Statement regarding airport security following events at the U.S. Capitol

Monday, January 11, 2021

WASHINGTON – The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) remains on high alert following the events at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2020. TSA prepares for all contingencies, and employs multiple layers of security that are both seen and unseen. TSA officers continue to remain vigilant and focused on their transportation security mission, ensuring that travelers are not carrying prohibited items, and Federal Air Marshals continue to ensure the safety and security of passengers, crew members and aircraft throughout the transportation network.

Travelers will notice additional law enforcement and canine presence at the three Washington, D.C.,-area airports - Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, Washington Dulles International Airport and Baltimore-Washington Thurgood Marshall International Airport. We have deployed technologies that enhance security screening and aid in the detection of prohibited items.

TSA screens travelers at airport security checkpoints who have a valid boarding pass and photo identification. TSA compares passenger information to the No Fly and Selectee List components of the Terrorist Screening Database (TSDB) to identify individuals who are known or suspected terrorists and, when warranted by security considerations, against other watch lists maintained by TSA or other federal agencies. This watch list prescreening, one of several important security measures in place to protect U.S. national and transportation security, takes place prior to the passenger’s arrival at the checkpoint. Individuals known to pose a threat to aviation who are on the No Fly list will not be issued a boarding pass and are not allowed to fly. 

Acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf, in a separate statement earlier today, announced that he instructed the U.S. Secret Service to begin the National Special Security Event operations for the 2021 Inauguration effective Wednesday, Jan. 13. TSA traditionally supports the U.S. Secret Service by screening individuals who attend the event on the National Mall; however, this year’s event is expected to include more virtual events. TSA will maintain enhanced security at the three local airports. Travelers can also expect to see enhanced security presence with other transportation modes.