MANCHESTER, N.H. – Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers at Manchester-Boston Regional Airport (MHT) continue to be 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 increase is evident at MHT as well. In January, MHT was averaging just under 540 people per day, currently TSA officers are screening more than 1,800 a day at MHT.
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 MHT 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 MHT 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.
“As you arrive at the checkpoint you will be engaged by a security team that is second to none. Each Transportation Security Officer is here to ensure you are efficiently processed through screening and reach your destination safely,” said TSA’s Federal Security Director for New Hampshire Robert Krekorian. “To assist in that process, passengers should listen carefully to the advisements they receive to reduce the possibility of additional screening and bag searches.”
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. Travelers may request that a TSA officer put on a new pair of gloves at any time. TSA officers also will be using a fresh swab for each passenger if testing for possible explosive material is required.
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 placing these items 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 throughout the state. Job postings for New Hampshire can be viewed here USAJOBS - NH 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.