BURLINGTON, Vt.– Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers at Burlington International Airport (BTV) are staying busy during this summer travel season.
Nationwide TSA officers are screening between 1.8 and 2.1 million people daily, which is a significant increase from January 2021, and that rise is evident at BTV as well. In January, BTV was averaging just over 300 people per day, currently TSA officers are screening more than 1,500 a day at BTV.
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, TSA employees and airport personnel at BTV and nationwide. However, the checkpoint experience will look much different to passengers who have not flown since the start of the pandemic and individuals flying out of BTV should be prepared for those changes.
Everyone in the airport is required to wear a mask as prescribed by the federal mask mandate when they are in airports, bus and rail stations, and aboard passenger aircraft, public transportation, passenger railroads, and over-the-road buses operating on scheduled fixed-routes. This means that all travelers must be wearing a mask at TSA airport screening checkpoints and 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.
“Travelers should plan to give themselves plenty of time to check their bags and get through security screening,” said TSA’s Federal Security Director for Vermont Bruce McDonald. “Upon arrival, travelers will see reminders to socially distance themselves from other travelers while in checkpoint lines. When they get to the travel document checking podium, they 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.”
When travelers approach the travel document checking podium, they will be asked to provide the officer with their photo ID and in some cases their boarding pass - electronic or paper. They also will be asked to lower their mask for a few seconds so the officer can verify their identity. Prior to approaching the travel document checking podium, passengers need to ensure they have checked in with their airline first.
As travelers place their items into bins along the conveyor belt, they will continue to see TSA officers in masks, gloves and potentially wearing face shields or 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.
TSA employees will be conducting routine cleaning and disinfecting of frequently touched surfaces and security screening equipment at the checkpoints. The airport is also performing additional cleaning of security checkpoints.
To reduce touchpoints, TSA recommends travelers place pocket items such as wallets, keys, lip balm, tissues and cell phones into their carry-on bags instead of putting items from their pockets directly into bins. This minimizes the placing of 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.
Summer travelers can review TSA’s national press release on summer travel for simple tips to get through security checkpoints quickly and efficiently.
Based on anticipated summer travel trends in the months ahead, TSA has launched efforts to recruit TSA security officer positions. Job postings for BTV can be viewed here USAJOBS - BTV Announcements.
As an incentive to join the agency, TSA will pay newly-hired security screening officers $500 upon starting with the agency and another $500 after one year of service with TSA. To qualify for the recruitment incentive, the employee must come onboard with TSA between now and September 30, 2021.