Fairbanks airport warns people of screening delays

FAIRBANKS — Fairbanks International Airport officials are urging travelers on departing flights to arrive earlier than usual over the next few days because of expected screening delays.

The slowdown stems from a mechanical problem with one of the scanners used by Transportation Security Administration agents to examine passengers' carry-on bags, the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reported.

Airport spokeswoman Angie Spear said security lines at the airport are longer than normal because the scanner broke Wednesday evening. TSA agents at the airport normally have the option of opening a second security line during peak hours.

Flights affected are with Alaska, United, Delta and Frontier airlines.

Peak hours at the airport are between about 10 p.m. and 1:30 a.m.

Spear said the airport had four flights that were scheduled to depart Friday between 12:55 a.m. and 1:35 a.m.

The airport issued an alert because many people are comfortable arriving only an hour or an hour and a half before their flights from Fairbanks, Spear said. Security lines are typically short.

"That's what people are used to, and that's why they have that comfort level coming a little bit later," Spear said.

TSA personnel have ordered the parts to fix the equipment, according to Spear. She said the airport hopes repairs will be made by Monday at the latest.

The equipment is owned and operated by TSA, not the airport.

Lorie Dankers with the Department of Homeland Security said she could not provide a timeline for the repairs at the Fairbanks airport scanner.

A similar notice of security delays was issued by the airport Aug. 7.


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