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JWA Adds 8 Lines for Screening

The new checkpoints, opened in time for July 4, will cut travelers' wait in half, officials say.

June 22, 2004|Susan Anasagasti | Times Staff Writer

New security checkpoints have opened at John Wayne Airport, shortening the passenger wait by half, officials said.

Justin McCusker, an airport spokesman, said 3,400 feet of floor space was added in the main terminal to make room for eight additional screening lines, four at each of the north and south ends of the terminal.

McCusker said airport officials had wanted the checkpoints to be completed by the July 4 weekend, when the summer travel season booms.

County supervisors approved the $4.5-million project in March. McCusker said the funding, authorized as an emergency expenditure, came from the Federal Aviation Administration.

The checkpoints doubled the airport's screening capacity, helping to speed through passengers with carry-on bags.

McCusker said that Friday, the first day the new checkpoints were operating, the early morning wait was cut from 40 to 45 minutes to 20 minutes.

According to the airport's website, airlines there carried 766,924 travelers in April, the most recent month for which records are available, a 16% increase over the same month a year ago.

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