Travelers through Waterloo Regional Airport will be greeted with new security equipment that should make their screening process quicker and easier.
The advanced imaging technology unit was installed at the Waterloo airport and put into use Wednesday. Many major airports across the nation already have the new technology, and now the U.S Transportation Security Administration is bringing it to regional airports as well.
More people took to the skies through the Waterloo Regional Airport last year, and flights at the airport saw an increase in reliability.
“Local and area air passengers are becoming more aware that flying out of Waterloo saves money as they do not have to pay for an added fuel expense and the higher cost of vehicle parking,” said Airport Director Keith Kaspari when the numbers were released as part of the airport’s End of Year report in early February.
The airport totaled 25,322 outbound passengers in 2016, which was an increase of 338 passengers over 2015. It was the highest annual passenger total since 2008 and marked the second year in a row ridership averaged more than 2,000 passengers a month.
City officials are touting a new survey showing the Waterloo Regional Airport’s leisure travel fares compete well with Iowa’s two largest airports.
Airport Director Keith Kaspari cited the January 2017 air fare comparison completed by the Iowa Department of Transportation’s Office of Aviation, which covered leisure, business and walk-up fares to a dozen U.S. destinations.
“When calculating the cost of a passenger’s time, wear and tear on their vehicle, the cost of fuel round trip, traffic delays, the time to find and the higher daily cost of parking, getting checked into their flight, moving through longer security lines and oftentimes adverse winter weather, flying ALO is cost-effective and convenient,” Kaspari said.