The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has reported that it handled approximately 324 million passengers throughout its airport security checkpoints in 2020 – just 39% of the approximately 824 million total passengers screened in 2019.
According to TSA, the year 2020 has tested the agency’s ability to innovate and quickly implement modifications across more than 440 federalized airports nationwide to address the pandemic.
“In 2020 TSA implemented significant operational changes across its entire security checkpoint environment due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The speed and degree of change was unmatched in our 19-year history,” said TSA administrator David Pekoske.
“The flexibility and agility of the men and women across TSA is a testament to their dedication to our collective transportation security mission. Our entire workforce, including screening officers, canine handlers, inspectors and federal air marshals, continues to do everything possible to protect our colleagues and airline passengers, and I am grateful for their adaptiveness and resilience.”
Despite the substantially reduced number of passengers screened as a result of the pandemic in 2020, TSA modified security checkpoint procedures around the US to reduce physical contact and help protect workers and passengers.
The agency accelerated deployment of acrylic barriers and technologies that enhance security and reduce touchpoints throughout the checkpoint. Many of those modifications, which include self-serve Credential Authentication Technology (CAT) units at travel document checking podiums and Computed Tomography (CT) equipment for a detailed image of a carry-on bag’s contents, will remain in place well into the future.