WASHINGTON - There is a new focus on the reconstruction plans for Reagan National Airport after Turkey’s biggest airport was attacked.
The billion dollar reconstruction work is set to begin this fall on the existing terminals B and C. Security officials are looking to push security more upfront to the airport entrance near the ticketing level.
The terminal opened in the mid 90s in advance of the 9/11 attacks. In order to meet the changing demands, they need to increase the security.
"Moving them from the edges of the gate areas out to a more central location actually reduces the congestion at the gate area, particularly at Reagan where we have seen record growth in recent years," said Christopher Paolino, spokesperson for Reagan National and Dulles International airports. "Passengers need to move quicker though security and we are seeing a buildup of passengers."
Those security upgrades will see an entirely new constructed level at Reagan where the Metro bridges currently are. Passengers will still be able to arrive on the upper level, but they will have to go down to a new security area that will be constructed and then walk to one of the three existing gates.
"If you can interact with a passenger way outside of the usual pedestrian corridors, then you can identify and stop a potential would-be attacker before they could get inside where more passengers are congregated,” said Brigham McCown, a former senior executive for the Department of Transportation.
The construction project is going to be big and the price tag is going to huge as well. The Washington Metropolitan Airports Authority told FOX 5 that they are in the final stages of a year and a half design phase. Some construction could start this fall and it is expected to last for nearly eight years.