Security officials at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport’s main terminal reopened an underused but strategic skyway checkpoint early Friday morning — a hard-fought win for frustrated airport leaders who feared the closure would result in longer lines.
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) shuttered the checkpoint linking the InterContinental Hotel to Terminal 1 on Monday due to low passenger volume, just one year after airport operators spent $24 million to build the walkway.
The change, implemented days ahead of the busy Thanksgiving travel season, outraged airport officials who had already faced intense criticism from the public for long security lines this summer.
“The checkpoint is a tremendous convenience for guests of the MSP InterContinental Hotel and an alternate Terminal 1 entrance point for all fliers with only carry-on bags,” said Brian Ryks, executive director and CEO of the Metropolitan Airports Commission. “We are pleased the TSA is willing to partner with us to reopen the checkpoint and ensure it becomes a reliable screening option.”
The entrance will be open from 4:45 a.m. to 10 a.m. daily.
After meeting with TSA Administrator David Pekoske on Thursday, the airports commission agreed to reimburse the federal security agency for related costs. The agreement will be reevaluated in 12 to 18 months to determine whether foot traffic is sufficient for the TSA to resume responsibility for those costs.
“Once word of mouth gets out, people will use it,” Commissioner Dixie Hoard said.