For Immediate Release
DHS Press Office
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.
From Wednesday, June 30 through Monday, July 4, TSA screened 10.7 million travelers. June 30 and July 1 were the highest-volume travel days we have seen since 2007. During this period, however, the average wait time nationwide in standard security lines was less than ten minutes, while those in TSA Pre-check lines waited less than five minutes.
TSA's success this weekend is a testament to the hard work of the men and women of the agency – both its leadership and, more importantly, those on the front lines at the airports. For example, over 100 Transportation Security Officers and TSA volunteers transferred from around the country to fill in at screening operations at the seven busiest airports. I also salute TSA Administrator Peter Neffenger and his leadership team for ably navigating the agency during these very demanding times.
The progress is also the result of support we have received from Congress. With the reprogramming of funds approved by Congress, we have been able to expedite the hiring of 768 new TSOs, add more overtime pay for the exiting TSA workforce, and are converting 2,784 TSOs from part-time to full-time at the nation’s busiest airports.
Airlines have assisted in addressing wait times as well, assigning personnel to assist in non-security duties at TSA checkpoints and working closely with TSA as problems arise. Longer term, we are working with airlines to invest in "innovation lanes" and other technology to expedite the screening of carry-on luggage.
In the meantime, TSA's new incident command center continues to monitor checkpoint trends in real time, which allows TSA to quickly respond to issues as or before they arise.
We are not declaring victory. We plan to do more. The summer travel season continues, followed by holiday travel in the fall and winter. We are accelerating the hiring of an additional 600 TSOs before the end of the fiscal year. And we will continue to work with Congress to ensure TSA has the resources it needs in the coming fiscal years.