The number of passengers to fly this summer season is expected to be the highest in years, with more than 2.5 million passengers per day anticipated to pass through TSA checkpoints through Labor Day.
In fact, in the last week of June, TSA set a record for the most passengers and crew members screened in the history of the agency when more than 17 million individuals were screened at checkpoints nationwide – 17,089,533 to be exact.
A TSA officer at Tyson Airport (TYS) inspecting pole-vaults, which can be transported in checked baggage. (Photo courtesy of TSA)
Peak travel period kicked off on the Memorial Day holiday and extends through August. So far, the busiest travel day of the summer was on June 30, which was the Friday before Independence Day. That day, TSA experienced its third busiest day ever, with 2,647,714 passengers and crew screened. And during the first week in July, nearly three-quarters of a million people flew out of just the three main airports surrounding the Washington, D.C. area.
Even with these record-setting numbers, TSA is prepared for the summer travel season.
“Securing the travel of millions of passengers daily remains our top priority,” TSA Acting Administrator Huban A. Gowadia said. “TSA takes many security measures, seen and unseen, while working closely with industry partners such as airlines and airports to enhance the traveling experience and ensure every passenger arrives to their destination safely.”
Through the TSA Airport Operations Center and in coordination with airport and airline partners, TSA aims to maintain effective and efficient security operations at checkpoints nationwide during the busy travel season. The center tracks daily screening operations, rapidly addresses any issues that arise, and deploys personnel, canine teams and technology where needed. This summer, nationwide, 50 more passenger canine teams are in use compared to last summer and 2,000 more TSA officers are working this year compared to last year.
Bbucca, an explosive detection canine, is working at the Seattle–Tacoma International Airport (SEA) checkpoint. (Photo courtesy of TSA)
“TSA is tasked with a complex, critical security mission that can only be accomplished through close collaboration with stakeholders and partners,” Gowadia said. “We will not compromise our security mission of protecting air travelers as we face an evolving threat by a determined enemy.”