Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly traveled to Dallas, Texas, this week, where he met with DHS leadership and employees. This is the latest in a series of employee events Secretary Kelly attended to hear perspectives on the Department and its missions from the men and women on the front lines.
Following the inauguration of the 45th president of the United States, I want to commend the men and women of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the thousands of other state, local and federal law enforcement personnel for their excellent work in ensuring the peaceful transition of power – a cornerstone of our great democracy.
The recent active shooter event at Fort Lauderdale International Airport, and the response to mistaken reports of an active shooter event at JFK Airport in August 2016, highlight the need for Airport Operations Centers, staffed by airport operators and security, local law enforcement, the airlines, as well as TSA and CBP, to manage security, incident response, as well as day-to-day airport operations.
I commend our TSA employees for their hard work over the busy Thanksgiving week, Monday, November 21 through Monday, November 28. Thanksgiving week is the busiest air travel week of the entire year. This past Sunday is typically the busiest travel day of the entire year. In all last week, 16.5 million travelers passed through U.S. airport security, 4.9% more than last year.
On Nov. 4, Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh C. Johnson will announce plans to expand air preclearance operations to additional foreign airports at a media event at Newark Liberty International Airport.
With summer air travel well underway, TSA is working hard to make sure your travel experience is as secure and efficient as possible. Today, we’re announcing that our customer service program, AskTSA, is expanding to Facebook Messenger to improve the customer service experience and to better assist you before, during, and after your flight.
This past holiday weekend, as increased numbers of Americans traveled by domestic commercial air, the men and women of TSA worked hard to keep passengers moving through security checkpoints, and keep them safe. Particularly in the current global threat environment, we are not compromising or short-cutting aviation security, while meeting increased travel volume.
Today I thank Congress for approving our $28 million reprogramming request for TSA, which will allow us to more effectively and efficiently screen the increased number of travelers at U.S. airports. I would especially like to thank Chairman John Hoeven, Ranking Member Jeanne Shaheen, Chairman John Carter, and Ranking Member Lucille Roybal-Allard for their efforts to ensure the approval of this request.
When you’re jetting off to summer fun, you have a lot on your mind. Did you bring your cell phone charger? Do you have room in your bag for souvenirs? Do you have the rental car confirmation? What’s the best restaurant near your hotel? Did you leave the coffee maker on? With so much to think about, it’s easy to forget the most important thing: Getting there safely. Fortunately, TSA is working hard to make sure your travel experience is as efficient and secure as possible.