By Marnie Hunter, CNN
(CNN) — The Transportation Security Administration has announced an expansion of TSA PreCheck access just as the busy summer travel season is about to kick off.
The agency said Monday that teenagers from 13 to 17 may accompany parents or guardians who are enrolled in PreCheck through security screening when they are traveling on the same reservation and when the PreCheck designation is shown on the teen’s boarding pass.
Children 12 and younger had already been allowed to accompany adults without restriction and that policy remains in place.
See the full policy here.
TSA Administrator David Pekoske said Monday that the agency is prepared for the busy summer season. Sunday was the busiest day for TSA screening since the start of the pandemic, he said, with 2.67 million people screened – – about a 12% increase over last year.
“From TSA’s perspective we are ready. We have more staff on hand this year than we had last year, which is a good thing because we have more passengers this year than we had last year,” he said at a press conference at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.
He touted higher pay for employees as one reason the agency is on better footing as summer approaches. Pay increases that represent a 30% bump for uniformed officers are going into effect on July 1.
Pekoske also mentioned a force of 1,000 officers who have volunteered to travel to other airports to assist when high passenger volumes are expected at those locations.
He expects to maintain standard wait times of 30 minutes or less on average in regular screening lines and 10 minutes or less in TSA PreCheck lines.
The agency has recently deployed new Credential Authentication Technology that allows officers to verify flyers’ identification documents without a boarding pass. So far, 2,054 CAT units have been deployed to 223 airports.
New carry-on screening technology is also being rolled out in airports. Computed Tomography (CT) allows officers to review a 3D image of a bag, cutting down on physical searches. The new technology also means passengers in CT lanes won’t have to remove liquids or laptops from their bags. TSA has deployed 678 CT units to 218 US airports.
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