The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) set another screening record during the 2018 spring travel period, March 15 through April 15, with more than 72 million (72,137,639) passengers and nearly 45 million (44,698,036) checked bags screened nationwide. This represents an almost 5 percent increase over the same period last year.
“Our officers continue to be very effective even with a record number of travelers this season,” said TSA Administrator David Pekoske. “What’s even more impressive is that TSA completed the roll-out of enhanced screening procedures while screening nearly 5 percent more passengers than last year, thanks to our skilled and dedicated people.”
Locally, John F. Kennedy International and Newark Liberty International Airports were among the busiest airports in the country during the busy spring break period. (See chart below.)
The enhanced screening procedures for carry-on baggage, which began at a handful of airports in late summer 2017, are a part of a greater effort to raise the baseline for aviation security. The measures require travelers to place all electronics larger than a cell phone in bins for X-ray screening in standard lanes. Travelers also may be asked to separate dense foods, powders and other items to allow TSA’s screening officers to obtain a clear X-ray image for security purposes.
Although the volume of individuals screened was notably high, 95.3 percent of all passengers waited less than 20 minutes at the checkpoint and nearly 93 percent (92.5) of passengers who were in a TSA Pre✓ lane waited less than 5 minutes.
On an average travel day, TSA screens approximately 2.1 million passengers and crew. In the busiest days during the holiday travel period, TSA screened as many as 400,000 more passengers per day than usual.
TSA’s 10 Highest Volume Airports During the Spring Travel Season
(March 15 – April 15)
Total Passengers and Crew
Los Angeles International
John F. Kennedy International
San Francisco International
Hartsfield Atlanta International
Newark Liberty International