New Syracuse Airport central security checkpoint causes delays on opening morning

The new central passenger screening checkpoint at Syracuse Hancock International Airport opened to the public on Wendesday morning, but not without a few glitches.

Leroy Bower says getting through the checkpoint took much longer than he thought it should. "This probably should of been tested before they did this. I fly through Washington and Las Vegas and places like that, and you will have a line like this, but you get through it in 5 minutes. This is a lot longer," Bower says.

The longer than normal lines at the security checkpoint came as a surprise to passengers like Candy Tietgen. "This is just stunning. I mean I'm going to miss my flight," she says.

Hancock Airport Aviation Commissioner Callahan says several last minute glitches with the new screening equipment contributed to the delays and the airport is working to fix them.

"It's better technology, but it looks at images in a different way so there is a learning curve," Callahan says.

Callahan says the airport eventually plans to open a fifth security lane, which will also help expedite passengers through the checkpoint.

In the meantime, Callahan suggests that passengers flying out of Hancock Airport give themselves plenty of time.

"We need the publicâ??s help," Callahan says. "We need them to get here 90 minutes prior to their scheduled departure. We have some ideas that we are going to implement as early as tomorrow. so we will get better at this as the days progress."

The new checkpoint was unveiled at a ribbon cutting ceremony on Tuesday. The renovations began in August of 2011 and the project finished under budget and ahead of schedule.

The project includes a 147,000 square foot addition, which connects the two concourses of the terminal building on the second level before and after the security checkpoints.

Miner says the $60 million project was funded with Passenger Facility Charges and a $6 million grant from the Transportation Security Administration with no costs to taxpayers, airlines or other tenants.

Callahan says approximately 40 people missed their flights this morning, but the airlines rebooked them on later flights. Each person will also receive a travel voucher in the amount of $150.

Any passengers who missed their flights will have to provide a reservation number or flight itinerary, and should contact the department of aviation at 315-454-3263.