Allegheny County Airport Authority Hosts Meeting with US Representatives
July 29, 2006
ALLEGHENY COUNTY AIRPORT AUTHORITY HOSTS MEETING WITH US REPRESENTATIVES
PITTSBURGH, PA (July 29, 2006) – US Representatives John Mica and Tim Murphy met at Pittsburgh International Airport at the Allegheny County Airport Authority offices with Kent George, Executive Director/CEO of the Airport Authority, and Joe Terrell, Federal Security Director, Transportation Security Administration (TSA) on Saturday, July 29.
Following the meeting, Mica and Murphy along with other officials toured areas of the airport recently renovated to improve and speed up the screening process for both checked bags and passengers.
These areas included the Alternate Security Checkpoint and the South Baggage Matrix.
The Alternate Security Checkpoint opened November 19, 2005, right before the busiest travel holiday of the year: Thanksgiving. These four new lanes for security screenings opened in the airport`s former commuter terminal. This Alternate Security Checkpoint supplements the Main Security Checkpoint, which has seven lanes available for screening.
Passengers are directed to access the Alternate Security Checkpoint, which is open during peak travel times, by airport personnel.
“We have realized great success with the Alternate Security Checkpoint. We have virtually eliminated long waits at security thanks to this addition. We have met our goal of keeping security lines under ten minutes,” said George.
To access the Alternate Security Checkpoint passengers exit the Landside Terminal from the Ticketing Level on to the Commercial Departures curb. Passengers then walk under a canopy to the walkway that leads to the Alternate Security Checkpoint. Individuals who need wheelchair assistance will continue to access their gates by going through the Main Security Checkpoint.
“The key to the project’s success has been the teamwork and cooperation of the Airport Authority staff and the TSA,” George stated. “Everyone involved has come together to ensure that we met our deadline and the high standards for quality customer service and security at Pittsburgh International Airport.”
Pittsburgh International Airport’s South Baggage Matrix provides In-Line Screening of Checked bags. The Project has recently been the honored recipient of the Diamond Award Certificate of Engineering Excellence by the American Council of Engineering Companies of Pennsylvania (ACEC/PA).
The South Matrix is a $14.5 million dollar project funded by the Federal Aviation Administration and the Allegheny County Airport Authority. The system, which opened in January 2005, allows airline ticket counter personnel to tag baggage and place it on the baggage belt behind the counter. The baggage then moves to a secured, 10,000 square foot screening room on the south end of the Landside Terminal, where Transportation Security Administration (TSA) screeners operate explosive detection (EDS) equipment.
The project benefits passengers by saving them time in the check in process. It also significantly enhances the efficiency of screening checked bags. The automated baggage handling system means passengers no longer carry checked-bags to a TSA screener. Passengers now move freely and quickly to the security checkpoint.
“The project improves customer service while at the same time increases efficiency in the screening process. It has worked so well on the South Matrix, that a similar project is planned for the North Matrix for US Airways ticketing,” said George.