A phased overhaul to the Salt Lake City International Airport incorporates a massive amount of upgrades for travelers, but more importantly for skiers and snowboarders, an improved baggage system that optimizes handling of oversized baggage.
Breaking ground in 2014, upgrades to the existing Salt Lake City International Airport intend to better serve fliers, replacing the five existing concourses with two streamlined, linear concourses, connected via tunnel. Phase one of this $4-billion-dollar mega project is open for travelers starting September 15, 2020 and will feature a new terminal, updated baggage and TSA screening infrastructure, a new parking garage, and portions of the two new concourses.
Focused on sustainability, the LEED Gold-certified terminal complex features Utah-inspired art installations and passenger amenities like enhanced Wi-Fi, charging terminals at each seat, and larger restroom stalls. Improvements of note for skiers, snowboarders, and other sports enthusiasts relate to the handling of oversized luggage and upgrades to the baggage systems. With a goal to make travel easier, fun, and more inspiring, The New SLC is ready to streamline the journey of adventurous travelers.
Over seven miles of conveyor belts have been built or upgraded to whisk checked luggage from multiple areas like the parking garage, curbside drop-off, and the ticketing counters. This simply means less lugging for those with oversize bags, which is always the first concern upon airport arrival. These improvements streamline travel for those with skis, bikes, boards, or other sporting equipment. Read on for a few highlights below!
- The new baggage system can handle ski and board bags in addition to bike boxes or bags versus the traditional setup where travelers would need to visit the oversized baggage claim to fetch their luggage. The new oversize baggage claim technology employs state-of-the art tech which can present approximately 100 ski bags vertically, offering better visibility to travelers.
- The check-in process for those returning rental cars has also been streamlined, allowing them to park and easily transport gear to Gateway Ticketing and check-in in close proximity to the TSA security checkpoint and airline gates.
- Those arriving in Salt Lake City won’t have to wrestle their ski and snowboard bags down sets of stairs, escalators, or elevators, as the baggage claim area occupies the same level as ground transportation and the parking structure.
- Improvements to TSA screening and inspection of oversized articles have been made. With greater efficiency incorporated into the TSA inspection process and a reconfiguration of the baggage system, all cleared bags are whisked under the concourse for sorting, which in turn improves delivery time to the aircraft.
- Because so much of the handling of oversized luggage has been automated, far less handling and maneuvering of bags will be necessary. All bags are equipped with a 10-digit bar code, which the system uses to route and transport the bags. This is both better for your gear and puts less physical strain on airport staff.
- Opening day of the Phase 1 construction work on Sept 15, 2020 will utilize the Terminal and Concourse A West baggage system. This phase represented $107 million investment. Subsequent phases implemented as the Terminal Development proceeds will approach $160 million in cost.
- In the event of a mechanical or technical error, there are a number of redundancies in the newly constructed baggage. Bags can be rerouted should some belt failure occur and you won’t be stuck ski-less in Salt Lake City.
- For those that live on the edge and tend to arrive late to the airport, the system can redirect late oversize bags to specific locations for special handling, decreasing your chances of traveling sans baggage. (But don't use that as an excuse to arrive late!)
All the upgrades to the Salt Lake City Airport listed above will mean travel to skiing in Utah is now even more convenient. As the airport continues to improve, Salt Lake will be better positioned to welcome adventure enthusiasts and their gear.
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