A new policy at the Tulsa International Airport will keep drivers from waiting in pick-up lines outside the baggage claim area.
Leaders at the airport did a roadway study. They say drivers were waiting about seven minutes to pick up travelers because of traffic backups. They say this new policy could cut down that wait time.
Effective August 18th, parking and waiting at the curb for passengers to arrive will no longer be permitted. Vehicles parked at the curb must be in the process of active loading or unloading of baggage and picking up or dropping off passengers.
Right now at Tulsa International Airport you can pull up to the curb and wait for 15 to 20 minutes for a traveler to grab their bags and head your way.
"Our wait time is 400 percent longer than the average wait time in the United States," said TIA CEO Alexis Higgins.
Higgins says the old policy is causing unnecessary traffic backups and wait times for travelers.
"We have had the busiest summer; The busiest year really on record in the past 11 years. People are getting frustrated. There is so much congestion they are not able to pull up to the curb," said Higgins.
She says it's also causing safety concerns.
"Right now all lanes of traffic are being stopped. People are having to kind of walk through cars," said Higgins.
Come this Sunday, that policy will be old news.
"Every other airport in the country has had this policy in place for years, really since 9/11 so we are really just aligning Tulsa with practices that are done across the country," said Higgins.
Police at the airport say they have been handing out flyers, talking with travelers and putting up signs for a few weeks now, hoping to make the transition as seamless as possible.
"It is a big change for Tulsa International Airport" said TIA Police Captain Curtis Thompson, "It is our hope that we don't have to write any citations."
Instead of blocking traffic, airport leaders are suggesting drivers park in the nearby cell phone lot or use the short term parking lot.
The new policy takes effect this Sunday.