Officers at Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD) had the opportunity to see hundreds of U.S. Olympians up close.
About 280 American athletes from the winter and summer Olympic and Paralympic games came through IAD after being honored at a special White House ceremony. All went through TSA screening before flying home.
“It was very exciting and a pleasure to assist all the athletes with the departure,” said Dean Cummings, TSA special services lead who coordinated the IAD Olympian/Paralympian screening operation.
As you can expect, many of the Paralympians went through special screening, and Cummings’ team was ready.
“TSA PreCheck® screening was authorized for the athletes who were on the [passenger seating document], since they were coming directly from the White House,” Cummings said.
It took some planning to make sure everything ran smoothly.
“We held several meetings prior to departure day with stakeholders, including the U.S. Olympic Committee, Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, Delta Air Lines and United Airlines,” Cummings explained.
“We have helped Olympic athletes before, but this was the first time a ceremony at the White House with winter and summer Olympians and Paralympians was held together at one time.”
Cummings said the athletes were very thankful that TSA had a designated checkpoint set up for them.
“Everyone worked together to ensure a smooth arrival of the buses to check-in and directing [the athletes] to the TSA checkpoint,” noted Cummings. “It was truly a team effort.”
By Don Wagner, TSA Strategic Communications & Public Affairs