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Air Center terminal to get upgraded baggage check area

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A baggage X-ray machine will be installed at the Roswell Air Center within a few months after modifications to the baggage check area. (Lisa Dunlap Photo)

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The Roswell Air Center intends to modify its terminal building baggage check area in the near future.

“Part of the terminal expansion plan that we have here at the airport, using the airport revenue, we are going to be opening up the existing wall (near the baggage check area) so that all the airlines can use that room,” said Denise Garcia, the recently hired property and leasing manager for the Air Center. “By opening up that wall, it will allow for a larger area so we can put an X-ray machine in there to inspect the bags.”

American Airlines is the only commercial airline company providing passenger service from the terminal building at this time. City and Air Center staff have discussed wanting to bring in an additional commercial service for the city when air traffic returns to normal in the post-COVID-19 period.

The terminal building expansion is also a long-term plan. While some conceptual design ideas have been developed, it could take years to obtain financing for a remodel or rebuild.

The baggage check modification is expected to begin within a couple of months and take about one month to complete, Garcia said. The cost is estimated at about $10,000, with airport funds used to pay for the project.

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She said it is anticipated that the check-in area will remain the same during the modification and that most work will occur when the terminal building is not busy.

At the current time, checked baggage is placed on a conveyor belt and employees of BOS Security remove them from the belt to inspect the luggage, including opening some of them and looking at contents. Garcia said that the X-ray machine will be able to hover over the luggage and scan the bags as they pass along the belt so that they would not have to be hand-inspected unless security staff had questions about them.

“It is going to be a more efficient way to get people through and get their bags on the airplane,” Garcia said.

Lisa Dunlap can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 351, or at reporter02@rdrnews.com.

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Lisa Dunlap is a general assignment reporter for the Roswell Daily Record.