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Phase One Work Now Underway for Security Checkpoint Expansion at Louisville’s Airport

January 8, 2024

Click here for PDF of construction map.

Temporary, single-file lines for passenger screening are expected during construction

Phase one improvements to the security checkpoint at the Louisville Muhammad Ali International Airport (SDF) are now underway, which is one piece of the of the SDF Next Program that will see more than $400 million invested in enhancements to the Jerry E. Abramson Terminal. This first phase of work includes relocation of the current queuing lanes for both TSA PreCheck and general screening to the former retail areas previously occupied by Brooks Brothers and the Kentucky Bourbon Trail stores on the ticketing level. Later phasing will include construction of the new security checkpoint facility that will be complete with 10 lanes featuring state-of-the-art technology for passenger screening, significantly increasing throughput capabilities and enhancing efficiencies at SDF.

During work on phase one, the temporary queue lines for both TSA PreCheck and general screening will each be reduced to a single-file line reaching beyond the TODAY Store and down the west hall, behind the American, United, Allegiant and Spirit Airlines ticket counters. This could result in the appearance of longer-than-normal lines with extended wait times; however, the same number of passengers will continue to be screened during construction.

“This project is step one in expanding our security checkpoint at SDF,” said Dan Mann, Executive Director of the Louisville Regional Airport Authority. “It’s important to note, because of the limitations with the terminal’s physical space, while this work is happening the temporary line for the checkpoint will go past the TODAY Store and into the west hall. It does not necessarily mean the wait times for security screening are any longer, but some passengers may have that perception, especially if they do not know about construction. The number of passengers TSA screens will not change because of this work.”

As part of the security checkpoint expansion project, Brooks Brothers and the Kentucky Bourbon Trail stores have permanently closed, while both the Churchill Downs and Louisville Slugger stores will be remodeled in the coming months. All phase one work is anticipated to be completed in early April, well in advance of this year’s 150th anniversary of the Kentucky Derby.

Final design approvals for the new security checkpoint facility are expected in the coming months, with work beginning in late 2024. This follows changes made this summer by SDF staff and TSA to expand the checkpoint from five to seven lanes – a 40% increase in screening capabilities during peak travel periods.

“This is another part of the process as we continue investing in a better passenger experience at SDF,” added Mann. “Just as it’s been with other major SDF Next Projects from installing brand new baggage handling systems in baggage claim, overhauling our rental car facility, utilizing geothermal technology to heat and cool the terminal to upgrading numerous mechanical systems – all this is happening so travelers at SDF have a best-in-class experience.”