Just in time for spring break travel, Redmond Municipal Airport said Thursday it is losing an advanced security screening machine, so it's advising air travelers to arrive 90 minutes before they are scheduled to depart.
Passenger traffic through RDM is anticipated to increase in March during spring break season.
"Due the increased traffic and changes to the airport’s Transportation Security Administration screening, checkpoint travelers are encouraged to arrive 90 minutes prior to their scheduled departure time to check-in early, as the airline ticket counters can close 30 minutes prior to departure times," the announcement said.
On March 18, Roberts Field is losing the L-3 Advanced Image Technology (AIT) or millimeter wave machine that was installed about a year ago, said Airport Director Kim Dickie.
The TSA has a mandate to reallocate deployed L-3 AIT equipment among airports nationwide. As a result of one of the manufacturers, Rapiscan, unable to meet a timeline for enhancing software on its deployed equipment, about 170 of the machines will be removed.
Airports around the country will be impacted until additional L-3 equipment can be manufactured for re-deployment.
"The airport is anticipating the amount of time for a passenger to be screened at the checkpoint to increase as a result of increased number of pat downs and longer wait times to go through the screening process," the announcement said.
“With the peak spring break season upon us and the loss of the AIT machine at Redmond, we expect travelers to experience an increase in passenger screening wait time,” Dickie said.
“We want to ensure our passengers continue to receive the quality of services they have come to expect from our facility, while being mindful of the increased demands on the TSA and airline personnel," she added.