Endless queues a thing of the past? Beirut airport opens upgraded departure terminal

The expanded terminal will employ new baggage scanners to help reduce passenger waiting times

Beirut's Rafic Hariri International Airport has opened its revamped departure terminal on Tuesday. Photo: AFP 
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Travellers flying out of Beirut’s Rafic Hariri International Airport from today could be in for a smoother journey as the newly renovated and expanded departure terminal has opened.

Designed to reduce passenger congestion at the Lebanese airport, upgrades include a new baggage handling system that is set to speed up check-in.

The official opening ceremony will take place later today, Tuesday August 20 and is expected to be attended by Prime Minister Saad Hariri.

The renovated area opens after many passengers have taken to social media recently to express frustration at the lengthy queues and overcrowding. Last month, Lebanese pop star Nancy Ajram slammed the airport's arrivals process in a series of tweets, saying there was a "neglect" of mothers and infants.

Here is a look at the new terminal:

BREAKING NEWS: The expansion and renovations at Beirut Airport’s Departure Terminal are finalized. The new section is ready to fully function starting tomorrow. This plan is set to reduce passenger congestion at the Departures Terminal. خبر عاجل : تم الانتهاء من أعمال التوسيع و الصيانة في محطة المغادرة بمطار بيروت. القسم الجديد جاهز للعمل بشكل كامل بدءًا من الغد. تم تعيين هذه الخطة لتقليل ازدحام الركاب في محطة المغادرة. ©️LebanesePlaneSpotters🇱🇧 #SpottingAndBeyond

Posted by Lebanese Plane Spotters on Monday, August 19, 2019

The video from Lebanese Planet Spotters shows the new security area in the departure terminal at Beirut Rafic Hariri International Airport.

Up until now, anyone flying out of the airport had to go through body and luggage scans before they reached the check-in area.

The new baggage handling system will help reduce congestion by scanning passengers' luggage underground, after the check-in process has been completed. This will replace the previously used pre-check-in scans.

The opening of the new terminal expansion will be welcomed by passengers, many of whom have had to stand in endless airport queues in recent weeks.

Passenger numbers at Rafic Hariri International Airport reached record highs last week as the airport operated at double capacity.

"The number of passengers has reached 23,500 passengers and is expected to exceed 25,000 in the next two days", tweeted @yousseffenianos, Beirut's minister of public works and transportation.