Transportation security officials say recent reports of a possible terrorist attack will not change screening measures at airports, but Iowa’s largest airport is getting additional security personnel. Fourteen more passenger screeners will be hired to work at the airport in Des Moines.Mike Lansing, a local Transportation Security Administration official, says the decision to hire new employees in Des Moines was made after studying how long it took passengers to get through security. He says 10 minutes is the standard they try to hit, he says on average they meet the standard. Lansing says it can take 20 minutes to get through security in the Des Moines airport on busy mornings, like Mondays and Saturdays. Lansing says the length of the wait at security is expected to grow during the summer travel season as the number of airline passengers grows — but Lansing says it won’t be because of the latest concerns about potential terrorist attacks.Lansing says the standards in place at security checkpoints will remain the same, regardless of the threat level. Airport officials are urging passengers to help speed up the process by being prepared once they reach the screening point — for instance, putting keys and jewelry in a purse or suitcase so it won’t set off the detector when you walk through the magnetometer. Roy Criss, a spokesman for the Des Moines airport, also recommends leaving home a little earlier.Criss says the Des Moines airport has served 25-thousand more passengers so far this year than it did four months of last year, so passengers should not gamble on being able to get through security in just an hour. Criss also warns passengers not to dawdle in the cafeteria or convenience store that’re located near the ticket counters. He says the same papers and coffee are available at shops on the other side of the magnetometers and it’s best to get through security first to ensure you can make your flight.
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