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State hopes Kahului Airport upgrades will help alleviate long lines

OGG Baggage Claim 01 kahului airport Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority
Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority
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Kahului Airport on Maui

Transportation officials say changes coming to Kahului Airport will alleviate the experience of departing travelers.

A dedicated TSA PreCheck checkpoint, passenger screening dogs, and more security technologies are just some of the changes happening at the Maui airport, the Transportation Security Administration and state Department of Transportation announced Thursday.

For the past several months, departing passengers have had to endure long lines at the airport’s security checkpoints between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. due to increased flight schedules between those times, and larger jets bringing more travelers to the island.

The DOT and its airline partners installed a 200-foot-long tent last month to provide shade for travelers waiting outside.

However, further improvements to add a security checkpoint at the south end of the airport are still years away.

The TSA is looking to hire more officers to work at Kahului airport with incentives such as a $1,000 bonus upon hiring.

In the meantime, officials are still advising travelers to arrive early — and take measures to expedite the screening process.

Casey Harlow is an HPR reporter and occasionally fills in as local host of Morning Edition and All Things Considered. Contact him at charlow@hawaiipublicradio.org or on Twitter (@CaseyHarlow).
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