Get to your gate quicker: Mitchell Intl. Airport has new baggage screening facility

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MILWAUKEE  (WITI) -- A maze of what appears to be a complicated system of conveyor belts, is actually making your trip to Mitchell International Airport easier.

"We have a beautiful airport and this is a very, very exciting time for Milwaukee," said Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele.

In previous visits to the airport, you may have noticed seven giant luggage screening machines taking up part of the ticketing area.

But now it's all done behind the scenes using a new In-Line Baggage Screening Facility.

"The best news for passengers here at Milwaukee is they can now hand off their luggage at the airline ticket counter instead of taking them to multiple explosive detective machines throughout the ticketing lobby," said Assistant Federal Security Director Robert Ronge.

The bags are sent from the ticket counter conveyor belt into the new 24,000 square foot building where they're automatically screened.

There are four machines that can each screen 750 bags per hour.

If the bags don't pass the initial inspection, they're sent to a separate room to be examined by TSA officials.

"In addition, the system provides on-screen resolution capabilities for those security officers which reduces the number of re-scans and physical searches we have to conduct," said Ronge.

It also reduces injuries, as there is new equipment that will lift the bags for TSA agents.

And airport officials say the project didn't use any property tax dollars.

"TSA contributed about $21 million of that $30 million price tag that has been mentioned and $9 million has been contributed by the airport facility, and all of the state partners here at the airport," said Ronge.