Airport adds security steps

The Transportation Security Administration is implementing “new, stronger screening procedures” for carry-on items at the Williamsport Regional Airport.

New procedures require travelers to place all electronics larger than a cellphone in bins for X-ray screening and suggest that travelers arrive at the airport up to two hours prior to flight departure.

However, Jodi Miller, general manager for American Airlines at Williamsport, advises passengers should arrive at the airport at least 90 minutes prior to their flight’s departure time to ensure that they have enough time to check in and go through security.

“We don’t need two hours. We’re recommending, at Williamsport, a minimum of 90 minutes,” said David Frey, marketing director for the airport. “It’s critical that they can get in here and get processed and be ready to board.”

Though it may not always be necessary to use the full 90 minutes, Frey said it’s crucial for travelers to arrive with more than 30 minutes until the scheduled departure time.

With only 30 minutes to go, the American Airlines system essentially “shuts you down” and “you cannot get on that airplane,” he said.

“American Airlines’ computers lock out and no one can be processed after that,” Frey said. “In other words, they can’t board the plane.”

Passengers may experience more bag checks, so the administration suggests making sure carry-on bags are well organized to ease the screening process.

There are no changes to what travelers can bring through checkpoints, according to the administration.