Design Team Chosen For
Airport Improvements

July 9, 2007
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GRAND RAPIDS — The Kent County Aeronautics Board recently approved the selection of Austin/AECOM for the design of FordInternationalAirport terminal improvements and the relocation of baggage-screening devices out of the airport's lobby.

The baggage-screening units will be moved and placed into an in-line system configuration behind airline ticket offices, said Aeronautics Director James Koslosky.

Koslosky told the board that if Congress approves the funding to get the baggage-screening relocation off the ground, the savings to the Transportation Security Administration will be substantial and the return on investment will be fairly quick, probably between five and 10 years, depending on the airport.

"Based on staffing reductions and staff savings, I think our payback here by going to an inline system is somewhere in the neighborhood of seven years," Koslosky said. "Everything we're doing at this point positions us to be able to act very quickly once the guidelines are issued and once the federal funding mechanisms are solidified. By putting a team together now, we can be one of the first in the door with the application."

Koslosky said the federal government will issue design guidelines for airport baggage-screening areas in August. He said that with changing safety requirements, baggage-screening devices are getting larger. The hope, he said, is that over time the technology will allow the screening units to decrease in size and increase in speed at the same time.     

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