The U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) recently announced, for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic began, that it is prepared for passenger screening activity that may match and occasionally exceed those of 2019.
As of May 13, 2022, TSA data reflects airport checkpoint screening has returned to about 90%.
However, the continued recovery from the low travel volumes may require more patience and planning than was necessary before the pandemic.
TSA checkpoint environments and procedures have changed to enhance screening operations, ensure the safety and well-being of the traveling public, and minimize the spread of COVID-19.
“Our airport security checkpoints include 47,500 highly-trained security professionals and new technologies that enhance security and reduce physical contact,” said TSA Administrator David Pekoske in a press statement issued on May 10, 2022.
“We continue to recruit, retain, train, and equip a highly-skilled workforce, and we work continuously with our airport and airline partners to anticipate and prepare for higher traffic patterns.”
Recent security enhancements at airport screening checkpoints include two new technologies. TSA deployed Credential Authentication Technology (CAT) and Computed Tomography (CT) scanners to improve identification verification.
To date, TSA has deployed 1,621 CAT units to 176 airports. Among those, 90 CAT units are modified and equipped to read and verify digital identification. TSA also deployed 402 CT units to 163 airports nationwide.
And in some airports, enabling digital identification verification at the Travel Document Checker podium and scanning capabilities for carry-on bags. Both of these technologies enhance security and reduce physical contact within checkpoints.
The CT units allow TSA officers to review a 3D image of passengers’ bags and reduce the need to search the bag’s contents. Passengers screened in security lanes with CT units do not need to remove their travel-size liquid bags or electronics.
The new CT units are currently being installed at Billings Logan International Airport in Montana, Albany International Airport in New York, Buffalo Niagara International Airport in New York, Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport, and Raleigh-Durham International Airport in North Carolina.
Visit TSA.gov for additional information about security screening or more travel tips before a summer trip.
And to review the latest news regarding certificates, passports, and visas, visit Vax-Before-Travel.com.
Vax-Before-Travel publishes fact-checked research-based news.
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