ARLINGTON, Va. (WDVM) — The new Transportation Security Administration (TSA) screening checkpoints will open at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport on Tuesday, Nov. 9.
The checkpoints will provide travelers with more flexibility and access to shops and dining while waiting to board their flights.
The spokesperson for the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, Brian Kalish, explained, “It really means a better traveling experience while they’re here. All of the gates will be connected, so if you want to get Chic-fil-a and you’re flying out of Gate 10, now you can. If you want to get to your connecting flight, you can now walk from one gate to the other.”
As it stands now, anyone can walk through National Hall, dine, shop and walk with their loved ones to their security checkpoint at the gate. The new security checkpoint will change this, as ticketed travelers will go through security before getting to the 100,000 square feet of space in the hall.
The current setup leaves travelers essentially stuck and limited to the choices of shops, dining and seating after their security checkpoint. Further, if someone flys in for a connecting flight, they either have to be rescreened at their new gate, or they are transported via shuttle bus on the tarmac.
The upgraded experience will make going through security more comfortable, as the building was made specifically for TSA with all of the needs in mind.
Scott T. Johnson, the Federal Security Director for Reagan National Airport explained, “It is more open through (the new security area) here, whereas the old checkpoints were more confined, very low ceiling and very kind of dark.”
Johnson said the screening itself should still take about the same amount of time, but with more space in general and more security lanes, the wait time to get screened may be cut down.
“I think overall, this will calm down the screening experience and give passengers a better feel and vibe,” he stated.
The new checkpoints will not change much of the current way that people come into the airport, as far as parking, checking bags, etc., but Kalish recommends that travelers taking the Metro in pay close attention to the signs, as their entrance to their terminal may have changed.