Security screening to start Sunday on new Denver Air Connection jet flightsSep 30, 2016 By Katie Roenigk, Staff Writer
The Transportation Security Administration will begin screening Denver Air Connection passengers at Riverton Regional Airport starting Sunday.
The change means DAC customers who only have carry-on luggage will no longer have to take a shuttle to the Denver International Airport entrance and go through security there. Instead, they will be able to proceed directly into the terminal and check in at their gate.
DAC passengers with checked luggage still will have to be re-screened in Denver, however - but not for security reasons. Riverton Airport Board chair Dean Peranteaux explained that DAC does not yet have interline baggage agreements in place with other airlines or airports, so baggage handlers will not move checked luggage from DAC planes to other aircraft.
"If you have a (checked) bag, you have to go down, claim it and go back through just like you were going from Denver to start with," Riverton Regional Airport manager Paul Griffin said Friday.
The same is true for returning travelers with checked luggage.
Peranteaux noted that DAC is well-situated to develop interline baggage agreements now that TSA screening is available.
"You have to have TSA in order for ... baggage agreements to move forward," he said Friday.
Great Lakes Airlines continues to service Riverton Regional as well. TSA screening has always been available for Great Lakes Airlines passengers, but local DAC travelers haven't gone through security until now because Sheridan lost the service months ago.
Because DAC travelers in Riverton share an aircraft with unscreened Sheridan passengers, local DAC flyers would have had to go through TSA again in Denver even if they had gone through security in Riverton.
Peranteaux said the absence of screening in Sheridan meant DAC planes weren't considered "sterile" from a security standpoint, regardless of the status of the Riverton flyers.
As of Sunday, though, there will be TSA screening in Sheridan, making it worthwhile for DAC customers in Riverton to go through security before take-off so the plane is considered sterile and secure when it reaches Denver.
Griffin reminded DAC customers that they now have to get to the airport in Riverton earlier to provide enough time for security screening.
"Without security before, you could just come and check in 10-15 minutes early, get on the plane, and go," he said.
"Now you have to be there at least an hour early to go through TSA."
Anyone traveling farther than Denver still has to check in at DIA - either at their gate, for carry-on customers, or outside of the terminal, for those with checked baggage - in order to obtain additional boarding passes,because DAC still doesn't have code sharing yet with other airlines.
The same is true for DAC passengers returning to Riverton from Denver.