Travelers should see faster lines at the Tri-Cities Airport security checkpoint during peak travel times.
The Port of Pasco was notified recently that the federal Transportation Security Administration has recognized the airport's growth, and the agency has added 20 employees and a second security line to help the airport run more smoothly and safely.
Already, the federal agency has grown its work force at the Tri-Cities Airport to almost 55 employees, said Ron Foraker, airport director.
"The process should be a bit more efficient and fluid getting folks through passenger screening," Foraker said.
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And although the change in status with TSA wasn't official until last week, travelers already have benefited from the added employees and second security line, Foraker said.
It also will mean added security.
Growth of boardings at the Tri-Cities Airport meant the airport qualified to become a category 2 with TSA instead of a category 3. The Pasco airport had more than 250,000 boardings a year for three years in a row, he said.
Last year, the Tri-Cities Airport had 326,797 boardings, a 6 percent increase from the 308,000 boardings in 2010.
In March, Foraker said the port asked TSA to consider changing the airport's status. The answer was received this week.
The port also hopes to smooth the security process as part of the upcoming terminal remodel project.
The first phase of the terminal project will be a remodel near TSA's area.
The bathrooms will be moved, and the area will be opened up so a queue can be formed for security, similar to larger airports.