SANTA ANA (CBS) — John Wayne Airport officials hope to have a glitch in its baggage handling system in the new terminal, which opened Monday, fixed by the end of the month.

“Our new baggage handling system needs to be certified that it meets its efficiency and security parameters,” said Jenny Wedge, the airport’s public relations manager.

The federal Transportation Security Administration handles the certification process, Wedge said.

Construction of the new 282,000-square-foot Terminal C began in August 2009, and opened to the public Monday.

The terminal adds restaurants and other dining options to the airport.

“Our new system did not meet (the TSA) requirements, and, therefore, we have to take care of technical issues to ensure all bags going through the system are screened properly and make it through the system, to aircraft, in a
timely manner,” Wedge said.

“We hope to have certification by the end of the month, but are working hard to get the system up and running as soon as possible.”

In the meantime, travelers checking bags for flights with Southwest and Frontier have to go to Terminal B, where those airlines have ticket counters, Wedge said.

Anyone picking up Frontier or Southwest passengers should go to the arrivals level at Terminal B, or baggage claims 3 and 4, Wedge said.

The new Terminal C was part of an overall $211 million project at the airport that also included improvements to Terminals A and B.

Frontier and Southwest airlines are servicing the new terminal with six gates, five security lanes, 19 ticket counters, six curbside check-in counters and three baggage-claim carousels.

The new terminal is expected to boost the airport’s capacity from 8.4 million passengers a year to 10.8 million annual travelers, enough capacity to operate domestic and international flights.

The terminal’s designers aimed to simplify checking in with a unique universal process for passengers of all airlines that should cut down the time to get to gates, officials say.


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