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New security checkpoint system now open at MSP airport

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A new $17 million security screening system at Minnesota's main airport opened Tuesday.

The 10-lane checkpoint on the north end of the Terminal 1 ticket lobby is part of a years-long overhaul designed to get travelers to their planes faster.

On the terminals main floor, the public is screened through two security checkpoints. All other entries on the terminal's main floor have been closed, except for a restricted entry for flight crews.

"It looks like it's working really well. The line is still coming out only because the queue space hasn't been set up completely. By Friday, that queue space will be completely set up and we'll certainly see shorter wait times, I'm sure," said  Melissa Scovronski, airport spokesperson.

The new checkpoint replaces a restaurant on the north end of the terminal, closed in part because travelers made it a priority to get through security, and didn't want to dine before they got through the screening process.

Scovronski said the new checkpoint will be more than just more security lanes. They've also reconfigured the area to make it easier for travelers to gather their belongings, put their shoes back on and otherwise get on their way to their flight.

The opening will come just as the airport heads into its peak season. 

Flyers start streaming into the terminals in coming weeks for spring break travel, expected to peak toward the middle of next month. 

Scovronski said there are about 30,000 people going through the checkpoints on a typical day, but during the spring rush 45,000 people can pass through.