Dave Edwards, right, GSP Airport President/CEO and Scott Carr, VP/Commercial Business and Properties, are deciding where the ticket counter will be set before passengers head to the TSA centralized screening checkpoint behind them.
Passengers departing on B screen flights Tuesday will go up the escalator/stairs to the concourse.
While the Grand Hall is under construction passengers will be steered to the right and to their departing gates.
It will be the first time passengers will experience the new centralized screening area that is a vital part of the $125 million Terminal Improvement Project (Wingspan).
“What will happen (Tuesday) is those passengers departing on the B screen will come up the escalators, and this is the path they will follow to get to the centralized screening area,” said Rosylin Weston, VP of Communications for GSP.
Passengers’ tickets will be checked on the second floor, and they will walk to the screening lines. After the TSA checkpoint, passengers will briefly enter the Grand Hall, still under construction, but stanchions will steer passengers safely the rest of the way to their gates.
“I think this is another key milestone and being able to get this open by the end of the week is critical for us,” said Dave Edwards, CEO/President of the GSP Airport District.
Edwards and other members of the executive staff were overseeing Monday’s transition. “Then to follow one step after that will be the Grand Hall, and get all the concessions in there, and all the little pieces will fall into place.
“This is major hurdle in order to continue with the project forward,” Edwards said. “So getting this done, I can feel like now, once this opens up, we are headed towards the finish line.”
The centralized process is a three-day job, said Weston.
“Starting 6:30 tonight we will start transitioning the equipment for these screenings and that process will take all night, said Weston. “So by 4 a.m. tomorrow the equipment on the B screen will be in place for those passengers going out on those early morning flights.”
“And tomorrow (Tuesday) night we will start the same concept for the A screen and transition to that side,” Weston said. “By the time we get to Wednesday the centralized screening checkpoint will have been completed.”
Weston gave media a walk-through Monday to forward the message that change was coming Tuesday for those making early flights.
“Part of reason we are doing this today is to give passengers a heads up,” Weston said. “Change scares people, so some people will come in and when they see there is change they are automatically cautioned, They move a little slower whether they have to or not because they don’t quite know where they are going even in an airport this size.”
Weston said GSP staff is expecting the process be a little more tentative in the beginning, but it also provides time to work out potential hiccups.
The centralized screening checkpoint eliminates separate concourse check-ins. That routinely led some passengers on one concourse discouraged they could not get screened on the other side.
“What the centralized screening checkpoint will be, is that it should expedite the screening process for all the passengers,” Weston said. “It will be a better utilization of TSA resources.”
The Grand Hall is the final piece to the four-year airport improvement plan. That will include new restaurants including local and national brands, vendors, commissioned art and an enhanced airside garden. Passengers will be able to roam in one concourse.
Precheck will not go into effect this week, Weston said. It will be 3-4 weeks to be operational. A separate pre-check line will be for individuals who are pre-check passengers.
Prechecks will not operate 24 hours a day, but during peak periods, Weston said. “Precheck passengers will be expedited in two lines,” Weston said.
All construction is scheduled to be completed in the fall with a grand opening tentatively scheduled in November.