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TSA Plans for Summer Travel Surge

SmarterTravel

It’s looking like it’s going to be a busy summer for America’s airports in 2021, and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is preparing accordingly.

Based on regular seasonal travel trends plus predicted COVID-19 vaccination availability for the general public, the TSA is looking to hire over 6,000 Transportation Security Officer (TSO) positions to meet passenger demand by this summer.

“Each day, our officers screen hundreds of thousands of airline travelers ensuring they arrive at their destinations safely. We expect to screen a higher number of travelers regularly by the summer months and will need additional officers to support our critical mission”, said Melanie Harvey, acting Executive Assistant Administrator for TSA’s Security Operations.

In addition to an increased number of passengers, the TSA will have to spend time enforcing the new federal transportation mask requirement. TSA agents can issue fines starting at $250 for non-compliant passengers and going up to $1,500 for repeat offenders.

Don’t expect the airports to be as full this year as they have been in the past—Airlines for America (an airline trade association representing major airlines) predicts that passenger numbers will not rebound to 2019 levels until at least 2023.

Interested in a job with the TSA? The agency will be holding virtual job fairs in order to fill both full-time and part-time positions. To view open roles and apply, you can go to TSA.gov/TSO.

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