TSA prepares for launch of air service from Wilmington-New Castle

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The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) will staff the Wilmington-New Castle Airport (ILG) as Frontier Airlines plans to restart scheduled commercial service to and from Orlando International Airport beginning Feb. 11.

The non-stop service from Wilmington-New Castle Airport (ILG) to Orlando International Airport (MCO) will operate three times each week.

Airport manager, the Delaware River & Bay Authority (DRBA) recently completed renovations to the terminal that include the checkpoint and baggage screening areas as well as the secure area of the terminal.

The authority has invested approximately $2 million for security compliance and customer service improvements inside the passenger terminal.

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The upgrades include expanding and improving the security queue to enable TSA to conduct passenger screening more efficiently; building a new modern ticketing/check-in counter and gate area seating; and improving technology infrastructure upgrades throughout the building to accommodate new passenger information displays and improved airline communications.

The DRBA had also made improvements prior to Frontier ending service from the airport in 2015. The airport now has the ability to handle more than one aircraft at a time should Frontier increase service.

The hope is that Frontier would offer daily flights to Orlando and its hub in Denver. Daily service would open up connecting service to many of its destinations.

Frontier offers service from Philadelphia International Airport to about two dozen cities, with flights that typically operate a few times a week.

TSA has installed state-of-the-art equipment to screen passengers, checked baggage and carry-on baggage. TSA officers will be on site about two hours prior to scheduled flights and will begin to screen passengers and their baggage an hour before each scheduled departure.

“The TSA officers who will be conducting security screening operations at Wilmington-New Castle Airport are well-trained and experienced in all of our screening protocols,” said Gerardo Spero, TSA’s federal security director for Philadelphia International and Wilmington-New Castle Airports. “We look forward to working with the Delaware River & Bay Authority and their law enforcement agency, Frontier Airlines and all of our security stakeholder partners at the airport as commercial flights start up.”

“One of the DRBA’s goals for Wilmington-New Castle Airport has always been to establish quality, sustainable air service for our community and Frontier’s return is both a commitment to Delaware and a testament to the market sustainability of passenger demand at this airport,” said Stephen D. Williams, DRBA deputy executive director and airports director. “With the support of our colleagues at TSA, the State of Delaware will no longer be the only state in the union without regularly scheduled commercial service.”

For its part, Frontier has indicated it will gradually build up service from the airport. In the brief stay for the airline a half a decade earlier, the airline underwent a change of control as Indigo Partners bought a controlling interest.

On Thursday, Feb. 11, passengers aboard Frontier Airlines in-bound flight #1254 to Wilmington-New Castle Airport from Orlando, Florida, is expected to arrive at 12:38 p.m. Frontier will serve Wilmington-New Castle Airport with the 180-seat, Airbus A320 with flights set for Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays.

“We are absolutely thrilled to be launching the only commercial air service from Wilmington-New Castle Airport,” said Barry Biffle, CEO of Frontier Airlines. “We look forward to providing an affordable and convenient air travel option for residents in the greater Delaware area.”

Frontier has promoted what it sees as its safety-first approach to airline travel with modern aircraft with advanced ventilation systems and mandatory mask use.

The Biden Administration recently mandated that all federally controlled facilities, including airports, will require masks.

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