New drop-off zone opens at Charlotte-Douglas after years of construction

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The new drop-off zone at Charlotte-Douglas International Airport is finally open after four years of construction.

[ALSO READ: Two planes strike tails at Charlotte Douglas ahead of takeoff, officials say]

Channel 9 checked out the lane openings Wednesday morning and found traffic is now a lot more spread out, so you’ll have more time to unload and say goodbye.

When asked to describe her first impression, traveler Marlema Outlaw said, “Super smooth; I loved it. It was a great process."

Families who would have been honked at by other drivers or whistled at by traffic directors aren’t being rushed as much anymore.

“Very smooth, no issues at all, very nice," said passenger Tamara Trinder after she was dropped off.

The airport started building the new drop-off zone in 2015 to expand the number of lanes from three to five.

The project also doubled the loading zone space, giving travelers a lot more room to unload.

Airport Chief Operating Officer Jack Christine said, “We hope that customers will see that there is additional roadway there so cars can bypass other vehicles without having to wait in line.”

Christine said the project is phase two of a three-phase project.

Construction-weary travelers know they still have a long way to go.

[ALSO READ: Airport union workers picket as negotiations with American Airlines stall]

“New construction at airports is eventually helpful, but right now, it’s a mess," said Rita Rother.

Starting in October, the arrivals area in the drop-off zone's lower level will expand to eight lanes and then crews will start expanding the airport lobby.

When the project finishes in five years, an extra three lanes will open for the departures on the top deck.

“It is a very complex project. We’re looking forward to getting started on it if for no other reason than to get it done," said Christine.