Tri-Cities Airport improvements come just in time for the holida - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Tri-Cities Airport improvements come just in time for the holiday travel rush

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PASCO, Wash.-- The holiday travel rush is quickly approaching and the Tri-Cities Airport is making sure they're prepared.

Hassles with airport parking and long lines at check-in and security are some on the things people dread about flying over the holidays. But at the Tri-Cities Airport this year you can stress a little less because they've made improvements just in time for the holiday travel season.

The holidays are typically one of the most stressful times of the year for travelers, but this year the start of your trip should go a little more smoothly.

The parking lot expansion at the Tri-Cities Airport will add 110 more stalls and should open before Thanksgiving.

"The past two Novembers and around Christmas time we've come very close to filling up our long term parking lot. We just don't want that to happen. So this will give us additional spaces for the holiday activity," said Ron Foraker, Tri-Cities Airport Director.

A growing population has translated into higher passenger numbers at the airport and they're working to meet that demand sooner rather than later.

"It was more scheduled for 2013 but given where we were at with numbers utilizing the parking lot, it was felt we probably best move forward. We just don't want to turn anyone away," Foraker said.

TSA has also added new baggage screeners that have higher image resolutions and can screen up to 225 bags per hour. They think this will make baggage check-in more efficient and hopefully speed up the lines.

The Tri-Cities Airport is a smaller facility but TSA spokesperson, Lorie Dankers said, updates were still a priority.

"We know that airports of all sizes, that we have one level of safety and security and we want to make sure that airports regardless of size are able to take advantage of this type of technology," Dankers said.

New security scanning devices will make using a boarding pass on your phone easier. And each of these improvements should help you get on your merry way a little quicker.

The phone scanner is only available for Alaska and United flights because the devices are provided to TSA by the airlines. The expanded parking is located on the south end of the airport and should open the week of the 12th.