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Lehigh Valley International Airport Officially Opens New TSA Checkpoint, Terminal Connector | WDIY Local News

The new TSA security screening checkpoint at Lehigh Valley International Airport.
Lehigh Valley International Airport
The new TSA security screening checkpoint at Lehigh Valley International Airport.

Weeks after its grand unveiling, Lehigh Valley International Airport’s newest expansion is officially welcoming travelers.

The airport says that as of Aug. 30, its new TSA checkpoint and terminal connector is officially processing passengers, addressing critical operational needs.

“Collectively, this infrastructure project alleviated operations challenges, streamlined the way people will travel through ABE, and continues to position the Airport for further growth and expansion,” Tom Stoudt, Executive Director of the Lehigh-Northampton Airport Authority said in a release.

Lehigh Valley International Airport unveiled the $35 million expansion at the end of July, which included visits from state and federal officials including Gov. Josh Shapiro, Congresswoman Susan Wild, and U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg.

The project was one of the first funded, constructed and completed through the 2021 Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

The new facility includes:

  • An additional lane for TSA security processing, with the potential for expansion.
  • Improved vertical circulation equipment.
  • Shorter walking distances, with a separation of arriving and departing passengers.

“The additional space increases our capacity to screen more travelers comfortably and efficiently than the previous space allowed,” said Karen Keys-Turner, Transportation Security Administration Federal Security Director for the airport.

“The environment of the new space is a once-in-a-generation modern checkpoint not only built for today, but also with an eye toward the future with infrastructure for state-of-the art technologies as they come online.”

The new space also includes medical-grade air purification in the form of a LifeAire System, built in the Lehigh Valley. Airport officials say LVIA is the first airport in the world to install such a system, which is designed to reduce airborne pathogens by more than 99%.

The system was also shown in a recent study to reduce harmful surface pathogens by 96%.

Recently, state officials also announced almost a million dollars in state funding is coming to LVIA for additional updates.

State Sen. Nick Miller and State Rep. Jeanne McNeill said $940,000 will be invested in the airport to improve safety and accessibility by reconfiguring existing roadways serving the Multimodal Transport Center and the airport terminal.

The funding will come from the Multimodal Transportation Fund, which will fund 58 highway bridge, aviation, port, bike and pedestrian projects in 37 counties across Pennsylvania to strengthen and improve the state’s infrastructure. 

Lehigh Valley International Airport's terminal.
Contributed photo
State Sen. Nick Miller
Lehigh Valley International Airport's terminal.

In terms of traffic, 91,272 passengers traveled through LVIA in July, down 6.2% compared to this time last year.

United Airlines’ numbers increased 5.2%, but Allegiant Air saw a 5.6% decrease and American Airlines saw a 7.2% drop. Delta Airlines’ passenger traffic also declined 16.7% from last July.

21,613,546 pounds of air cargo was also processed through Lehigh Valley International in July, 17.1% more than in July 2022.

(Original air-date: 8/30/23)

Sarit "Siri" Laschinsky was WDIY's News and Public Affairs Director until 2023.
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