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Idaho Falls Airport opens new updated baggage claim area

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One of the two new baggage claim conveyor belts. | Mike price, EastIdahoNews.com

IDAHO FALLS — As the Idaho Falls Regional Airport continues to grow, administrators are looking to make things more convenient for flyers.

The airport showcased its brand new baggage claim area with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Tuesday. The new baggage claim has two conveyor belts to make luggage retrieval easier and more efficient for travelers to get their luggage.

“(The previous baggage claim) was very old, very inefficient. We only had one pickup point so you could really only service one flight at a time. These multiple pickup points will be able to service more flights at a time, be able to track more flights and be more efficient and look better,” Idaho Falls Regional Airport Director Rick Cloutier said.

Idaho Falls Mayor Rebecca Casper, the Idaho Falls City Council, various city officials and local Idaho legislators attended the ribbon-cutting.

“We have full flights leaving, we have full flights coming in and to have this space is truly wonderful,” Casper said in her remarks during the ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Ribbon-cutting | Mike Price, EastIdahoNews.com

Casper commended Cloutier on getting the grants from the Federal Aviation Administration to fund the new baggage claim. She said the FAA is paying for roughly 93 percent of the expansion project. The rest is paid for through fees.

“The airport, pretty much, is self-sustaining,” Casper said. “It does not draw from the tax base in terms of tax dollars.”

Cloutier said the new baggage claim is part of phase one of the overall expansion of the airport to help keep up with the increase of travelers.

“We’ve been working really hard to market the airport. We’ve been working hard with the airlines to reduce some fees,” Cloutier said. “We are really competitive with the other airports in the area right now.”

He said, in the spring, they plan to begin work on adding three more jetbridge gates, bringing the total up to six. They plan to add a larger seating area and expand concessions.

The airport will also get a dedicated TSA Precheck lane to speed up the security screening process.

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