MINNEAPOLIS — The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) says it expects more than 2 million Americans to travel by air this holiday weekend, announcing improved technology and security measures ahead of the busy summer travel season.
On Monday, the agency announced kids ages 13 to 17 can now accompany their TSA PreCheck-enrolled parents or guardians through security to improve efficiency in the screening process. Before now, the privilege had only been afforded to kids under 12.
Additionally, the TSA announced it will continue to deploy Credential Authentication Technology (CAT) in U.S. airports, which is a new technology that aims to confirm passengers' identification and flight details without a boarding pass. Already in several transit hubs across the country, the technology compares a person's photo ID with real-time capture of the traveler at check-in. There are more than 2,000 CAT systems currently in use at 223 airports.
The TSA says another developing technology, Computed Tomography (CT), is also going into airports nationwide, a tool that helps TSA officers detect threats more easily in carry-on luggage.
A statement from TSA Administrator David Pekoske said he believes the agency is fully prepared to take on the influx of passengers they usually see from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day weekend each year.
“TSA is ready to handle this summer’s anticipated increase in travel. Our staffing levels are better and this is largely due to better pay for all TSA employees which starts on July 1.
“This key action, supported by the President and Congress, enables us, for the first time in TSA’s history, to pay our workforce using the same pay scale that applies to other federal employees. As expected, this has already improved our recruiting and retention rates.
"For passengers, this will mean better overall staffing for all of TSA’s activities that support secure and efficient travel and an improved passenger experience. Our strong partnerships with airports and airlines will ensure we are able to anticipate and respond to changes in passenger travel throughout the summer."
The agency says it expects Friday, May 26, to be the busiest travel day of the long weekend, with a forecasted 2.6 million travelers passing through the nation's airports.
To stay up-to-date with flight information in and out of Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, click here.
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