The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) predicts it will screen more than 28 million individuals for holiday travel over the Fourth of July.
The agency is likely to vet 28.3 million crew members and passengers from June 28 through July 9, a time frame that includes the two weekends before and after July 4.
“What we’ve seen already this summer are significant passenger increases,” TSA Administrator David Pekoske told The Hill in an interview.
Pekoske said the number of passengers traveling through airports with TSA security is up approximately 4 percent this year.
“But some airports are up higher than that and some are a little lower than that,” he added.
Over the last weekend, the agency screened about 2.6 million individuals on a given day.
The projected numbers come as travelers prepare for a Fourth of July holiday that falls in the middle of the week.
The agency said during last month’s Memorial Day holiday, 99 percent of the passengers who entered through the TSA Precheck lanes waited under 10 minutes.
The TSA works with both the airlines operating out of a given airport and the airport itself to calculate both the number of passengers likely to travel each day and the times they are expected to move through the airport.
“All three of us need to be very closely coordinated because the airlines help us with queuing into our security checkpoints,” Pekoske said. “The airlines give us all kinds of data with respect to flight changes that are beyond what’s already scheduled. Sometimes they provide us additional people to help with the queuing situation.”
Pekoske, who was confirmed last August as the new administrator under President Trump said he hopes to implement new technology during his tenure to speed up the screening process at airports. Automated screening lanes and new X-ray machines are mechanisms the administrator hopes to use to increase the passenger flow at airports, Pekoske told The Hill.
The agency is also conducting tests at certain airports on new machines that will pull both personal and flight information from an individual’s driver’s license.
The Hill 6/27/2018