WASHINGTON – During a virtual media roundtable with reporters today, Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Administrator David Pekoske joined leaders from three airport and airline industry associations to announce the agency’s “Stay Healthy. Stay Secure.” campaign. This campaign represents airport checkpoint modifications to contain the spread of COVID-19, comply with CDC guidelines and support healthy and secure summer travel.
“TSA remains committed to the health and safety of our frontline workers and airline travelers,” Pekoske said. “We anticipate these prudent changes in our screening procedures, which seek to limit physical contact and increase physical distance, will achieve the security standard the public expects and facilitate the increasing population of travelers this summer.”
Pekoske was joined today by Nick Calio, President & CEO of Airlines for America; Kevin Burke, President & CEO of Airports Council International – North America; and Todd Hauptli, President & CEO of the American Association of Airport Executives. During the call, they outlined key changes implemented at airports across the country to ensure the safety and security of travelers. Specifically, Administrator Pekoske highlighted TSA’s close partnership with industry stakeholders as well as changes already in place at airport screening checkpoints in response to COVID-19.
“It is noteworthy that every partner with a stake in the passenger travel experience is equally committed to ensure the safety and health of transportation workers and airline travelers,” Pekoske said.
On April 14, 2020, TSA recorded the lowest travel volume in its history – approximately 87,500. Since then, daily passenger volumes have steadily increased. The agency anticipates passenger volumes to continue to increase through the July 4th holiday and into the summer travel season. However, the TSA anticipates volumes well below the 2.5 million passengers it screened, on average, per day in prior years.
TSA’s “Stay Healthy. Stay Secure.” campaign builds on its checkpoint updates announced on May 21. The agency continues to evaluate additional safety measures in close coordination with federal partners.
Travelers who have not flown since March may notice various changes already implemented at airport screening checkpoints nationwide. They include:
- Social distancing among travelers in the checkpoint line and among TSA officers.
- ID verification without physical contact between the TSA officer and the traveler.
- Plastic shielding installed at various locations throughout the TSA checkpoint.
- Increased cleaning and disinfecting of frequently touched checkpoint surfaces and screening equipment, including bins.
- All TSA officers wearing masks and gloves at the checkpoint, and they may be wearing eye protection or clear plastic face shields, depending on location.
- TSA officers changing gloves after each pat-down and at the request of any passenger.
- TSA is allowing one liquid hand sanitizer container, up to 12 ounces per passenger, in carry-on bags that passengers will need to remove from their bags before screening.
Beyond TSA checkpoint area changes, many airlines and airports are providing specific COVID-19 and summer travel season guidance. Please check with your airline prior to your trip. As passenger volumes continue to rise, TSA recommends that travelers arrive early since new procedures, such as social distancing, may add time to the pre-flight experience. This practice ensures adequate time for checking bags, completing security screening and getting to the departure gate on time.
For more information about the TSA response to COVID-19 and other adjustments TSA has made at security screening checkpoints, please visit tsa.gov/coronavirus.