USA Flag

Official website of the Department of Homeland Security

What is TSA?

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) was created in the wake of 9/11 to strengthen the security of the nation’s transportation systems while ensuring the freedom of movement for people and commerce. Within a year, TSA assumed responsibility for security at the nation’s airports and deployed a federal workforce to screen all commercial airline passengers and baggage. In March 2003, TSA moved from the Department of Transportation to the Department of Homeland Security.

Today, TSA employs a risk-based strategy to secure U.S. transportation systems, and works closely with stakeholders in aviation, rail, transit, highway, and pipeline sectors, as well as the partners in the law enforcement and intelligence communities. The agency continuously sets the standard for excellence in transportation security through its people, processes, technologies and use of intelligence to drive operations.

TSA is committed to evolving its systems to enhance the safety of the traveling public as well as individual passenger experiences whenever possible.

Who We Are

  • TSA’s nearly 50,000 Transportation Security Officers screen more than 1.8 million passengers each day at more than 450 airports nationwide.
  • TSA deploys thousands of Behavior Detection Officers at airports across the country, leading to more than 2,200 arrests to date.
  • TSA utilizes more than 400 TSA explosives specialists in aviation and multimodal environments.
  • Thousands of Federal Air Marshals are deployed every day on domestic and international flights.
  • TSA has trained and deployed approximately 800 explosives detection canine teams to airports and mass transit systems nationwide.

What We Do

  • Photo of a TSO helping public.Screen more than 1.8 million passengers a day, preventing thousands of guns from getting on planes. Nationwide, TSA detected over 1,500 guns in 2012 alone.
  • Deploy advanced imaging technology machines at airports nationwide, leading to the detection of prohibited, illegal or dangerous items.
  • Installed new software on millimeter wave units that automatically detects potential threats using the same outline of a person for all passengers.
  • Conduct 100 percent air cargo screening on domestic and international-outbound passenger aircraft, implementing a key security requirement of the 9/11 Act.
  • Since the agency’s inception, TSA has screened more than 4 billion checked bags for explosives.
  • Conduct 100 percent terrorist watch list matching of passengers on domestic and international airline flights to, from, and within the United States, which fulfills a key recommendation of the 9/11 Commission Report.
  • Continuely evolve our risk-based, intelligence-driven approach to security to enhance the safety of the traveling public.
  • Expand the TSA Pre ✓™ expedited screening initiative to airports across the country for eligible participants.
  • Change screening procedures for passengers ages 12 and younger so officers can better focus on passengers who pose a higher risk to transportation security.
  • Conduct daily background checks on over 15 million transportation-related employees working in or seeking access to the nation’s transportation system.
  • Support the allocation of $2 billion to mass transit security in federal grant money, including system security enhancements for Amtrak since 2005.
  • To date, TSA has conducted thousands of Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response operations – utilizing teams who work in collaboration with local law enforcement and other security officials to keep travelers safe.
  • Provide over 2 million maritime workers unescorted access to secure areas of ships and maritime facilities with a biometric Transportation Worker Identification Credential.
Latest revision: 14 January 2014