Allentown, Pa., Airport Makeover Will Mean Less Time at Security Checkpoints

Lehigh Valley International Airport will shortly embark on a two-phase, $17.6 million renovation that will reduce delays

Officials say the equipment doesn't leave passengers much room to queue up at the ticket counters. The project will include the construction of a new baggage handling area that will be built behind the ticket counters.

Airport officials anticipate changes in baggage scanning equipment. Moving the equipment away from the passenger area will allow officials to more easily make changes to the process. For example, the airport will soon receive a CTX machine that scans for explosives. The machine's large size could create hassles if left in front of the ticket counters.

Terminal improvements will include renovating ticket counters so that they can be used by any airline. That will help the airport makes changes and add carriers to its lineup of airlines. The airport will also add automated check-in kiosks that will allow passengers to obtain boarding passes without waiting in line for a ticket agent.

Construction of the new security check-in above-ground walkway will begin in January. Officials hope to have it open for the 2005 holiday season and completed by January 2006. The renovations to the terminal are expected to begin next summer and end by summer of 2006.