Security lines at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport may be a little longer than normal for the next few weeks.
That's because the airport is shutting down the south security checkpoint at Terminal 1 to install new automated security equipment.
The south security checkpoint will close Aug. 22, with construction and testing expected to take about three weeks, MSP airport said in a news release.
The security checkpoint will still be open for travelers with TSA Precheck, but everyone else will have to go to the north security checkpoint at the opposite end of the ticketing lobby.
The good news is the airport is doing this construction after the busy summer travel season so this shouldn't be too disruptive, the airport notes.
MSP officials do remind travelers to get to the airport 2 hours early for domestic flights and 3 hours before an international flight to make sure you have enough time to get through security and get to your gate.
Next year, these automated security lanes will be added to the north security checkpoint. There's not an exact date for it, but Patrick Hogan, a spokesperson for MSP, told GoMN they're hoping to add them in the first half of the year.
What do these new automated lanes do?
The Metropolitan Airports Commission earmarked $6 million for these security upgrades, which should make going through security faster.
These lanes will automate many of the things that were previously done manually.
Here's how it'll work:
First, there will be more places for you to take off your shoes and jackets, and to put all of your belongings in bins.
Then, conveyor belts will move those bins and your carry-on automatically through the X-ray machines.
If one of the items needs more inspection, it will automatically get shifted to a separate conveyor belt. This will let other bags and bins continue on without holding things up.
Then, after you've retrieved your belongings out of the bins, conveyor belts will bring the empty bins back to the front of the line for people to use.
This is good news, because with the new TSA rules coming to airports across the country, people will probably be using a lot more bins. (All electronics larger than a cellphone will have to go in separate bins.)
You can read more about how the lanes work in this NPR News story, which says they're 30 percent more efficient.