TSA prepared for summer travel out of Dane County Regional Airport

Local Press Release
Friday, May 21, 2021

MADISON, WI – Airport security checkpoints at Dane County Regional Airport (MSN) and across Wisconsin are seeing a significant rise in the number of departing travelers. Despite these increases, TSA is prepared to handle the increased travel volume this summer and the agency is committed to supporting a healthy and secure environment for airline passengers.

 This summer, some travelers will notice TSA security checkpoints look much different than they did prior to the pandemic, and individuals flying out of MSN in the coming months should be prepared for those changes.

 Nationwide TSA officers are screening approximately 1.5 million people daily, which is a large increase from May of 2020, when TSA only screened about 210,000 per day. At MSN, TSA screened less than 200 people per day in May of 2020, currently, the TSA team at MSN is screening approximately 1,800 daily. That number is likely to increase starting Memorial Day weekend.

 “The checkpoint screening process is a little different today than pre-pandemic,” said Mark Lendvay, TSA’s Federal Security Director for Wisconsin. “Travelers will see reminders to socially distance themselves from other travelers while in checkpoint lines. When they get to the travel document checking podium, travelers will see our TSA officers wearing masks and gloves. Most will be positioned behind new acrylic barriers to reduce exposure and close contact with passengers. Some TSA officers may also be wearing face shields or goggles.”

 The federal mask mandate is still in effect, so everyone who is in the airport is required to wear a mask. This means that all travelers must be wearing a mask at TSA airport screening checkpoints, throughout the airport and during their flights. If a traveler does not have a mask, a TSA officer will offer a mask to that individual at the checkpoint. If the traveler declines to wear a mask, they will not be permitted through the checkpoint.

 When travelers approach the travel document checking podium, they will be asked to scan their own boarding pass—electronic or paper—to reduce a touchpoint. They also will be asked to remove their masks for a few seconds so that the officer can match the individual’s face to the photo on their ID.

 As travelers place their items into bins along the conveyor belt, they will continue to see TSA officers in masks, gloves and face shields standing behind an acrylic barrier offering guidance and answering questions.

 TSA officers will be changing their gloves between each pat-down and between each bag search. Travelers may request that a TSA officer put on a new pair of gloves at any time. TSA officers will also use a fresh swab for each passenger when testing for possible explosive material.

 TSA employees will be conducting routine cleaning and disinfecting of frequently touched surfaces and security screening equipment at the checkpoints. 

 To reduce touchpoints, TSA recommends travelers place items from their pockets such as wallets, keys, lip balm, tissues and cell phones into their carry-on bags to be screened instead of putting items from their pockets directly into bins. This minimizes placing personal items in a bin that you might hold to your face such as lip balm, tissues and cell phones. It also reduces the chance that travelers will leave something behind in a bin.

 Individuals who are planning to travel this summer should consider enrolling in TSA PreCheck®. The popular expedited screening program allows travelers to leave on their shoes, jackets, belts and enables them to keep their electronics and 3-1-1 bags in their carry-on bags.