Cleveland Airports Make Last Preparations For RNC

[photo: Tim Evanson / flickr]
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An estimated sixty five thousand people will travel to Cleveland for next week’s Republican National Convention. Most will arrive and depart through Cleveland Hopkins International Airport. But the frequently backed up security lines at Cleveland Hopkins may move quicker than expected, according to the city’s interim airports director Fred Szabo. He says the federal government has already sent 20 extra TSA agents this year because of increased airport traffic and more are expected during the convention.

“They didn’t give us an exact number but what they did tell us is that they were going to staff all of the lanes throughout the convention with expanded hours – we’re going to open at 3:30 in the morning and stay open to 9:00 at night, that’s longer than the normal hours of operation," says Szabo. He expects the biggest crowds next Friday, the day after the RNC ends.

Burke Lakefront, the publicly owned airport on the edge of Downtown Cleveland, is expecting twice the normal number of flights. About 150 private airplanes have requested to fly in and out of Burke so far, says Szabo.

“We’re going to use every square inch of the airport literally to park the aircraft,” says Szabo.

The federal government will handle extra air traffic control demands. The airport has brought on additional ground support staff for next week and will stop accepting new requests to land there by the end of the week.

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