New Security Checkpoint and Floor Mosaic Unveiled at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport

MINNEAPOLIS, Oct. 10, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- A new, six lane security screening checkpoint opened today, designed to increase processing efficiency and reduce wait times at Minneapolis-St. Paul International (MSP) Airport's Terminal 2-Humphrey.

The new checkpoint is located at the northeast end of the terminal near the skyway to the Orange Parking Ramp and light rail transit.

"The Transportation Security Administration has installed the latest screening equipment, including three new millimeter wave advanced imaging technology units," said TSA Acting Federal Security Director Rick Gordon. "It also has large areas for passengers to divest themselves of shoes, coats and other items in preparation for screening and to recompose themselves and their belongings once they and their carry-on items have been screened."

The new checkpoint can accommodate processing of 150 more people per hour than the existing checkpoint.

"Terminal 2-Humphrey is experiencing record numbers of travelers as low-cost carriers launch and expand service there," said Dennis Probst, executive vice president of the Metropolitan Airports Commission, which owns and operates MSP and six general aviation airports in Minnesota. "Early mornings are particularly congested due to the number of flights scheduled for departure, with wait times at the existing Terminal 2 checkpoint sometimes extending to 45 minutes or more. This second, larger checkpoint is an important first step toward reducing lines, decreasing stress and improving the overall experience for people traveling from Terminal 2."

The new checkpoint is designed so that additional queuing and equipment can be added in the future without structural changes to the facility.

With the new checkpoint open, the pre-existing five-lane checkpoint located in the center of the terminal has now closed for remodeling to better accommodate the advanced screening equipment in use today. When the renovated checkpoint reopens in early 2013, screening operations will be split between the two checkpoints, further improving processing of passengers and carry-on items.

Also unveiled today in the atrium leading to the new checkpoint was an 1,800-square-foot floor mosaic made of epoxy terrazzo. Designed by artist Scott Parsons and installed by Grazzini Brothers and Company, Parsons says the brightly-colored mosaic reflects Minnesota's landscape and history and the movement of people through time and space as part of the larger human journey.

"As airline passengers and visitors pass through this terminal, I want them to connect their own travels and adventures in Minnesota and beyond to this larger movement of history and discovery," Parsons said. "The story of humanity is one of a great journey: in a sense, we are all travelers. We locate ourselves in the stories that evoke our comings and goings, affirmed by the imagery which guides us in our discoveries of what might lay ahead and in our returning home."

The floor mosaic was produced as part of MSP's Arts and Culture Program, administered through a partnership between the Metropolitan Airports Commission and the Airport Foundation MSP. The foundation is a non-profit organization that operates the Travelers Assistance program, engages in airport beautification projects and works to enhance the overall experience of travelers at MSP.

"It's exciting to see Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport provide another venue with international exposure to regional artists and to showcase our region to the world," said Jana Vaughn, executive director of the Airport Foundation MSP.

The $16.1 million build-out is part of a larger expansion effort underway at Terminal 2-Humphrey, including enclosure of future expansion space for ticketing and development of several new food and retail concessions. In late 2012 or early 2013 six new Terminal 2 concessions will open, including a Latin-themed Cocina del Barrio restaurant, Surdyk's Flights wine market and cafe, Subway, Caribou Coffee, and retail news store Minneapolis-St. Paul Magazine News.

More than 1.5 million people boarded planes at Terminal 2-Humphrey in 2011, and passenger levels there increased 11.7 percent in the first eight months of 2012. The terminal is served by AirTran Airways, Icelandair, and Southwest, Spirit and Sun Country airlines.

A photo accompanying this release is available at:

CONTACT: Patrick Hogan 612-726-5335Source:Metropolitan Airports Commission