The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) screened over 1 million passengers on Sunday, October 18, representing the highest number of passengers screened at TSA checkpoints since March 17, 2020.
In addition to screening one million passengers in a single day, TSA screened 6.1 million passengers at checkpoints nationwide during the week (October 12-18). That weekly volume also represents the highest weekly volume for TSA since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“TSA has been diligent in our efforts to ensure checkpoints are clean, safe and healthy for frontline workers and airline passengers, implementing new protocols and deploying state-of-the-art technologies that improve security and reduce physical contact,” said TSA Administrator David Pekoske.
Although passenger volumes remain well below pre-pandemic levels, the one million single-day passenger volume is a noteworthy development that follows significant TSA checkpoint modifications in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. TSA has been deploying acrylic barriers and technologies that reduce or eliminate physical contact between passengers and TSA officers.
New credential authentication devices are also being installed at various airport checkpoints, enabling passengers to insert their ID directly into a card reader, eliminating the need for a TSA screening officer to touch the ID. Many checkpoints now also feature computed tomography (CT) scanners, allowing TSA officers to manipulate an image on screen to get a better view of a bag’s contents. This technology often enables officers to clear items without having to open a carry-on bag. The new CT scanner further reduces the need for a passenger to remove contents of their bag during the screening process.
Airports and airlines have also been deploying various technologies and processes in order to reassure travelers.