RICHMOND, Va. - Transportation Security Administration officers screened more passengers last week, Sunday, June 16 to Saturday, June 22, at Richmond International Airport (RIC) than ever before in TSA’s history.
TSA officers screened 53,378 passengers and crew members last week, setting a weekly record for throughput at the airport’s two checkpoints, all while maintaining effective and efficient security operations.
“The RIC TSA team of officers and personnel are well aware of the significant increase in the number of passengers who are traversing through the checkpoints and I am proud of the way that they remain focused on ensuring the highest level of security, customer service and professionalism as they screen travelers,” said Robin “Chuck” Burke, TSA’s federal security director for Richmond International Airport. “Airport officials have pointed to an 11.7% increase in total passenger traffic through the airport in so far this calendar year compared to last year as a strong indicator that the airport is busy.”
“We ask that travelers come prepared for the screening process and listen to the guidance that the TSA officers are providing at the checkpoint,” Burke said. “TSA officers will offer helpful guidance to passengers as they proceed through the screening process to help ensure a smooth experience.”
The increase in the number of passengers is exactly why travelers should arrive early to the airport to ensure that they have ample time to account for traffic, parking and navigating through the terminal. It is advisable to check-in for a flight ahead of time, either on the air carrier’s website or mobile app, to allow even more time to get through security and relax at the gate.
With the July 4th holiday coming up next week, it is possible that more records will be set, Burke said.
Nationally, the number of passengers expected to fly this summer across the country is expected to be the highest in years with 263 million passengers and crew projected to pass through Transportation Security Administration checkpoints nationwide between Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day weekend.
TSA expects to screen 10 million more passengers this summer compared to last summer and has already set a new record for the highest number of passengers and crew screened in a single day. TSA experienced its busiest day ever on May 24, 2019, the Friday before Memorial Day, screening a total 2,792,525 passengers and crew members and anticipates having other record breaking days throughout the summer.
Some additional security-focused travel tips to keep in mind this summer:
- Apply for TSA Pre✓® or other trusted travel programs. To find the trusted traveler program that best suits your travel needs, use the DHS trusted traveler comparison tool. These programs help improve security and provide a more convenient travel experience by affording travelers access to TSA Pre✓® expedited screening lanes. Travelers using the TSA Pre✓® lane do not need to remove shoes, laptops, liquids, belts and light jackets if flying on more than 60 participating airlines departing 200 U.S. airports. To learn more about TSA Pre✓® visit the TSA Pre✓® page or the TSA Pre✓® Frequently Asked Questions page. For more information on the Department of Homeland Security’s four trusted traveler programs – including Global Entry and NEXUS – all of which provide TSA Pre✓® eligibility, visit dhs.gov.
- Issues receiving TSA Pre✓® on your boarding pass? Unsure if an item is allowed through security? Get live assistance by tweeting your questions and comments to @AskTSA or on Facebook Messenger on weekdays from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. and on weekends/holidays from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. You can also call the TSA Contact Center at 866-289-9673 from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. weekdays and 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. weekends/holidays; and an automated service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
- Travelers or families of passengers with disabilities and/or medical conditions may call the TSA Cares helpline toll free at 855-787-2227 at least 72 hours prior to flying with any questions about screening policies, procedures and to find out what to expect at the security checkpoint as well as arrange for assistance at the checkpoint.