Travel

Growing pains slow travelers at airport

Expect to see more construction at Charlotte's airport this year, though authorities say travelers won't have to endure the headaches that were caused by similar projects this summer.

Charlotte/Douglas International Airport will install a full-body scanner in concourse C. An airport spokeswoman didn't have a detailed timetable, but said the installation would be finished by the end of this year.

In July, checkpoint A was shut down for expansion and installation of a new full-body scanner. At times, the other checkpoints were overwhelmed, leaving hundreds of travelers inching their way through security.

Checkpoint C will stay open while crews install the new full-body scanner this year, officials say.

The summertime congestion was a product of growing pains at the airport compounded by new Transportation Security Administration regulations.

Airport spokeswoman Haley Gentry said that in June, the airport handled 690 daily departures - its highest volume ever, and a 10 percent increase over the year before.

"Then you have, in the midst of this, the TSA, which is bringing in new equipment, changing their processes. That's an ever-changing element. It's a tough balance."

To keep up, the airport is also growing, Gentry said: A fifth checkpoint that will extend the east end of the terminal is coming by spring 2012.

  Comments