TSA Raising Aviation Security & Hits Record Summer High (Multi-Video)

Four days broke into TSA’s top 10 list of busiest days in its history
Four days broke into TSA’s top 10 list of busiest days in its history

To ensure the security of airline passengers and the nation’s airports, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has begun to implement new, stronger screening procedures for carry-on items at airports across the country with the procedures being phased in at all Upstate New York airports in the weeks ahead.

The new procedures require travelers to place all personal electronic devices larger than a cell phone in bins for X-ray screening and are designed to address the current terror threat by raising the baseline of aviation security.

Bart Johnson, TSA’s Upstate New York Federal Security Director
Bart Johnson, TSA’s Upstate New York Federal Security Director

The new procedures were originally announced earlier this year.

“TSA constantly enhances its security procedures to stay ahead of evolving threats,” said TSA’s Upstate New York Federal Security Director Bart Johnson.

“The terror threat is real and TSA is committed to raising the baseline for aviation security.

“As we implement this new procedure, passengers can expect to see TSA officers ask travelers to remove electronics larger than a cell phone from their carry-on bags and place them in a bin with nothing on top or below, similarly to how laptops have been screened for years,” Johnson explained.

This simple step helps TSA officers obtain a clearer X-ray image by uncluttering carry-on bags, thus allowing for a clearer X-ray image for our officers.

(In addition to taking out laptops, passengers will now be asked to remove all electronics larger than a cellphone for individual screening; the new policy will be rolled out across the country in a few weeks. Examples of personal electronic items that should be removed from carry-on bags include laptops, tablets, e-readers and cameras. Courtesy of ABC News and YouTube. Posted on Jul 26, 2017) 

The new procedures are currently being phased in nationwide until all of the checkpoint lanes at all airports are brought on board in the weeks ahead.

The incremental launch allows time for all TSA officers to receive training in the new security measures.

The new procedures are expected to be in place starting this month at the major four Upstate New York airports:

  • Albany International Airport
  • Syracuse Hancock International Airport
  • Greater Rochester International Airport, and
  • Buffalo-Niagara International Airport
The new security measures do not apply to passengers enrolled in TSA Pre✓® who are using TSA Pre✓® lanes. (Image Credit: TSA)
The new security measures do not apply to passengers enrolled in TSA Pre✓® who are using TSA Pre✓® lanes. (Image Credit: TSA)

The enhanced security protocols also will be implemented at all of the smaller airports in New York state such as:

  • Ithaca Tompkins Regional Airport
  • Elmira-Corning Regional Airport
  • Niagara Falls International Airport
  • Plattsburgh International Airport
  • Greater Binghamton Airport
  • Ogdensburg International Airport
  • Chautauqua County-Jamestown Airport
  • Watertown International Airport
  • Massena International Airport, and
  • Adirondack Regional Airport

It is possible that more carry-on bags may experience bag checks, however, TSA has identified ways to improve screening procedures for carry-on bags, with quicker and more targeted measures for officers to clear the bags.

So the new process is not expected to alter checkpoint wait times.

TSA officers will be stationed in front of the checkpoint X-ray machines to guide passengers through the screening process and recommend how best to arrange their carry-on items for X-ray screening.

Travelers are encouraged to organize their carry-on bags and keep them uncluttered to ease the screening process and keep the lines moving.

There are no changes to what travelers can bring through the checkpoint.

Food and liquid items that comply with the 3-1-1 liquids rule, electronics, and books continue to be allowed in carry-on bags.

(You are allowed to bring a quart-sized bag of liquids, aerosols, gels, creams and pastes through the checkpoint. These are limited to 3.4 ounces (100 milliliters) or less per item. This is also known as the 3-1-1 liquids rule. Courtesy of the TSA and YouTube)

As always, TSA suggests passengers arrive to the airport two hours prior to their scheduled departure time from the nation’s largest airports to allow adequate time to navigate the ticketing, baggage and security screening processes.

The new security measures do not apply to passengers enrolled in TSA Pre® who are using TSA Pre® lanes.

TSA Marks Busiest Summer Ever with 239M Passengers Screened

Furthermore, the TSA experienced the busiest summer in its history, screening approximately 239 million passengers and crew members at TSA checkpoints nationwide from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend.

Of these, 99.9 percent of passengers waited less than 30 minutes in checkpoint lines with 99.6 percent of TSA Pre® passengers waiting less than 10 minutes. 

(TSA has 20 integrated components, that we call the Layers of Security, working together to keep you secure. The layers are both seen and unseen and work like a very complex combination safe designed to keep our adversaries at bay and our transportation systems safe. Please take a few minutes to watch this video and learn more about what TSA is doing daily to keep you safe in the skies. Courtesy of the TSA and YouTube)

From the Wednesday before Memorial Day to the Tuesday following Labor Day, TSA screened 239,511,319 passengers and crew members, averaging 2.28 million travelers per day.

There were 92 days that checkpoint volume surpassed 2 million and 35 days that surpassed 2.4 million.

The highest volume day was June 30, which was the Friday before Memorial Day weekend, when 2.64 million travelers were screened.

Four days this summer broke into TSA’s top 10 list of busiest days in the agency’s history.

Most of the top 10 busiest days came immediately before or following a national holiday such as Memorial Day, the Fourth of July and Thanksgiving. (See chart below).

David Pekoske, TSA Administrator
David Pekoske, TSA Administrator

“It is a testament to the hard work and commitment of the TSA workforce as well as the increased traveler participation in TSA Pre® and Global Entry programs that we were able to effectively screen a record number of passengers in such an efficient manner this summer,” said TSA Administrator David Pekoske.

“I applaud TSA employees for their dedication to creating a better agency and thank them for all they do to protect our homeland.”

“I appreciate and value our strong partnerships with the airline industry, airports and local law enforcement.”  

TSA’s top 10 list of busiest days screening passengers at checkpoints nationwide

Rank

Date

Passengers + Crew Screened

Circumstances

1

Nov. 28, 2004

2,713,864

Sunday after Thanksgiving

 

2

Nov. 19, 2004

2,652,347

Friday of the week before Thanksgiving

 

3

June 30, 2017

2,647,852

Friday of the Fourth of July Weekend

 

4

Nov. 29, 2004

2,642,566

Monday after Thanksgiving

 

5

Nov. 5, 2004

2,569,252

Friday

 

6

June 29, 2017

2,540,110

Thursday before the Fourth of July Weekend

 

7

July 1, 2005

2,534,052

Friday of the Fourth of July Weekend

 

 

8

May 26, 2017

2,530,310

Friday of Memorial Day Weekend

 

9

July 21, 2017

2,527,816

Friday

 

10

June 30, 2005

2,510,037

Thursday before the Fourth of July Weekend