The Terminal Lobby Expansion (TLE) is more than halfway complete, and CLT has entered the next phase of the project – the closure of Checkpoint B for expansion from four to eight security lanes (six Automated Screening Lanes and two standard lanes). It will reopen before the end of the year as Checkpoint 1.
The Airport is planning to condense its five security checkpoints into three larger checkpoints with greater capacity to process passengers faster. Checkpoints C and D will become Checkpoint 2 and Checkpoint E will be renamed Checkpoint 3. When finished, CLT will go from 20 security lanes to 21. Over half of the lanes will be Automated Screening Lanes, which increases hourly throughput by approximately 20% over standard lanes.
The TLE is the signature project for Destination CLT, the Airport’s $3.1 billion capital investment in capacity enhancements.
The expansion is increasing the current terminal lobby space by 175,000 square feet and renovating another 191,000 square feet to enhance the passenger experience. Construction began in November 2019. Completion is scheduled for summer 2025.
Since the terminal opened in 1982, the Airport’s local traffic who use the terminal lobby has increased from 2.7 million to approximately 14 million in 2022. Overall, CLT served nearly 48 million passengers last year, which includes connecting passenger traffic.
“Our construction program is based on demand,” said CLT’s Chief Infrastructure Officer Jack Christine. “Everything we build, we have a need for it. We don’t build things and hope passengers come. It’s because we’re trying to control costs and provide a facility that meets the needs of our customers and tenants.”
CLT has been preparing for Checkpoint B construction by intermittently closing it over the past several months. The Airport has closely coordinated passenger impacts with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and the airlines. TSA has repositioned its employees to other checkpoints and will open additional lanes based on daily passenger projections.
Charlotte Douglas is expecting a busy spring and summer travel period. “If you’re planning to take a trip over the next few months, don’t fly by the seat of your pants,” Christine advised. “From a passenger perspective, we want you to be thinking ahead before you come to the Airport and to arrive early.”
Fliers should be inside the terminal at least two hours before a domestic flight and three hours before an international flight. Security wait times could reach 35 to 45 minutes during busy times. Signing up for TSA PreCheck® will help expedite the screening process for passengers.
Also, view real-time security wait times at each checkpoint, including Standard and TSA PreCheck® lines on cltairport.com or on the Airport app, which is available through the App Store or on Google Play. Wait times can change frequently, therefore, check often.
“As a reminder, you can get to any gate through any checkpoint,” Christine said. “It doesn’t matter which checkpoint you use. The goal is to go through the shortest line that will get you to your gate the fastest.”
Earlier this week, CLT opened new ticket counters on the TLE’s west side for Delta, Air Canada, JetBlue, Contour, Frontier, Southwest and United airlines.
The TLE’s east side is on target to debut this fall. It will include the unveiling of the Queen Charlotte statue.
Outside the 146,000 square foot TLE roadway canopy underway will cover the eight lanes in front of the terminal. The installation of structural steel will wrap up in a few months. Next, crews will begin placing the glass top for coverage from the west to east end. A late 2024 finish date is scheduled for the canopy.
In other construction news, the majority of concrete has been poured for Concourse A Expansion – Phase II’s foundation, and the placement of structural steel for the framework will be completed this spring. Preparations are underway for the installation of electrical, mechanical and plumbing lines. The expansion will add 191,848 square feet and 10 new gates to Concourse A in fall 2024.
Learn more about Airport construction on CLT’s website. Keep updated about the TLE and Concourse A Expansion – Phase II by following CLT on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.