By Nicole Brewer

PHILADELPHIA (CBS)—A Pennsylvania airport is about to become the first U.S. airport to allow non-fliers past security since 9/11.

Gone are the days when airport greetings happen at the gate. In this post 9/11 world, passengers trade comfort and convenience for safety and security. But, wouldn’t it be nice if we didn’t have to?

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“Yes, of course,” said Priscilla Harris of Lawrenceville, New Jersey.

Kevin Desler of Mount Holly added, “It would be nice to see family when they get off the plane.”

Starting next week in Pittsburgh, people won’t need a plane ticket to access shops, restaurants, or gates.

The airport says they will open its Airside Terminal to non-flyers, so long as they go through screening.

The “myPITpass” pilot program, which will be available Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., will also allow visitors to go to airside terminals, to meet passengers coming and going.

Members of the public will be able to access the Airside Terminal by following these procedures:

  • Check in on 3 rd Floor Ticketing Level (across from Allegiant)
  • Show a valid photo ID (Driver’s License or Passport)
  • Have name vetted and obtain stamped myPITpass
  • Go through security checkpoint observing the same rules as passengers boarding flights.
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The only potential draw back for the people we spoke to? Longer security lines, which airport officials say won’t be a problem.

They’re hoping the added access boosts their bottom line, which in turn, could help lower their cost to the airlines.

“For years, we’ve heard from travelers and non-travelers alike who want the opportunity to shop the stores at the airport,” said County Executive Rich Fitzgerald. “Thanks to the constant work of Christina Cassotis and her team at the airport, as well as the support of Congressman Tim Murphy, we’re finally able to make that a reality with the myPITpass Program.”

So, could we see this option at Philadelphia International Airport?

The folks at Philly International tell us they will be watching to see how it works in Pittsburgh, then decide if a similar option could be made available here. They did say the Pittsburgh airport is much smaller, which makes policing much easier than here in our city.

 

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