Construction of a second security lane at Lafayette Regional Airport is set to begin this week. The airport commission made the announcement Tuesday night after months of complaints from travelers. Crews will begin work on the additional TSA checkpoint in the current terminal on February 7th. The project should only take a few weeks to complete.

Plans for the new airport terminal, which is not set to open until 2021, feature two security lanes with room for a third in the future. For years, travelers on early-morning flights have complained about long lines that sometimes wrapped around the second floor of the terminal. The additional TSA equipment was re-allocated to Lafayette Regional Airport with the opening of a new terminal in New Orleans.

 

See an artist rendering and walk-through of the new Lafayette Regional Airport terminal which is under construction now.

Read the full statement below:

Through efforts of the administration of Lafayette Regional Airport(LFT) and with support of the Lafayette Airport Commission (LAC) and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), Lafayette travelers will have an additional TSA line in the first quarter of 2020 in the current terminal, about two years earlier than they will have had once the New LFT Terminal opens. Construction will begin Friday, February 7 and will be completed in a few weeks.

“The addition of a second security line at Lafayette Regional will have a positive impact on travelers waiting in line for early morning flights,” said LFT Executive Director Steven Picou. “With first flights departing from Lafayette to Houston, Dallas and Atlanta all leaving close together, the volume of passengers processing through one security line has been an ongoing concern. When passengers arrived between an hour and a half to two hours before their flights, we find they have usually been able to make their originating flights. At the same time, when they arrived less than 90 minutes before their departure time, their chance of missing their flight from Lafayette, and potentially missing connections to other flights from the three hub airports served by United, American and Delta airlines from LFT greatly increases,” said Picou.

“Thank you to TSA for their willingness to join with the airport and assist with a joint solution,” said Picou. “Through a transfer of screening equipment removed from the New Orleans International Airport (MSY) in anticipation of their expansion, and a repurposing of that equipment in Lafayette, TSA is making available what they need to operate a second security screen line at Lafayette Regional Airport (LFT). TSA is also hiring additional personnel to assist Lafayette passengers,” said Picou.

The construction needed to accommodate the second TSA line is estimated to cost approximately $150,000. The airport is funding the project from current operational funds.

When the New LFT Terminal is opened, projected to be in 2021, the new facility design calls for two TSA lines with the ability to add one additional line... “Some people may feel we could have waited until the new terminal is built to have a second TSA screening line,” said Paul Segura, Chairman of the Lafayette Airport Commission. “But if those people are among the hundreds leaving LFT to board flights in the morning, I would be surprised. With TSA’s commitment of staffing and equipment, and the airport’s investment in the changes to the terminal layout necessary to facilitate the additional screening, I believe we will seriously reduce the risk of missed flights for passengers. This has been a major problem for many, and the ability to join with TSA for a potential solution, in the view of airport commissioners, is worth every dollar spent.”