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Syracuse's Hancock Airport unveils remodeled security checkpoint

Ellen Abbott/WRVO

Starting this morning, it won't take so long for you to get through security at Syracuse's Hancock International Airport. A $60 million project will funnel all outbound passengers through a new security checkpoint at the center of the airport.

Instead of two checkpoint areas at Hancock, there is now one.  And that's going to save travelers time according to Syracuse Aviation Commissioner Christina Callahan. She says this new system will have "the ability to screen passengers more quickly and efficiently, and the use of lanes for a specific type of traveler coming through the airport, business travelers, families."

Callahan estimates that wait times during peak travel time will be 20 to 25 minutes.  There will also be new mechanical systems, and the whole project is LEED-certified.  That means high efficiency lighting and things like a rainwater harvest systems for flushing toilets.  Airport Authority Director Bill Fisher notes the project was not constructed  on the backs of taxpayers.

"It has been completed in substantial part, ahead of schedule, below budget, without using any property tax dollars, or sales tax dollars. The people that use the airplanes pay a small fee that is the passenger facility charges. All of those dollars are what build this fantastic expansion," said Fisher.

The project also received a $6 million dollar grant from the Transportation Security Administration.

Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner says this renovation may entice other airlines to consider routes out of Syracuse. "They like the fact that we are modernizing our airport, that we have a professional management staff out here and that we are focused on making our airport bigger and better."

The airport is also adding new amenities as part of this project, like new seating areas, and a Cafe Kubal location just inside the checkpoint.  

Ellen produces news reports and features related to events that occur in the greater Syracuse area and throughout Onondaga County. Her reports are heard regularly in regional updates in Morning Edition and All Things Considered.