|Updated: 12/21/2011 11:16 am
||Published: 12/20/2011 4:27 pm
LITTLE ROCK - We're heading into one of the busiest air travel times of the year. Little Rock National Airport expects more than 75,000 passengers to pass through over the next two weeks. And when they do they'll have a vastly different look going through security.
It's an overhaul designed to give the airport more space at the security checkpoint for passengers. But also features the much talked about, some time complained about, full body image scanners.
Waiting in long airport security lines, nobody likes it.
The Little Rock Airport Commission hopes a one-point seven million dollar expansion cuts down your wait time. And there greeting you starting Friday, full body image scanners.
"I go through the full body scanners quite often,” says Randy Eminger of Atlanta. “For safety and security, you have to make sure you have everything out of your pockets and take your belt off.”
Airport executive director Ron Mathieu says the imaging technology is well-timed, coinciding with a much larger space to get passengers through security.
"I support the TSA effort to try and make sure every operation we have here is safe and as planned," Mathieu says. "Before we had this expansion, the line goes down into the baggage claim, I feel that we're doing a disservice to the customers."
But the jury is still out on whether the new full body image scanners will improve that customer experience.
"It's not quicker, it takes longer and the line is slower but if it helps with security, you know, some things you just have to go along with," Eminger says.
And the new security upgrades will be put to the test. The two busiest days flying out of Little Rock are coming on Thursday and the first day of the full body imaging scanners on Friday.
Little Rock national expects to see 3,000 more passengers for the Christmas and New Years holiday compared to 2010.
The single busiest day at the airport will be Dec 26, when over 7,000 passengers are expected to make their way through Little Rock National.