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John Wayne Airport ready for Thanksgiving crowds

November 20, 2011 |  3:00 pm


Just in time for the holiday crowds, officials at John Wayne Airport in Orange County say they have repaired a faulty baggage-handling system at a new terminal that opened last week as part of a $543-million expansion project.

The pressure was on at the airport because the new terminal -- Terminal C -- opened Monday with a baggage system that had failed to pass a certification test by the Transportation Security Administration. The system combines the conveyor belts installed by the airport with the baggage screening machines of the TSA.

Without TSA certification, the system was shut down, and passengers traveling through Terminal C on Southwest Airlines or Frontier Airlines were forced to hike over to Terminal B to fetch their luggage.

But airport officials had good news Friday. They announced that the baggage-handling system had been certified and would be operating by Sunday.

At least 386,000 Southern Californians are expected to fly for the holiday weekend, a 1.9% increase over last year, according to a forecast from the Auto Club of Southern California.


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-- Hugo Martin

Photo: The new terminal at John Wayne Airport. Credit: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times