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danwxman

First Airport Built After 9/11 Opens In Harrisburg

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The brand new terminal at Harrisburg International Airport in Harrisburg, PA opened up on Sunday....For a city our size it is a remarkablely large and modern airport....some pics are available at their website.. http://www.flyhia.com here are a few I pulled.

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The old terminal building which was built in the early 1980's will be converted into an office building. They are also planning to build an Amtrak station, and if it ever gets approved, a commuter rail station next to the terminal all connected by moving sidewalks.

Since it was built after 9/11, all the extra security measures taken by airports...including the huge screeners which you see usually just sitting in the lobby of most airports..are now built into the airport.

Here is an article in our local newspaper

On 1st day, visitors find 'beautiful' HIA terminal

HIA terminal meets little turbulence on 1st day

Airport's new terminal gets off to a flying start

Monday, August 30, 2004

BY ELLEN LYON

Of The Patriot-News

After more than two years of planning and building, and about $230 million in spending, Harrisburg International Airport's new terminal opened at 4:30 a.m. yesterday with only a few glitches.

Planes took off and landed, beginning with a 6:18 a.m. Delta flight to Cincinnati.

Moving sidewalks moved between the parking garage and terminal.

Revolving doors revolved and escalators escalated, for the most part.

One escalator and two circular doors leading to the ticket lobby must have had opening-day jitters. The escalator was fixed by 5 a.m., and the revolving doors were still being worked on in the early afternoon, HIA spokesman Scott Miller said.

By 8 a.m., 756 passengers cleared security, he noted.

Some people came just to see the terminal and not to travel.

Among the curious were Brad and Marti Bert of New Cumberland.

"We think it's beautiful. We enjoyed the observation deck," Marti Bert said. "It's nice to see Harrisburg come of age."

The third-floor observation deck, which is lined with historic photographs of the airport and former Air Force base, was already a popular attraction.

There were a few complaints about the need for more signs.

Bill Weidman of Lancaster said the electronic ticket machines could use "a little bit more explanation."

As Gerry Knepp of New Orleans waited for his flight in one of the rocking chairs in the second-floor atrium, he said, "They force you into a parking garage without giving you any directions."

Rose and Warren Motter of Marysville, on their way to Anchorage, Alaska, also were confused in the parking garage. They didn't understand why gates covered the entrances to the second and third floors, which were open for parking, but there was no gate down on the fourth floor, which was closed. They drove all the way to the fourth floor and were stopped by security.

"If it's open, why isn't it open instead of a gate closed?" wondered Warren Motter.

HIA Aviation Director Fred Testa said the gates are used to count cars (each vehicle must stop before the gate will open) and also to slow their speed in the garage.

The Motters also said they encountered a rude airline employee at the ticket counter. "They were eating their breakfast, and we disturbed them," Warren Motter said.

Fortunately, they had a good waiter at the new Varsity Grill & Sports Bar on the terminal's second floor. "He couldn't have been more courteous," Rose Motter said.

The terminal building is "beautiful" and "very clean," but "I'm not sure about the efficiency yet," Warren Motter said.

Several travelers and visitors said the size of the 350,000-square-foot terminal felt just right and they appreciated its security features.

"I'm so glad that it's not overly large but better in terms of technology, that it's upgraded because of security. But I still love it because it has an intimacy to it," Jan Kohler of Lake Meade said.

Charles Chase, federal security director at HIA, said, "The in-line baggage system that we have designed for this building and the L3 examiner machines we have are state-of-the art."

A nearly mile-long maze of conveyor belts leads from the ticket counters to the secure basement, where baggage is screened and then placed on planes.

New federal security requirements after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks required airport officials to put van-sized screening machines in the lobby of the old terminal.

That meant moving bags on carts across the lobby, where someone could have added a bag after the screening.

"There were a lot of areas there that could have been compromised and now we don't have that any more," Chase said.

The terminal also has a digitized surveillance television system with better clarity. "We can ID anybody with that system," he said.

Pam and Bruce Russell of Linglestown, members of the Civil Air Patrol, toured the terminal yesterday, although they had no travel plans.

"This is beautiful. I'm just very impressed," Pam Russell said. "I wish we were flying out today. I'm anxious to use it."

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