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Monday, February 6, 2023

TSA Secures Holiday Travel as Passenger Volume Almost Reaches Pre-Pandemic Figures

During the Independence Day holiday, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) screened more than 11.3 million travelers from June 30 through and including Monday, July 4. The weekend travel volume represents 93% of volume for the same 5-day pre-pandemic holiday period in 2019.

Friday, July 1, was the busiest air travel day of the weekend, with TSA screening 2.49 million individuals, which narrowly surpassed the previous post-pandemic high of 2.46 million travelers screened on Friday, June 26, 2022. Over the course of the long weekend, 95% of TSA PreCheck® passengers waited less than five minutes. About 92% of those passengers in standard screening lanes waited less than 15 minutes.

As the volume of airline passengers returning to the skies continues to climb, TSA Officers have already prevented more than 3,000 firearms from entering aircraft passenger cabins this year. On average, TSA stopped 17 firearms each day at checkpoints since the beginning of the year. If that pace continues, firearm catches will eclipse the current full year-record of 5,972 firearms intercepted at the nation’s checkpoints in 2021.

During the holiday weekend, TSA officers stopped several firearms at the checkpoint, including a handgun at Dane County Regional Airport on July 2. The traveler, a Middleton resident, also did not have a concealed carry permit.

On Independence Day itself, a TSA officer at Harrisburg International Airport prevented a man from bringing a handgun onto his flight on July 4. The man, a resident of East Berlin, Pa., was found with a .25 caliber handgun loaded with six bullets along with two boxes of ammunition among his carry-on items.

And examples of TSA vigilance continued as people returned to work, with loaded firearms being detected at New York Stewart and South Bend international airports on July 5 and at McGhee Tyson Airport on July 6.

“This holiday weekend, our highly trained and professional workforce screened and facilitated secure travel for over 11 million people – close to the 2019 passenger volume, before the pandemic. We expect the summer travel season to remain busy, and we encourage passengers to arrive at the airport in plenty of time to park, check-in, check bags, get through the checkpoint with identification in hand and get to their gates in time for boarding,” said TSA Administrator David Pekoske.

Read more at TSA

Kylie Bielby
Kylie Bielby has more than 20 years' experience in reporting and editing a wide range of security topics, covering geopolitical and policy analysis to international and country-specific trends and events. Before joining GTSC's Homeland Security Today staff, she was an editor and contributor for Jane's, and a columnist and managing editor for security and counter-terror publications.

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