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Published on : Saturday, May 14, 2016
US airports are confronted with long waiting hours. The government is trying to ease this pressure with increase use of overtime. The US Department of Homeland Security’s Secretary Jeh Johnson announced increase use of overtime which will bring quicker screening and alleviate longer lines at airport security checkpoints. But during busy summer travel seasons the wait time cannot be avoided. The TSA’s (Transportation Security Administration) methods are not proving too effective causing delay at airports with queues getting longer and frustrating for passengers.
Johnson added that people should have appropriate expectations when they arrive at the airport, but wait times will be increased in peak tourist season. However passengers can rest assured of security. More dogs will be deployed to assist in screening in checking in general. The government will not take shortcuts and security will be a chief concern.
Recently people have been complaining about long waiting time. One security checkpoint at the Atlanta airport had to be closed last week to install a new equipment to expedite screening. The equipment is scheduled to be tested late this month. Passenger movement is slow in this checkpoint.
The long lines in airports are exasperating passengers and there are demands of the TSA being replaced with private passenger screening system. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which operates Newark, John F. Kennedy and LaGuardia airports, are demanding TSA to add more staff and reduce wait time. On an average passengers have been waiting from 20 minutes to 55 minutes from mid- March to mid-April. Atlanta airport was reported as the busiest in the world in February. Several complaints were sent to the TSA warning increased passenger traffic which would be growing this summer. At the Sky Harbor Airport in Phoenix several checked bags missed flights due to issues with the computer server that kept TSA from using its machine to check baggage.
TSA is coming up with many excuses blaming the loss of thousands of employees in 2014 for this factor. Staff problem is a major issue with them. However the problem is soon to be resolved with congressional approval to reallocate $34 million in its budget to increase the number of officers at airports. About $8 million will go toward the hiring of 768 officers this month.
The Atlanta airport received more than 100 million passengers last year. But this year the airport is unable to cope with increased passenger traffic. Three domestic checkpoints have been closed for the calibration of two experimental screening lines. This happened on May 4 and forced thousands of passengers to other checkpoints causing immense trouble. The Innovation Lines only at the Atlanta airport will hopefully ease passenger flow. If it works the system will be replicated at other US airports. However those enrolled in the TSA’s PreCheck Program are taking lesser time to check in.