ST. PAUL, Minn. – All general lanes at the south security checkpoint in the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport’s Terminal 1 will be closed for three weeks, with the airport suggesting passengers arrive much earlier to check in for their flights.
The airport will begin installing four “innovation lanes” which aim to automate a number of features which up until now have been done manually, according to a press release from the airport. The process of constructing and testing the new lanes is estimated to take three weeks.
The new lanes will include multiple stations for customers to remove shoes, belts, and other items for placement in personal property bins. The conveyer belts will work automatically, and will sort out any problematic bins onto a separate bag belt, which should allow innocuous bags and bins to continue moving forward with the least disruption possible. Automated conveyer belts will also be put into place to take empty property bins back to the beginning of the security line. These changes are estimated to vastly speed up travelers passage through airport security.
The airport advises travelers that they should arrive two hours early for any domestic flight, and three hours early for international flights. The only lanes on the south side of Terminal 1 that will remain open are the lanes which are designated for TSA Pre-Check users.
The north side’s security checkpoint will be renovated at some point in 2018.
The Star Tribune reports that the change was made at the request of the airport’s dominant carrier, Delta Air Lines. The Metropolitan Airports Commission is spending roughly $1.6 million to put in the new lanes. Automated security lanes were first put in at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson airport, with airports in Chicago, Miami, Los Angeles, Dallas-Fort Worth, Phoenix, and Newark, New Jersey also adding the automated security lanes.