(NEW YORK) — While holiday travelers enjoy their time off this Memorial Day weekend, crowding highways and airports across the country, aviation security will be put to the test.
The Transportation Security Administration, an agency that has come under fire from lawmakers and the general public for its mismanagement and understaffing, will face the daunting task of protecting our nation’s skies during one of the year’s busiest travel weekends.
In an upcoming interview with ABC News, TSA Administrator Peter Neffenger is expected to address how the security agency will tackle not only this Memorial Day weekend, but a summer with airline passenger numbers that have been forecast to reach all-time highs, according to an analysis by Airlines for America, an industry group.
The Department of Homeland Security took a big step Thursday night to address this.
Secretary Jeh Johnson submitted a request to Congress to transition 2,784 Transportation Security Officers from part-time to full time — a step that Johnson said would allow an additional 82,000 passengers to be screened per day.
“I hope Congress will act on this request soon,” Johnson said in a statement Thursday.
This comes on the heels of an approved request for the agency to reprogram $34 million for the hiring of 768 new TSOs. They are expected to be on board by mid-June — an action expected to increase passenger screening capacity by 220,000 per day.
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