Charlotte Douglas lobby changes will start with automated TSA screenings

Airport officials discuss new method to get passengers screened quicker

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Charlotte Douglas International Airport officials said the first phase of lobby improvements will focus on TSA screening in Checkpoint E.

The airport plans to launch automated screening lanes in Checkpoint E. The TSA's system is currently in place in New York, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Dallas, Chicago, Minneapolis, Miami, Houston, Newark, Seattle and Atlanta.

Airport officials said the screening process will speed things up because it allows for multiple positions from which to place items on the conveyor for screening instead of a single file line.

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Two of the lanes will be finished in time for the Republican National Convention in August 2020 and there will be three more after that.

"I think that sounds fantastic," passenger Tyler McLaren said. "The more efficient, people are safer."

"With all the perks that are coming with global entry, TSA pre-check, people are starting to look into how they can get through security faster," passenger Jon Baez said.

Groundbreaking for the project is in December. Airport officials said most of the work around Christmas will involve utilities. The actual work on the physical building won't start until January.

The $600 million lobby project will last 5½ years. Airport officials said they will pause work during the week of the Republican National Convention to focus on the convention.

The Charlotte City Council will vote to launch the renovation project in two weeks. The council will also consider a $50 million investment to plan the Silver Line light rail expansion from Matthews to Belmont. A stop at the airport is being proposed, however, airport officials said a location has not been determined. No matter where it is, airport officials said they are planning to provide some type of passenger conveyance system when the line is constructed, but the type has not been determined.