TSA Administrator David Pekoske held a media roundtable with industry partners Tuesday, May 10 to provide an update for travelers in advance of the summer travel season.
Pre-pandemic travel volumes are expected beginning with Memorial Day and continuing through the summer.
President and CEO of American Association of Airport Executives, Todd Hauptli said he is expecting the current record of 3.8 million for daily TSA screenings to surpass this summer.
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA), Airlines for America, Airports Council International – North America, American Association of Airport Executives, National Air Carrier Association, and Regional Airline Association were present at the roundtable and shared advice for passengers planning on traveling via the airlines this summer.
Pekoske, who was nominated Monday by President Biden to serve as TSA administrator for a second term, said the busiest travel days this summer will be Memorial Day, Independence Day, and Labor Day. Pekoske’s advice for individuals traveling during that time is to check the TSA’s Know Before You Go checklist.
In addition to the Know Before You Go checklist, the administrator also encouraged travelers who are not currently signed up for TSA Precheck or Global Entry, to sign up now.
“Travelers can expect to spend five minutes or less in line with TSA Pre or Global Entry,” said Pekoske.
President and CEO of Airports Council International – North America, Kevin Burke also reiterated the importance of travelers signing up for TSA Pre/Global Entry.
“Arrive early, and make sure you book parking in advance, or you won’t find a space,” Burke added.
To get ahead of the busy travel season, TSA, FAA and several other industry partners have been working closely to ensure a safe and smooth experience not just for travelers but staff too.
Pekoske said TSA has been aggressively recruiting this past year to ensure airports across the country are properly equipped to handle the expected high volume of travelers.
Despite increased hiring, George Novak, president and CEO of National Air Carrier Association reminds travelers to be patient.
“Everyone is facing labor shortages, airlines and TSA are no different,” Novak said. “Please be kind to TSA staff, they work hard to keep you safe.”
The Dallas Fort Worth International Airport, the second-largest airport in the world in terms of passenger traffic, is one of many airports taking precautions to prepare for the upcoming travel season.
“We’ve made several investments during the pandemic to be ready for the return of travel,” said Sean Donohue, Dallas Fort Worth International Airport CEO. “During the pandemic, we chose a different path than the DFW airport. We chose to invest in critical projects and with our business partners. During the slow down in traffic, we did two new terminal additions that have added much-needed gate capacity, we completed a major runway upgrade.”
According to Donohue, these projects have created over 4,000 new jobs.
“We also supported our local concessionaire partners and our airline partners by waiving rental and landing fees, providing over 75 million dollars in savings to these partners,” Donohue said. “These infrastructure and business partner investments have resulted in DFW being ready to welcome as many customers this summer as we did in 2019.”