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Denver International Airport Opens Game-Changing West TSA Checkpoint

The new 17-lane checkpoint will enhance efficiency and safety when passing through security at Denver International

by Fergus Cole

February 7, 2024

Photo: Courtesy of Denver International Airport

Travelers flying out of Denver International Airport (DEN) can enjoy faster and more efficient security checks following this week’s opening of the new West Security Checkpoint.

Officials at DEN were joined by delegates from the Transportation Security Admission (TSA), Governor of Colorado Jared Polis, Denver Mayor Mike Johnston, and U.S. Congresswoman Diana DeGette at a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Tuesday, February 6th to celebrate the opening of the new security checkpoint.

The brand-new facility is the first of two state-of-the-art security checkpoints to open in Denver’s Level 6 passenger check-in area as part of the $2.1 billion Great Hall Program. According to Mayor Mike Johnston, the 17-lane checkpoint will help speed up the security process while also making it safer, and it will process around 240 passengers per hour.

Photo: Courtesy of Denver International Airport

The opening of the new checkpoint comes at a time of ever-growing passenger numbers at Denver International Airport. Last year was the busiest ever for the airport, with almost 78 million passengers passing through its gates, making it the third busiest in the U.S.

The new security checkpoints come with several cutting-edge features designed to streamline the check-in process for passengers and the TSA. Now, passengers will be provided with larger bins to accommodate more items and larger bags, can place their items in the bins simultaneously to speed up the process, and can leave liquids and laptops in their bags thanks to new technology.

Photo: Courtesy of Denver International Airport

Unique Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags will also be attached to each bin to provide more accountability for each passenger’s carry-on items; bags with prohibited items will be automatically diverted, and bins will be automatically returned to the front of the line. According to CBS News, facial recognition technology will also remove the need for passengers to show their physical ID.

“Today is a great day for Denver and a great day for Colorado,” said Denver Mayor Mike Johnston. “This checkpoint upgrade means the travel time for people coming through security will be faster, more efficient, and incredibly safe.

“We are adding more and more international capacity to Denver, which will help our state and city become the financial center of the country, the tourist center, as well as the best place to live, work, and play.”

Photo: United Airlines, Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner. Courtesy of Denver International Airport.

The West Security Checkpoint is located next to the United Airlines check-in desk at the northwest end of Level 6 and has three separate entrances for different classes of travelers.

The majority of passengers will need to enter through West Security 1; Restricted Access groups, including DEN Reserve, Premium/Premier Access, Accessibility and Functional Needs, and Military personnel can enter through West Security 1, while TSA PreCheck passengers and CLEAR customers can enter through West Security 3. The new checkpoints operate daily between 4:00 AM and 7:30 PM.

The other part of the Great Hall Program – the East Security Checkpoint – is scheduled to open with an additional 17 screening lanes in late 2025, with the entire project set for completion by the end of 2027.

Photo: Courtesy of Denver International Airport

“The impetus of the Great Hall Program has always been to enhance safety and security by moving the security checkpoints from Level 5 to Level 6 while also increasing capacity,” said Phil Washington, CEO of Denver International Airport.

“This new checkpoint, which is opening on schedule and under budget, is equipped with over 17 screening lanes. These have advanced technology creating a more efficient process and an overall better experience for our passengers. Next year, we will open another checkpoint of the same caliber on the east side of the terminal to serve our ever-increasing passenger traffic.”