The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) marked the official launch of the TSA Academy West in Las Vegas. TSA Administrator David Pekoske joined federal, county and local officials for the ribbon cutting event this morning.
TSA Academy West is a 26,000-square-foot facility that features six classrooms, two large multipurpose rooms and virtual instruction space. The building is located near Harry Reid International Airport (LAS), where Transportation Security Officers (TSOs) will have easy access to a dedicated training checkpoint where they can apply what they have learned in the classroom. The training checkpoint is adjacent to the “Innovation Checkpoint” at LAS, which features the latest upgrades in aviation security technologies designed to enhance security and the passenger screening experience. On a weekly basis, the new state-of-the art facility has the capacity to train 180 TSOs, accompanying what is currently offered at TSA Academy East at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Centers (FLETC) in Glynco, Ga.
“The TSA Academy West expands our ability to train our new officers in an airport environment and provides them hands-on experience with our latest technology,” said Pekoske. “This is an impressive, best-in-class training facility made possible by our expert faculty and staff and our strong partnership with Harry Reid International Airport.”
After a TSO is hired, they will work at their home airport for approximately three months. Once they have completed this initial phase of their employment, they will participate in one week of virtual training taught by TSA Academy instructors. The second leg of their initial training includes two weeks of in-residence, standardized training at either TSA Academy West or TSA Academy East. Their training concludes with On-the-Job Training at their home airport following graduation from the TSA Academy.
The curriculum includes threat detection and resolution; pat-down techniques; screening of personal property; adaptive thinking; customer experience; and training on our core values of integrity, respect and commitment. TSOs also have access to desktop simulators that generate individual X-ray images to increase on-screen detection capabilities of carry-on property and checked baggage.
TSA selected Las Vegas for the location of TSA Academy West because it can be easily reached by air from most cities in the central and western area of the United States and there is ample lodging around the city. In addition, LAS has made available an authentic checkpoint training environment devoted to the Academy, further evidence of the strong partnership between the airport and TSA.
TSA Academy West has been operating out of temporary office space for nearly a year in the Las Vegas metropolitan area while the current location was completed. TSA is leasing the space from the Clark County, Nevada, Department of Aviation.