 scanners at a time. This, in turn, is causing the line to extend from the checkpoint into the central atrium and into the baggage claim area during peak hours.
“There is a little pain associated with this understandably because we have to shut down a number of lanes to get this done but it’s well worth it,” Director of Communications and Public Affairs Andy Gobeil said.
After the construction, the airport said it would be able to move more passengers, faster, through security checkpoints. Unfortunately, the construction comes as the airport is also dealing with a shortage of parking spaces due to a different construction project near the domestic terminal.
Airport officials are now advising that travelers arrive two and a half to three hours ahead of time for domestic flights, in case of delays with parking and/or the security checkpoint.
The construction for the new CT scanners, which will be done in phases, is expected to continue into early 2024.
*** Thanks, Normy! (BOO-YA!) 😉
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