By Tracie Isaac
Have you planned and scheduled air travel for your summer vacation or special get away? There are procedures in place by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) for the Frederick Douglass Greater Rochester International Airport (ROC) to address the increased passenger air travel for the summer.
“Rochester is typically one of the quickest security checkpoints for travelers to move efficiently through the process,” stated Steven T. Bartz, Assistant Director of Operations for the Greater Rochester International Airport.
Bartz observed that local travel traffic has reached 80-85 percent of pre-pandemic levels. Nearly 4,000 daily travelers pass through the ROC on flights which are full for the scheduled destinations. There has been a reduction in daily departure destinations from 53 to 47. However, travel traffic was estimated to increase near pre-pandemic levels based on Fourth of July travel.
There are new airline tenants at the ROC like Frontier, which has flights to four destinations, and Spirit, which will begin departures in October of 2022, adding to the travel destinations from Rochester.
A new TSA computed tomography scanner at the Rochester security checkpoint.
Six new state-of-the-art advanced technology Computed Tomography (CT) scanners that provide 3-D imaging have been installed at the airport by TSA. Travelers no longer have to remove cell phones and computers from their covering of luggage to be checked.
Benefits of the new equipment provides advanced explosives detection capabilities for screening carry-on items and at the same time is more convenient for travelers because the technology allows passengers to leave their laptops and other electronic devices in their carry-on bags.
The TSA suggests that travelers arrive at least two hours before the scheduled flight inside the airport terminal and to “know before you go” by checking the guidelines for carry-on items that are allowed and those that should be in checked luggage. Specific details for carry-on items can be found on www.TSA.gov and select “What Can I Bring” along with other areas of concern such as Passenger Support, Military and other Travel
A few of the many oversized liquids, gels and aerosols that have been removed from carry-on bags.
Medical questions, screening policies, procedures, assistance at the checkpoint, and what to expect for travelers or families of passengers with disabilities and/or medical conditions can be assisted by calling a toll free helpline TSA Cares 855-787-2227 at least 72 hours prior to flying.
Timing is everything for a smooth security screening. To avoid long lines, the busiest hours of travel are 4a.m. to 6a.m., 10a.m. to 12noon and 4p.m. to 6p.m. Also, the busiest travel days are Sundays, Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays.
Patience and planning are key factors required with the current increase of travel traffic. With masses of people who have been restricted to being home-bound since COVID-19 and have received vaccinations and booster shots, there is a high demand to get out and away from their home environment. Therefore with increased crowds at airports there is a need to reduce anxiety and increase patience.
With the makeover of the airport travelers can use their waiting time to see the new improvements throughout the airport, especially the Frederick Douglass Legacy Mural depicting historical events, family and descendants, as well as local figures associated with thistory.
For more information on local airline travel visit www.rocairport.com.